Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Best Books of 2013 So Far.

Top Picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far.

1) Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson 

ISBN-10: 0316176486
ISBN-13: 9780316176484

Editorial Reviews

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: Every time Ursula Todd dies, she is born again. Each successive life is an iteration on the last, and we see how Ursula's choices affect her, those around her, and--so boldly--the fate of the 20th-century world. Most impressive is how Kate Atkinson keeps the complexity of her postmodern plotting so nimble. Life After Life approaches the universe in both the micro- and macro sense, balancing the interior lives of Ursula's friends and family with the weight of two World Wars. (How many writers can make domestic drama as compelling as the London Blitz?) Life After Life is an extraordinary feat of narrative ambition, an audacious genre-bender, and a work of literary genius. --Kevin Nguyen
ISBN-10: 0062120395
ISBN-13: 9780062120397 

Editorial Reviews

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2013: In 1859, Eli McCullough, the 13-year-old son of Texas pioneers, is captured in a brutal Comanche raid on his family's homestead. First taken as a slave along with his less intrepid brother, Eli assimilates himself into Comanche culture, learning their arts of riding, hunting, and total warfare. When the tribe succumbs to waves of disease and settlers, Eli's only option is a return to Texas, where his acquired thirsts for freedom and self-determination set a course for his family's inexorable rise through the industries of cattle and oil. The Son is Philipp Meyer's epic tale of more than 150 years of money, family, and power, told through the memories of three unforgettable narrators: Eli, now 100 and known simply as "the Colonel"; Eli's son Peter, called "the great disappointment" for his failure to meet the family’s vision of itself; and Eli's great-granddaughter Jeanne Anne, who struggles to maintain the McCullough empire in the economic frontier of modern Texas. The book is long but never dull—Meyer's gift (and obsession) for historical detail and vernacular is revelatory, and the distinct voices of his fully fleshed-and-blooded characters drive the story. And let there be blood: some readers will flinch at Meyer's blunt (and often mesmerizing) portrayal of violence in mid-19th century Texas, but it’s never gratuitous. His first novel, 2009's American Rust, drew praise for its stark and original characterization of post-industrial America, but Meyer has outdone himself with The Son, as ambitious a book as any you’ll read this year--or any year. Early reviewers call it a masterpiece, and while it's easy to dismiss so many raves as hyperbole, The Son is an extraordinary achievement. --Jon Foro

ISBN-10: 0062133438
ISBN-13: 9780062133434

Editorial Reviews

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: Talk about bad luck: In 1942, a United States cargo plane crash-landed while flying over Greenland, stranding the crew on sea of ice. A rescue flight was quickly dispatched--it crashed in a November storm, stranding its own nine crewmembers. The third time was not the charm: a second rescue mission disappeared in another blizzard, leaving neither clues nor apparent survivors. Subsequent attempts--some with fatal results--failed under the harsh conditions, forcing the men to weather the Arctic winter in makeshift shelters, including the tail section of a broken bomber. This tale of survival in the deadliest conditions would be enthralling on its own (and it is), but Zuckoff's meticulous research led him to a modern-day group dedicated to solving the mystery of the third flight. As a chronicler of their mission, Zuckoff is swept into their adventure, and his project becomes much more than an interesting World War II subplot. Part Alive, part Shackleton, Frozen in Time is a thrilling story of courage, perseverance, and loyalty that spans decades. --Jon Foro

4) The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer


ISBN-10: 1594488398
ISBN-13: 9781594488399

Editorial Reviews

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: This knowing, generous and slyly sly new novel follows a group of teenagers who meet at a summer camp for artsy teens in 1974 and survive as friends through the competitions and realities of growing up. At its heart is Jules (nee Julie, she changes it that first summer to seem more sophisticated) Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress who comes to realize she’s got more creative temperament than talent; her almost boyfriend Ethan Figman, the true genius in the bunch (he’s a cartoonist); musician Jonah Bay, son of a famous Baez-ish folksinger; and the Wolf siblings, Ash and Goodman, attractive and mysterious. How these five circle each other, come together and break apart, makes for plenty of hilarious scenes and plenty of heartbreaking ones, too. A compelling coming of age story about five privileged kids, this is also a pitch-perfect tale about a particular generation and the era that spawned it. --Sara Nelson