The 10 Best Books of 2013

It’s that time of year — 2013 is fading fast, and before you’ve had a chance to recover from Thanksgiving’s gluttonous just desserts (no pun intended), it seems as though the new year is fast upon us. Some of us are perhaps not sorry to see 2013 go. After all, many folks are still recovering from setbacks due to being furloughed as part of the October shutdown. For others, perhaps 2013 had a slightly more positive outlook.

Regardless of how you feel about the past year, there was certainly plenty to read. We’ve scoured the Internet’s “best of” book lists for 2013, and compiled a shortlist that comprises the best of the best. The following is an amalgamation of award winners, bestsellers, and talked-about favorites from the past year.

cSZwg.Em.56The Good Lord BirdJames McBride

Set in the Kansas territory in 1857, a period of the state’s history that’s characterized by conflict between the state’s abolitionist and pro-slavery forces, The Good Lord Bird centers around John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, and Henry, a young slave. Thrown together after Brown and Henry’s master come into conflict, Henry finds himself participating in Brown’s anti-slavery crusade, and eventually, witness to the raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859 — an event which became an important catalyst of the civil war.