The Best Books of 2013

Fiction & Non-Fiction

Start the new year with a good book. The New York Times and The Washington Post recently released their lists for the ten best books of the year. The Georgetown Neighborhood Library currently has a display of these titles in the Sight and Sound room on the first floor.

Read on to learn more about these fiction and non-fiction selections.

The Washington Post
Book jacket for "The Woman Upstiars" by Claire Messud(Fiction)
1. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
A doctor tries to rescue a child in war-ravaged Chechnya.
2. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
A black man disguises himself as a woman to escape a racist attack.
3. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
The latest in a continuing crime saga set in Quebec.
4. The Son by Philipp Meyer
An American historical novel that stretches from the Civil War to 9/11.
5. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
A lonely teacher becomes ensnared in a family conflict.

Book jacket for "Book of Ages : the Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin" by Jill Lepore(Non-Fiction)
6. Book of Ages : The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore
Life in Colonial America as seen through the eyes of Ben Franklin's sister.
7. Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnston
Johnston writes about the rising rate of alcoholism in women with facts and her own story.
8. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
Numerous interviews are used to reveal Scientology's workings.
9. The Guns at Last Light : The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson
The third volume of the Liberation Trilogy covers D-Day through V-E Day.
10. Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel
This sequel to The Good Soldiers tells of the difficulties experienced by soldiers returning from the Iraq War.


The New York Times
Book jacket for Americanah :  a novel" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie(Fiction)
1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The poignant tale of a Nigerian grad student's life in America and her struggles going home.
2. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
A young woman falls in love with art, an Italian man, and radical politics.
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
An orphaned boy becomes obsessed with a painting and is drawn into society's underworld.
4. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
A woman dies repeatedly with the unfurling of history as a backdrop.
5. Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
Macabre stories reveal the complexity of modern life.

Book jacket for "Five Days at Memorial" by Sheri Fink(Non-Fiction)
6. After the Music Stopped : the Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Binder
Postulates that a "perfect storm" of coincidences and conditions cause the financial crisis of 2008.
7. Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker
Baker explores the Bush-Cheney administration.
8. Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
The inside story of a New Orleans hospital caught in the throws of Hurricane Katrina.
9. The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark
A succinct history of the outbreak of World War I.
10. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
A first-person account of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.