The best of year 2013 in books

It seems every book blogger writes a year-end book report of the best books they read in 2013. Here is mine. I read a lot, in several genres, but I’ll only mention two genres in this report: mainstream and fantasy. In both, I made discoveries. Both included the most significant reads of the year.

Mainstream
The two most memorable books of the year for me were Me Before You, written in the 21st century, and Parnassus on Wheels, written in 1917. The first was a tragic but glowing story about love, disability, and euthanasia; the second – a light-hearted romp about books and booksellers.

Another mainstream book, the only book about WWII I’ve read in a long while, was Shadows and Wings. I dislike the topic, but the book itself made an impression.

One of the funniest books of the year was Stay. Every owner of a dog should read it. Those who don’t own a dog but read the book might start thinking about getting a dog.

Fantasy

This will be the longer section, because most of my reading fare belongs here.

My personal triumphant discovery of the year was Terry Pratchett. His satirical and wise Going Postal (Discworld, #33), Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19), Night Watch (Discworld, #29), and other Discworld books were the brightest highlights of the year. I look forward to more of his books. Fortunately, the series is quite long, and I only dipped into it.

My other discoveries of the genre classics include Connie Willis’s To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2) and Diana Wynne Jones’s Year of the Griffin (Derkholm, #2) and Enchanted Glass, although the latter author’s novels are uneven. Some other of her books I couldn’t even finish. I have to read more of both authors.

The absolutely new author for me, who is strangely unknown to the majority of readers, was Frank Tuttle. His All the Paths of Shadow was charming and hilarious. It changed my previously negative outlook at steampunk novels. Now I know steampunk could be quite good. A writer to watch.

My old favorite – Sharon Shinn. Her Troubled Waters (Elemental Blessings, #1), Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses, #1), Still Life with Shape-Shifter (Shifting Circle, #2) are beautiful, luminous stories. I can always rely on her books to lift my spirit.

The only YA book I really liked this year, although I tried a few, was Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3). I’m not a big fan of the genre, but this author is worth following.

And then there was Gail Carriger and her cute if trifling novels about werewolves, vampires, and Victorian London.

A successful reading year by all accounts.