It was a beastly task to pare down this year's fiction reading to 10 favorites. This has truly been a stellar year of reading. I took a page out of River City Reading's book and decided to share snippets from some of my favorite bloggers and their thoughts on my picks this year (whenever they happened to read them). Don't forget to check out their blogs!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
If you're one of those people (as I was) who swear they'll never read any science fiction, don't be too quick to dismiss this remarkable book. The writing is both captivating and provocative, not to mention quite funny here and there. I've yet to meet anyone who didn't love it. --Prairie Horizons
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
If you're looking for a book that you can sink your teeth into, a book of epic proportions that will make you laugh and cry, a book that you will continue to carry with you in your heart--I very much recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany. --Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Something about Jordan’s writing, the profundity and cruel sincerity she brings to the story make this novel entirely worthwhile. No matter how many stories you’ve read concerning the South, this one will find a way to make you see things anew. --The Blog of Litwits
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Todd and Viola grow and change so much and I love that. I love seeing the ways they react to what’s happening to them, being surprised by how they react to what’s happening to them, cheering them on and hoping for the best. --Capricious Reader
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
This is a must-read book. Not only is Shirley Jackson a literary icon in her own right, but the book is fantastic. Let me repeat that. The book is fantastic. --The Book Wheel
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
There is absolutely no boring chapter in this entire book! I loved it. I let each gorgeous phrase soak in, and though I adored it and wanted to know what happened, I took my sweet time turning the pages. --Chels and a Book
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
These two feature heartbreaking stories and incredible illustrations. I'm definitely going to read more by Yang...and I can't wait. --The Relentless Reader
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Though at times I struggled to reconcile one Jane with the other each phase lead us to the happy Jane we encounter at the end of Jane Eyre, which makes me love those difficult sections just a little bit more having finished. --Entomology of a Bookworm
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Oh Francie! I love this girl. She loves to read, and it’s her escape from the mean streets of Brooklyn. She loves her father in spite of his alcoholism. She is met with disappointment after disappointment in her life and comes through it all to make a life for herself. I just want to hug her. --Words for Worms
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
His most recent novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, is a slip of a book, barely longer than a novella. But packed within its pages is a story of true monsters. --S. Krishna's Books
STOP THE PRESSES!!!
Errr, publish button.
It happened. This fabled situation CAME TRUE! The last book read in 2013 is one of the best and deserves a place on this list. I'm adding it here because I didn't want to redo the graphic up top and switch out The Ask and the Answer for this baby...
A full review is coming, but in the meantime, Jenny from Reading the End has something to say about Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. "Ness basically nails everything. There is not a false note in this whole damn book."