Looking back and ahead

January 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

In 2012 I had one clear favourite out of all the books I’d read: Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods. This year I had no single best book. Here are my top ten books from 2013, plus a bonus one, in no particular order.

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (which I reviewed for the Globe and Mail)
  • The Canvas by Benjamin Stein, translated from the German by Brian Zumhagen
  • Idiopathy by Sam Byers
  • For Sure by France Daigle, translated from the French by Robert Majzels (which I reviewed in last week’s TLS [paywall])
  • The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan (which I reviewed for the National Post)
  • First Novel by Nicholas Royle
  • Not Anyone’s Anything  by Ian Williams
  • Double Negative by Ivan Vladislavic
  • Permission by SD Chrostowska

And now some recommendations for 2014. Two of my friends are bringing out books: Jonathan Bennett’s excellent The Colonial Hotel and Michelle Berry’s Interference, which I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading. I’m also looking forward to Carrie Snyder’s Girl Runner, Eliza Robertson’s Wallflowers and Padma Viswanathan’s The Ever After of Ashwin Rao. On the translation front I recommend Quebec author Raymond Bock’s Atavismes (translated by Pablo Strauss), from which two very good stories were excerpted in the Review of Contemporary Fiction last year and Julia Deck’s Viviane: A Novel, which I suspect Kerry Clare (whose forthcoming non-fiction anthology The M Word looks absolutely fascinating) would like.

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