Amazon.com on Thursday announced its selections for its annual Best Books of 2013 list.
“This year offered a stellar list of books to choose from, both fiction and nonfiction,” Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Books and Kindle at Amazon.com said in a news release. “Our top choice, The Goldfinch, is an emotionally trenchant masterpiece and was hands down our team’s favorite book of the year.”
1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: A decade after her last novel, Tartt has written a wide-ranging, emotionally trenchant masterpiece that follows the life of Theo, a 14-year-old Manhattanite, who loses his mother, steals a painting and sets off on a journey worthy of Dickens.
2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: A father gives away his daughter to a wealthy man in Kabul, setting into motion a novel that moves through war, separation, birth, death, deceit and love. On the heels of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini has proven that lightning can strike thrice.
3. Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good Soldiers comes a mesmerizing nonfiction account of the day-to-day hope and pain that soldiers carry upon returning home. As Finkel writes: “While the truth of war is that it’s always about loving the guy next to you, the truth of the after-war is that you’re on your own.”
4. Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson: What if you could be born again and again? This brilliant, multi-layered novel answers that question as Atkinson’s protagonist moves through multiple lives, each one an iteration on the last, flirting with the balance between choice and fate.
5. Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia: When the “Pilgrim” family rolled into the old mining outpost of McCarthy, Alaska, they were a sight to behold: Robert “Papa Pilgrim” Hale, his wife Country Rose, and their 15 children. But dark secrets lurked behind their congenial faces, ones that shocked a frontier community.
6. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson: During World War I, the course of the modern day Middle East was set by a handful of young, low-ranking actors who exerted oversized influence on the region. Anderson focuses our attention on four men: a minor German diplomat and spy, an American oilman descended from the Yale family, a Romanian-born agronomist, and T.E. Lawrence himself.
7. Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders: Saunders’ first collection of short stories in six years introduces his ironic, absurd, profound and funny style to an army of new readers.
8. The Son by Philipp Meyer: A multigenerational Western spanning the 1800s Comanche raids in Texas to the 20th century oil boom, The Son is a towering achievement.
9. A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout: Written with uncommon sensitivity, Lindhout’s account of the 460 days she spent as a captive in Somalia is a moving testament to human resilience in the midst of profound darkness.
10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: This young adult novel about two kids who fall in love on a bus is sweet without being saccharine. And it’s a story adults can love, too.