Guest contributor: Bill Lundgren

Lundgren’s Book Lounge: The Best of 2013

categories: Cocktail Hour / Reading Under the Influence

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Rachel Kushner


Let’s begin by acknowledging the inherent flaws in any “best of” list, especially when we’re talking about books. There are simply too many extraordinary books published each year for any one person to possibly read them all. So, with apologies to those books and authors I haven’t yet gotten to (Pynchon, McBride, Lahiri, Tart, Bass, Shaccochis, Paterniti, etc., ), below are a dozen of my favorites from 2013.

Kate Christensen

It was an amazing year for the world of books as the battle between independent brick and mortar bookstores and the influx of tablets and the looming evil giant Amazon continued to play itself out. But the one irrefutable truth is that writers will continue to pour their passion into words that we, their ever grateful reading public, will continue to rely upon to sustain the part of us that lives for the beautiful.

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard

Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard

Want Not by Jonathan Miles

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Brown Dog by Jim Harrison

Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach

Children of the Days by Eduardo Galeano

The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz

Twelve extraordinary titles among hundreds. We can only hope that 2014 is as kind to the readers among us. Happy New Year everyone.



[Bill Lundgren is a writer and blogger, also a bookseller at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine (“A Fiercely Independent Community Bookstore”).  He keeps a bird named Ruby, and teaches at Southern Maine Community College.]

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