I was asked for a three-book ‘best of’ list and summer reading list for a feature in The Melbourne Review, with the stipulation that all books had to be released in 2013. (Quite by chance, the three were laid out together on a display table at The Arcane Bookshop in Perth–see photo–when I visited last month). I’ve reproduced my lists below, with links where I’ve reviewed them on this blog.
Amanda Curtin, Elemental (UWA Publishing)
Garry Disher, Bitter Wash Road (Text)
Laura Jean McKay, Holiday in Cambodia (Black Inc.)
I was also invited by my partner, author/reviewer/blogger Andrew Nette for my top five crime reads for 2013, regardless of release date. My list for Pulpcurry comprised:
Top crime reads 2013
Honey Brown, After the Darkness (I reviewed her 2013 release, Dark Horse)
Robert Gott, The Holiday Murders
Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
Dennis Lehane, Live by Night
David Whish-Wilson, Zero at the Bone
with honourable mentions to:
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
Adrian McKinty, I Hear the Sirens in the Street
Don Winslow, Sartori
Felicity Young, Antidote to Murder
But even taking liberties with list limits doesn’t allow me to do justice to all the great books I’ve read in 2013. So in addition to the above, here’s my year of reading, now with fully customisable lists.
Books that made me laugh
The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
Gentlemen Formerly Dressed, Sulari Gentill
Books that made me cry
The Australian Fiancé, Simone Lazaroo
Barracuda, Christos Tsiolkas
Books that made me swoon
The Beloved, Annah Faulkner
Her Father’s Daughter, Alice Pung
Harmless, Julienne Van Loon
Books that taught me something new about the world
The Occidentals, Caron Eastgate Dann
Burial Rites, Hannah Kent
If the Moon Smiled, Chandani Lukogé
Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil
My Island Homicide, Catherine Titasey
Most useful book of the year
On Writing, Stephen King
Stats (if you’re into that sort of thing)
Thirty-one of the 55 books I read this year were written by Australian authors (56%), although 12 of these were set in countries other than Australia, including Cambodia, Iceland, Sri Lanka and Singapore. All up, I read books set in 18 different countries.
Thirty-one of the 55 books I read this year were written by women, with two others (anthologies) also including female authors. I read four books by Kathy Reichs (swotting for our interview), three books by Honey Brown, and two each by Dennis Lehane and Ian Rankin.
Thirty-nine out of my 55 reads were crime/thriller novels (71%), 13 literary fiction, and three non-fiction — three times as many non-fiction books as I usually read.
Which reads from 2013 make your list(s)?