Wow, it seems the only time I blog anymore is to do my yearly top books list!  The good news is that this year I have 10 titles on the list. It was a fantastic year for books, yes?  And I love the variety here.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


When I heard the premise of the book I was very afraid, but in Atkinson’s deft hands I was completely swept away and quickly lost all doubt. Loved this book!

Joyland by Stephen King


I hadn’t read Stephen King in years, and I don’t know what made me pick this up, especially since it was only released in print. But I adored this atmospheric, spooky, sweet funhouse read.

Eleanor & Park by  Rainbow Rowell


A captivating story of first love that had me hooked from the first page.

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon


This weighty book about parenting exceptional children is intimidating, but I tackled it one chapter at a time, weaving lighter fare in between.  Incredibly well-researched, this important book is a must-read for parents.

Update: Nathan Maharaj  from Kobo eloquently explains why this is his pick for best of 2013 here.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


If you have anyone left on your shopping list, get them this enchanting little book. And for the young readers, pick up Gaiman’s Fortunately, The Milk (my eight-year-old adored it).

Cataract City by Craig Davidson


This stark, gritty novel about a blue-collar town  is not for the faint of heart, but it was my favorite of the Giller nominees this year. I want to read more from this author.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


This book surprised me! It’s charming and delightful and left me with a big silly smile on my face.

The Everything Store by Brad Stone


This is a totally engrossing (and scary) account of a company that’s a force to be reckoned with.  A must-read, especially for those of us in the book biz.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff


I read most of my books digitally, but I had to own the gorgeous print edition of this title. I knew it was composed  entirely in verse, and to be honest I put off reading it. But once I sat down and cracked it open I didn’t close it until I was finished. And then I wanted to go right back to the beginning and read it again.  Absolutely lovely.

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden


A few words to describe The Orenda: well-researched, balanced, nuanced, visceral.  This  is a stunning novel that every Canadian should read. And it’s my pick for Canada Reads!

Happy holidays, everyone. May 2014 be filled with nearly as many excellent books as 2013.