Kate Southwood

Best Books of 2013 – popular new recommendations

Underdog Literature WordPress December 2013.

Every month, I select 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention.

This month – in time for Christmas:

15 of 2013’s best / most recent books!

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01: JINCY WILLETT, „Amy Falls Down“, 336 pages, May 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Satire]

Amy Falls Down: A Novel

02: J.J. ABRAMS, DOUG DORST, „S.“, 472 pages, August 2013. [post-modern fiction / Fantasy]

S.

03: TAMARA FAITH BERGER, „Little Cat“, 224 pages, June 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Memoir]

Little Cat

04: PAUL ROME, „We all sleep in the same Room“, 280 pages, October 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

We All Sleep in the Same Room

05: PETER GELFAN, „Found Objects“, 268 pages, April 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Found Objects

06: MAC LETHAL, „Texts from Bennett“, 320 pages, September 2013. [Humour]

Texts from Bennett

07: CARI LUNA, „The Revolution of Every Day“, 392 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

The Revolution of Every Day

08: TERRY McMILLAN, „Who asked you?“, 400 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Chick Lit]

Who Asked You?

09: HELEN WAN, „The Partner Track“, 304 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

The Partner Track: A Novel

10: MARTIN FLETCHER, „Jacob’s Oath“, 323 pages, October 2013. [Historical Fiction / WW2 – and set in Heidelberg, Germany]

Jacob's Oath

11: SEBASTIEN BREBEL, „Villa Bunker“, 106 pages, July 2013. [Realistic Fiction; French]

Villa Bunker

12: MARTIN VAN BOOY, „The Illusion of Seperateness“, 224 pages, July 2013. [Historical Fiction / Realistic Fiction]

The Illusion of Separateness

13: KAREN JOY FOWLER, „We are all completely besides ourselves“, 310 pages, May 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

14: STEPHEN DIXON, „His Wife leaves him“, 407 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction: YA]

His Wife Leaves Him

15: CHINELO OKPARANTA, „Happiness, like Water“, 208 pages, August 2013. [Short Stories]

Happiness, Like Water

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As a bonus, here are five 2013 nonfiction books that I’ve sampled and liked:

16: SCOTT NADELSON, „The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress“, 264 pages, February 2013.

The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress

17: SHERI FINK, „Five Days at Memorial“, 558 pages, September 2013.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

18: J.L. WITTERICK, „My Mother’s Secret: A Novel based on a true Holocaust Story“, 208 pages, March 2013.

My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story

19: PAUL KWIATKOWSKI, „And every Day was overcast“, 280 pages, October 2013.

And Every Day Was Overcast

20: DAVID FINKEL, „Thank you for your Service“, 272 pages, October 2013.

Thank You For Your Service

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Here are five books from 2013 that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: DAVID RHODES, „Jewelweed“, 448 pages, April 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Jewelweed

02: DONNA TARTT, „The Goldfinch“, 756 pages, October 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

The Goldfinch

03: ELIZABETH GILBERT, „The Signature of all Things“, 512 pages, October 2013. [Historical Fiction]

The Signature of All Things

04: ALISSA NUTTING, „Tampa“, 272 pages, July 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Tampa

05: PRISCILLE SIBLEY, „The Promise of Stardust“, 432 pages, February 2013. [Mainstream]

The Promise of Stardust

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…and finally, here are nine recent books from 2013 that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: DAVID LEVITHAN, „Two Boys kissing“, 208 pages, August 2013. [Realistic Fiction / YA]

Two Boys Kissing

4 of 5 stars: KATE SOUTHWOOD, „Falling to Earth“, 272 pages, March 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Historical Fiction]

Falling to Earth

4 of 5 stars: JANETTE JENKINS, „Firefly“, 156 pages, June 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Firefly

4 of 5 stars: DENNIS MAHONEY, „Fellow Mortals“, 288 pages, February 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Fellow Mortals

4 of 5 stars: LEA CARPENTER, „Eleven Days“, 288 pages, June 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Eleven Days

4 of 5 stars: SUSAN NUSSBAUM, „Good Kings Bad Kings“, 298 pages, March 2013. [Realistic Fiction: YA / literary fiction]

Good Kings Bad Kings

4 of 5 stars: SARI BOTTON, „Goodbye to all that. Writers on Loving and Leaving New York“, 288 pages, September 2013. [personal Essays]

Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

4 of 5 stars: SONALI DERANYIAGALA, „Wave“, 274 pages, March 2013. [Memoir]

Wave

4 of 5 stars: NICKOLAS BUTLER, „Shotgun Lovesongs“, 432 pages, September 2013. [Mainstream; German edition]

Shotgun Lovesongs

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…have a look at my „Young Adult Literature: Best of 2013“ recommendations, too!

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Underdog Literature, July 2013: Special German Edition

Underdog Literature WordPress July 2013.

15 Bücher – neu oder unbekannt, einmal pro Monat:

frische, besondere, spannende oder vielversprechende Titel, die mehr Aufmerksamkeit verdienen:

diesen Monat – genau wie letzten Juli auch (Link): 15 deutschsprachige Titel.

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01: PETER RENNER, „Griff in die Luft“, 295 Seiten, 2003.

