With 2013 half over, Amazon has chosen their top 10 books of the year so far (Jan-Jun). Their picks and brief summaries:
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson– What if you could be born again and again? This brilliant, multi-layered novel answers that question as Atkinson’s protagonist moves through multiple lives, each one an iteration on the last, flirting with the balance between choice and fate.
- The Son by Phillipp Meyer – A multigenerational Western spanning the 1800s Comanche raids in Texas to the 20th century oil boom, The Son is a towering achievement.
- Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff – Two adventures in one …recounting the 1942 crash (and subsequent struggle to survive) of a U.S. cargo plane crew in Greenland, and describing the author’s own participation in a modern-day mission to uncover the mystery behind their disappearance.
- The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – The characters in this novel pulse with life as Wolitzer follows a group of teenagers who meet at a summer camp for artsy teens in 1974 and work to maintain their friendship through the competitions and realities of growing up.
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – Following The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini has written another masterwork, one that moves through war, separation, birth, death, deceit, and love – illustrating how people’s actions, even the seemingly selfless ones, are shrouded in ambiguity.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – This Young Adult novel about two kids who fall in love on a bus is sweet without being saccharine. And it’s a story adults can love, too.
- Gulp by Mary Roach – Roach is about as entertaining a science writer as you’ll find, and this book about how we ingest food will make you think, laugh, and wince as she covers all things alimentary.
- After Visiting Friends by Michael Hainey – Unfolding like a novel, this nonfiction gem starts with journalist Hainey uncovering inconsistencies within his own journalist father’s obituary – and while the truth behind the death will eventually be uncovered, greater truths await for Hainey, ones that will change the way he views the past and the present.
- Tenth of December by George Saunders – Saunders’ first collection of short stories in six years introduces his ironic, absurd, profound, and funny style to an army of new readers.
- The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – This enchanting debut, set mostly in turn-of-the-century Manhattan, is both a well-researched historical novel and a spectacular work of fantasy.
To see Amazon’s list of top books in other categories, click here.
What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?