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NPR’s Guide to 2013’s Greatest Reads

2013 is almost at an end, dear readers, which means that all this month I’ve been featuring lists of the top books from this year. You’ve already seen the New York Times notable books of 2013 list, the Washington Post’s top 10 and notable 2013 fiction lists, and those were all great, but here’s the mother of top 2013 booklists: NPR’s Best Books of 2013. And when I saw the mother of top 2013 book lists, I mean it. There are over 200 titles (yes, really!) featured on this list in all sorts of genres, including (but *definitely* not limited to) fiction, nonfiction, YA, comics and graphic novels, children’s picture books, and cookbooks. There is something on this list for just about every type of book lover, which means that this is a treasure trove of ideas for any of you who’re still shopping around for holiday gifts. Take a gander, dear readers, and see if anything catches your eye!

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena~Anthony Marra

A Corner of White~Jaclyn Moriarty

A Duke Never Yields~Juliana Gray

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent~Marie Brennan

A Reader’s Book of Days: True Tales From The Lives and Works Of Writers For Every Day Of The Year~Tom Nissley

A Tale For The Time Being~Ruth Ozeki

Aces Wild~Erica S. Perl

Advice to Little Girls~Mark Twain, Vladimir Radunsky

All That Is~James Salter

Americanah~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Amy Falls Down~Jincy Willett

Ancillary Justice~Ann Leckie

And The Mountains Echoed~Khaled Hosseini

Animal Opposites~Petr Horacek

Appetite~Aaron Smith

At Last~Edward St. Aubyn

At Night We Walk In Circles~Daniel Alarcon

Battle Bunny~Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matthew Myers

Battling Boy~Paul Pope

Belmont: Poems~Stephen Burt

Black Aperture: Poems~Matt Rassmussen

Bobcat And Other Stories~Rebecca Lee

Bolivar: American Liberator~Marie Arana

Book of Ages: The Life And Opinions Of Jane Franklin~Jill Lepore

Bough Down~Karen Green

Boxers & Saints~Gene Luen Yang

Breakfast With Lucian: The Astounding Life And Outrageous Times Of Britain’s Great Modern Painter~Geordie Greig

Brilliance~Marcus Sakey

Captain Marvel Vo. 1: In Pursuit Of Flight~Kelly Sue Deconnick, Dexter Soy, Emma Rios

Cat Sense: How The New Feline Science Can Make You A Better Friend To Your Pet~John Bradshaw

Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid~Nikki Giovanni

Cinnamon and Gunpowder~Eli Brown

Claire DeWitt And The Bohemian Highway~Sara Gran

Claire Of The Sea Light~Edwidge Danticat

Count the Monkeys~Mac Barnett, Kevin Cornell

Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II~Ben H. Winters

Counting By 7s~Holly Goldberg Sloan

Crazy Thing Called Love~Molly O’Keefe

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work~Mason Currey

Diary Of Edward The Hamster 1990-1990~Miriam Elia, Ezra Elia

Do You Believe In Magic? The Sense And Nonsense of Alternative Medicine~Paul A. Offit

Doctor Sleep~Stephen King

Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure~David Rosenfelt

Dream Eyes~Jayne Ann Krentz

Drink With Men: A Memoir~Rosie Schaap

Eleanor & Park~Rainbow Rowell

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking~Fuchsia Dunlop

Fear of Flying~Erica Jong

Fever~Mary Beth Keane

Five Days At Memorial~Sheri Fink

Five Star Billionaire~Tash Aw

Flora And The Flamingo~Molly Idle

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures~Kate DiCamillo, K.G. Campbell

Fosse~Sam Wasson

Frog Song~Brenda Z. Guiberson, Gennady Spirin

From Scratch: Inside The Food Network~Allen Salkin

Going Under~Lauren Dane

Gorgeous~Paul Rudnick

Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein~Mary Shelley, Gris Grmily

