Staff’s Favorite Books of 2013

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One of the great perks of working in a library is access to copious amounts of books to choose from for our reading pleasure.  One of the biggest drawbacks of working in a library is access to copious amounts of books!  The Cheshire Library staff love to read and I thought it would be fun for them to list their favorite books they read or listened to in 2013.  They were very busy readers!  Below is just a sampling of some of the titles our library staff submitted.

Adult Fiction

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Canada by Richard Ford

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Me Before Youby Jojo Moyes

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Three Sisters by Susan Mallery

White Dog Fell From the Sky by Eleanor Morse

We Are Water by Wally Lamb


Bachelor Firemen (series) by Jennifer Bernard

The Bad Boys of Crystal Lake (series) by Julianna Stone

Bad Boys of Red Hook (series) by Robin Kaye

Cowboy Take Me Away by Jane Graves

Free Fall by Catherine Mann

The Sullivan Brothers (series)by Bella Andre

Thrill Rideby Julia Ann Walker

The Way Homeby Cindy Gerard

What She Wants by Sheila Roberts

Whiskey Creek (series)by Brenda Novak

Science Fiction

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding


A Book Town Mystery (series) by Lorna Barrett

Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

A Tea Shop Mystery (series)by Laura Childs

A Witchcraft Mystery (series) by Juliet Blackwell

Christian Fiction

For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall

The House That Love Built by Beth Wiseman

Pearl In The Sand by Tessa Afshar

Take A Chance On Me by Susan Mary Warren

Adult Non-Fiction

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin

Behind The Beautiful Foreversby Katherine Boo

Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter

Lost Empire of Atlantis by Gavin Menzies

The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley


Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forgerby Ken Perenyi

Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road From Debt to Freedom by Ken Ilgunas

Wild: From Lost to Found in the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed


The Good House by Ann Leary – Read by Mary Beth Hurt

The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn – Read by Hillary Huber

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson – Read by Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, Adam Johnson

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson – Read by Bill Bryson

Young Adult

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saena

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

I’m A Frog! by Mo Willems

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

2013 Goodread’s Choice Award Winners

Every year Goodreads lets its users nominate and vote on their favorite books of the year. This is the only major book award that I know of which is decided by the public rather than publishing and the media. I will admit to being a member of Goodreads, and having voted for my favorites in a number of categories. I am happy to say that I voted for a few of the winners. Here is a list of the best books of 2013 according to Goodreads and its membership.

Fiction: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Mystery & Thriller: Inferno (Robert Langdon #4) by Dan Brown

Historical Fiction: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Fantasy: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Niel Gaiman

Paranormal Fantasy: Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14) by Jim Butcher

Science Fiction: MaddAddam (MaddAddam Trilogy #3) by Margaret Atwood

Romance: Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R. Ward

Horror: Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King

Memoir & Autobiography: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

History & Biography: Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones
Nonfiction: The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Food & Cookbooks: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle ; illustrated by Lauren Mortimer

Humor: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Graphic Novels & Comics: Beautiful Creatures: The Manga by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl; adaptation and illustration by Cassandra Jean and lettering by Abigail Blackman

Poetry: The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien; edited by Christopher Tolkien

Debut Goodreads Author: Tangled (Tangled, #1) by Emma Chase

Young Adult Fiction: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Young Adult Fantasy: Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth

Middle Grade & Children’s: The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4) by Rick Riordan

Picture Books: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, with pictures by Oliver Jeffers

Library Journal Reviewers List Their Top 10 Books of 2013

Librarians rely on a lot of resources when deciding which books to purchase for their libraries. At the top of the list is Library Journal’s Book Review, which provides prepublication reviews for hundreds of books each month. When you read books for a living, so many will blur together, but every year there are standouts. Here are LJ’s picks for the best books of 2013:

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat (fiction). Claire Limyè Lanmè (“Claire of the Sea Light”) goes missing on her seventh birthday, soon after her destitute fisherman father makes the wrenching decision to give her away so that she can have a better life. As townsfolk search for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed among the community.

The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (fiction). Anais Hendricks, 15, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can’t remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais’s school uniform is covered in blood.  Raised in foster care from birth, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counter-culture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (non-fiction). Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina — and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.

The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel (non-fiction). Explores the true-story-become-legend underpinning John Ford’s film, and the making of the film itself.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (fiction). Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing–and terrifying–playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Now Vic McQueen, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never forgot. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (fiction). In a rural village in December 2004 Chechnya, a failed doctor Akhmed harbors the traumatized 8-year-old daughter of a father abducted by Russian forces and treats a series of wounded rebels and refugees while exploring the shared past that binds him to the child.

How To Create the Perfect Wife by Wendy Moore (non-fiction). Go back before the Regency and the romances it still inspires. Enter the Enlightenment, but don’t assume its adherents were all enlightened as we’d understand the term. Meet Thomas Day, an 18th-century aristocrat free to study and practice Enlightenment philosophies. Watch him go to an orphanage and adopt a girl for long-term training to be his wife. Twice.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan (non-fiction). Pollan’s latest details his adventures exploring the four elements of food preparation: fire, water, air, and earth. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture.

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (fiction). New York City, 2001. Fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO and discovers there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left of the tech bubble.

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (fiction). When the humanitarian lawyer Tom Harrington travels to Haiti to investigate the murder of a beautiful, seductive photojournalist, he is confronted with a dangerous landscape of poverty, corruption, and voodoo.

USA Today Picks This Fall’s Coolest Books

USA TODAY’s Jocelyn McClurg and Bob Minzesheimer share their picks for 30 of the coolest titles for fall.

September Releases:

  1. Never Go Back by Lee Child
  2. W Is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
  3. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
  4. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
  5. Wilson by A. Scott Berg
  6. Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan
  7. Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt
  8. Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon
  9. Local Souls by Allan Gurganus
  10. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  11. Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  12. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

October Releases:

  1. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
  3. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House by Robert Dallek
  5. The House of Hades: Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  6. Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd
  7. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
  8. Identical by Scott Turow
  9. We Are Water by Wally Lamb
  10. Sycamore Row by John Grisham
  11. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  12. The Most of Nora Ephron by Nora Ephron
  13. The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy

November Releases:

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
  2. Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann
  3. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  4. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
  5. The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin