There’s nothing more pleasant than curling up with a good book on a chilly evening. But choosing a great read can be difficult.
Back in July, we wrote about Amazon editors’ selections for best books that were released between January and June. Now, Amazon is back with an updated list of the Best Books of 2013 (so far).
Here are the top 10 books from this year, according to Amazon editors.
1. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt: This is both the heart-wrenching story of Theo Decker, a man who lost his mother as a boy in a freak accident, as well as a globe-spanning mystery about a painting that has gone missing. The 700+ page book has a moving plot and urgency that is impossible to resist.
2. “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini: From the author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” comes the tale of a brother and sister separated after their father sells the girl to a wealthy couple in Kabul, Afghanistan. Told through multiple viewpoints over half a century, the book follows the brother and sister through wars, births, deaths, deceit, and love.
3. “Thank You for Your Service” by David Finkel: This nonfiction book is a poignant, eye-opening collection of interviews with soldiers returning home from combat with shattered bodies and minds. An incredibly important read, it’s impossible to remain unaffected by their struggles and slow readjustment to civilian life.
4. “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson: What if you could die and be reborn again? That’s the case with Ursula Todd, the star character of this brilliant, multi-layered novel. With the backdrop of London during WWII, “Life After Life” is funny, philosophical, and powerful as it follows the consequences of Ursula’s time-bending ability on her family, friends, and the 20th-century.
5. “Pilgrim’s Wilderness” by Tom Kizzia: This is the true story of a family that seemed to be living a pious life in an Alaskan ghost town until its revealed there’s a dark underbelly beneath their sweet veneer — FBI files, physical and sexual abuse, brainwashing, and violent deaths. Tom Kizzia, a reporter for Anchorage Daily News, dives into the the murky waters of this family’s past.
6. “Lawrence in Arabia” by Scott Anderson: “Lawrence in Arabia” follows the four low-ranking men who all shaped the Middle East through battles, spying, and scheming during the first World War. Based on intensive research, it’s hard not to get caught up in these sweeping conflicts that still influence the world today.
7. “Tenth of December” by George Saunders: An eclectic collection of a dozen short stories, George Saunders weaves dream-like, stream-of-conscious narratives with his staple dark humour and sadness, all grappling with the question of morality. His first short story collection in six years, Saunders’ writing is irresistible.
8. “The Son” by Philipp Meyer: A true epic of the American West spanning more than 150 years and detailing the multigenerational struggle for power, land, and oil. As told by three unforgettable members of the Texas family McCullough, the book spans from the childhood of Eli “The Colonel” McCullough all the way to the economic frontier of modern Texas.
9. “A House in the Sky” by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett: The dramatic memoir of Amanda Lindhout, a woman whose curiosity about the world led her to its most exotic and remote destinations, as well as its most dangerous country — Somalia. Her harrowing abduction and 460-day captivity is both vivid and suspenseful as she unveils the horrors of her torture and fight to survive.
10. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell: This Young Adult novel about two misfit teenagers who fall in love on a bus is sweet without being saccharine. It’s also a story adults can love, too, as they remember their own high school sweethearts in this funny, sarcastic, yet sincere novel.
To see additional lists of the Best Books of the Year So Far broken down by category, go to www.amazon.com/bestbookssofar.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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