Hand-Drying In Americn: And Other Stories~Ben Katcho

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?~Eve Bunting, Sergio Ruzzier

Hiding Out At The Pancake Palace~Nan Marino

Hitler’s Furies: German Women In The Nazi Killing Fields~Wendy Lower

How Big Were Dinosaurs? ~ Lita Judge

How The Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel~Louise Penny

How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia~Mohsin Hamid

How We Do It: The Evolution And Future Of Human Reproduction~Robert Martin

Hyperbole And A Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, And Other Things That Happened~Allie Brosh

I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place~Howard Norman

I Want To Show You More~Jamie Quatro

I’ll Be Seeing You~Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan

Incarnadine~Mary Szybist

Indian Cooking Unfolded: A Master Class In Indian Cooking, With 100 Easy Recipes Using 10 Ingredients of Less~Raghavan Iyer

Johnny Cash: The Life~Robert Hilburn

Journey~Aaron Becker

Julio’s Day~Gilbert Hernandez

Kansas City Lightning: The Rise And Times Of Charlie Parker~Stanley Crouch

Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-And-True Weeknight Recipes And The Secrets To Happiness In The Kitchen~Kathy Brennan, Caroline Campion

Lawrence In Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly And The Making Of The Modern Middle East~Scott Anderson

League Of Denial: The NFL, Concussions And The Battle For Truth~Mark Fainaru-Wada, Steve Fainaru

Levels Of Life~Julian Barnes

Lexicon~Max Barry

Life After Life~Kate Atkinson

Little Elvsies: A Junior Bender Mystery~Timothy Hallinan

Love Is Power, Or Something Like That: Stories~A. Igoni Barrett

Love Minus Eighty~Will McIntosh

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish~David Rakoff

MaddAddam~Margaret Atwood

Mary Coin~Marisa Silver

Masterminds And Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope With Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends And The New Rules of Boy World~Rosalind Wiseman

Men We Reaped: A Memoir~Jesmyn Ward

Metaphysical Dog~Frank Bidart

Miss Anne In Harlem: The White Women Of The Black Renaissance~Carla Kaplan

Mo’s Mustache~Ben Clanton

Mr. Wuffles!~David Wiesner

Mrs. Poe~Lynn Cullen

My Education~Susan Choi

Neptune’s Brood: A Space Opera~Charles Stross

New And Selected Poems: 1962-2012~Charles Simic

New School~Dash Shaw

Nexus~Ramez Naam

Night Film~ Marisha Pessi

Odds Against Tomorrow~Nathaniel Rich

On A Beam Of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein~Jennifer Berne, Vladimir Radunsky

One Came Home~Amy Timberlake

One Good Dish~David Tanis

One Good Earl Deserves A Lover~Sarah MacLean

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook~Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi

Paper Valentine~Brenna Yovanoff

Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion~Anne Somerset

Red Moon~Benjamin Percy

Relish: My Life In The Kitchen~Lucy Knisley

Return To Oakpine~Ron Carlson

Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales~Yoko Ogawa

River Inside The River: Three Lyric Sequences~Gregory Orr

Rose Under Fire~Elizabeth Wein

Scarlet~Marissa Meyer

Seasonal Works With Letters On Fire~Brenda Hillman

Shaman~Kim Stanley Robinson

Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, And Me~Patricia Volk

Singing School: Learning To Write (And Read) Poetry By Studying With The Masters~Robert Pinsky

Snapper~Brian Kimberling

Someone~Alice McDermott

Speaking From Among The Bones: A Flavia De Luce Novel~Alan Bradley

Stay Up With Me~Tom Barbash

Submergence~J. M. Ledgard

Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story Of Family Life: The Letters of J. F. Powers, 1942-1963~ed. Katherine A. Powers

Super Graphic: A Visual Guide To The Comic Book Universe~Tim Leong

Sweet Delights From A Thousand And One Nights: The Story of Traditional Arab Sweets~Habeeb Salloum, Muna Salloum,Leila Salloum Elias

