Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My "Top Books of 2013" List

I started compiling an annual "Best of" list a few years ago for my Meridian column and the hardest part is always whittling down the list of books that had a profound influence on me over the course of a year to a manageable size. Torture!

Unlike other "Top of 2013" lists, the only limit on mine is that I read the books during 2013.  Most of them were not published this year. And I refuse to limit myself to 10 or 12 or any other random number.  And I can't possibly rank them.

The books on this list are the ones that stayed with me after I read them, that I still think about, that changed the way I view the world or challenged my preconceptions or shook me up a bit. And that's why I love them.

Best General Non-fiction
Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon
The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
A Century of Wisdom by Caroline Stoessinger
The Curse of the Good Girl by Rachel Simmons
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
1491 by Charles C. Mann

Best LDS Non-fiction
Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide by Grant Hardy
David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism by Gregory Prince
Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Ronald Walker, Richard Turley, Glen Leonard

Best Spiritual/Religious Non-fiction (not LDS)
Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Evans Held
Faitheist by Chris Stedman
Project Conversion by Andrew Bowen

Best Fiction
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Best Children's
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

Best Young Adult Fiction
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

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