Take Me Out To The Yakyu~Aaron Meshon

Tap The Magic Tree~Christie Matheson

Tenth of December~George Saunders

Thank You For Your Service~David Finkel

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers And A World On Fire~Neil Irwin

The Animal Book: A Collection Of The Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest–And Most Surprising–Animals On Earth~Steve Jenkins

The Apple Orchard~Susan Wiggs

The Apprentices~Maile Meloy, Ian Schoenherr

The Art Of Youth: Crane, Carrington, Gershwin, And The Nature Of First Acts~Nicholas Delbanco

The Autumn Bride~Anne Gracie

The Best: Riding The Rails And Dodging Narcos On The Migrant Trail~Oscar Martinez 

The Best Man~Kristan Higgins

The Big Smoke~Adrian Matejka

The Blood Of Heaven~Kent Wascom

The Book Of Goodbyes~Jillian Weise

The Boy On The Porch~Sharon Creech

The Burgess Boys~Elizabeth Strout

The Circle~Dave Eggers

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown~Holly Black

The Cooked Seed: A Memoir~Anchee Min

The Cuckoo’s Calling~Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

The Daylight Gate~Jeanette Winterson

The Encyclopedia Of Early Earth: A Graphic Novel~Isabel Greenberg

The Goldfinch~Donna Tartt

The Good Lord Bird~James McBride

The Hired Man~Aminatta Forna

The House Girl~Tara Conklin

The Infatuations~Javier Maris

The Interestings~Meg Wolitzer

The Isle Of Youth: Stories~Lara van den Berg

The Last Banquet~Jonathan Grimwood

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.~Adelle Waldman

The Lowland~Jhumpa Lahiri

The Luckiest Lady In London~Sherry Thomas

The Madness Underneath~Maureen Johnson

The Maid’s Version~Daniel Woodrell

The Most Of Nora Ephron~Nora Ephron

The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes~Amy Thielen

The New Persian Kitchen~Louisa Shafia

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane~Neil Gaiman

The Painted Girls~Cathy Marie Buchanan 

The Panopticon~Jenni Fagan

The Pomegranate Lady And Her Sons: Selected Stories~Goli Taraghi

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice Of A Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism~Naoki Higashida, trans. David Mitchell, KA Yoshida

The Screaming Staircase~Jonathan Stroud

The Shining Girls~Lauren Beukes

The Sound Of Things Falling~Juan Gabriel Vasquez, trans. Anne McLean

The Summer Prince~Alaya Dawn Johnson

The Telling Room: A Tale Of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, And The World’s Greatest Piece Of Cheese~Michael Paterniti

The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie~Ayana Mathis

The Unwinding: An Inner History Of The New America~George Packer

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul~Bob Shacochis

The World Is Waiting For You~Barbara Kerley

The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength And The Power Of Family~Josh Hanagarne

The Year Of Billy Miller~Kevin Henkes

Thieves I Have Known~Tom Kealey

This Close: Stories~Jessica Francis Kane

This House Is Haunted~John Boyne

This Little Piggy~Tim Harrington

To The End Of June~Cris Beam

Toms River: A Story Of Science And Salvation~Dan Fagin

Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See~Juliann Garey 

Transfer Of Qualities~Martha Ronk

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great~Bob Shea

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division~Peter Hook

Vampires In The Lemon Grove: Stories~Karen Russell

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves~Karen Joy Fowler

We Need New Names~NoViolet Bulawayo

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story Of Elizabeth Blackwell~Tanya Lee Stone, Marjorie Priceman

Wilson~A. Scott Berg

YOU~Austin Grossman

You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, And My Misadventures With Two Of Music’s Most Maligned Tribes~Nathan Rabin

You’re All Just Jealous Of My Jetpack: Cartoons~Tom Gauld

Zen Confidential: Confessions Of A Wayward Monk~Shozan Jack Haubner


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