02: SIMON WERLE, „Der Schnee der Jahre“, 442 Seiten, 2003.

03: MELA HARTWIG, „Das Weib ist ein Nichts“, 189 Seiten, 1929.

04: KARSTEN KRAMPITZ, „Der Kaiser vom Knochenberg“, 192 Seiten, 2002.

05: MARTIN Z. SCHRÖDER, „Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen“, 304 Seiten, 2002.

06: DORA HACKER, „Bin ich böse“, 208 Seiten, 2002.

07: HELLA ECKERT, „Da hängt mein Kleid“, 238 Seiten, 2003.

08: ERWIN KOCH, „Sara tanzt“, 174 Seiten, 2003.

09: KURT OESTERLE, „Der Fernsehgast“, 224 Seiten, 2002.

10: SABINE GRUBER, „Die Zumutung“, 224 Seiten, 2003.

11: STEPHAN WACKWITZ, „Ein unsichtbares Land“, 288 Seiten, 2003.

12: DIETER MEICHSNER, „Die Studenten von Berlin“, 488 Seiten, 2003.

13: JÜRGEN THEOBALDY, „Trilogie der nächsten Ziele“, 239 Seiten, 2003.

14: STEFFEN MENSCHING, „Jacobs Leiter“, 426 Seiten, 2003.

15: FRANZ HODJAK, „Ein Koffer voll Sand“, 244 Seiten, 2003.

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nochmal fünf (guter Monat. viele Entdeckungen!)

16: JENS REHN, „Nichts in Sicht“, 164 Seiten, 1954.

17: RAINER FABIAN, „Das Rauschen der Welt“, 377 Seiten, 2003.

18: UTA TITZ, „Stella Runaway“, 282 Seiten, 2003.

19: JÜRGEN BECKER, „Schnee in den Ardennen. Journalroman“, 186 Seiten, 2003.

20: ANNETTE PEHNT, „Chronik der Nähe“, 224 Seiten, 2012.

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Außerdem, wie immer – fünf Bücher, die ich letzten Monat kaufte:

01: LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI, „War & War“, 279 Seiten, 1999. [Ungarn]

02: ELIZABETH HARTLEY WINTHROP, „The Why of Things“, 320 Seiten, Juni 2013.

Kaum jemand mochte Winthrops zweiten Roman, „December“. Doch trotz etwas Kitsch / Konstruktion hatte ich Spaß.

03: ADOLFO BIOY CASARES, „The Invention of Morel“ / „Morels Erfindung“, 103 Seiten, 1940.

04: GALE ZOE GARNETT, „Visible Amazement“ / „Blue Girl“, 288 Seiten, 1999. [Coming-of-Age]

05: DARCY O’BRIEN, „A Way of Life, like any other“, 176 pages, 1977.

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…und zwei Bücher, die ich vor kurzem las – und empfehlen kann:

4 von 5 Sternen: KATE SOUTHWOOD, „Falling to Earth“, 264 Seiten, 2013.

4 von 5 Sternen: EUGEN RUGE, „Cabo de Gata“, 208 Seiten, 2013. [deutsch]

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Underdog Literature, June 2013: 15 fresh or notable, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature WordPress June 2013.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: SUSAN NUSSBAUM, „Good Kings Bad Kings“, 336 pages, March 2013.

02: MATTHEW SPECKTOR, „American Dream Machine“, 464 pages, March 2013.

03: LAUREN BEUKES, „The Shining Girls“, 368 pages, April 2013. [Mainstream time-travel thriller]

04: MA JIAN, „The Dark Road“, 384 pages, April 2013. [China]

05: COLUM McCANN, „TransAtlantic“, 259 pages, May 2013. [still haven’t read anything of him.]

06: TAO LIN, „Taipei“, 256 pages, June 2013.

07: MIGUEL ÁNGEL ASTURIAS, „The President“, 288 pages, 1946. [recommended by Clemens Setz]

08: JESUS CARRASCO, „Intemperie“ / „Die Flucht“, 224 pages, January 2013. [Dystopia, Spanish]

09: GEORGE PACKER, „The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America“, 448 pages, May 2013.

10: JANET MALCOLM, „Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers“, 320 pages, May 2013. [Essays]

11: NICK FLYNN, „The Reenactments“, 320 pages, January 2013. [Memoir]

12: DAVID BATCHELOR, „Chromophobia“, 128 pages, 2000. [Cultural Studies / Art Criticism]

13: RUTU MODAN, „The Property“, 232 pages, May 2013. [Graphic Novel]

14: MASON CURREY, „Daily Rituals: How Artists Work“, 304 pages, April 2013. [Trivia / Nonfiction]

15: MONIKA HELD, „Der Schrecken verliert sich vor Ort“, 272 pages, March 2013. [German: I liked Mara Giese’s review – here (Link, German)]

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: STEVE ERICKSON, „Zeroville“, 329 pages, 2007.

02: LIDIA YUKNAVITCH, „The Chronology of Water“, 268 pages, 2011. [Memoir]

03: KATE SOUTHWOOD, „Falling to Earth“, 264 pages, 2013.

04: JUDITH KUCKART, „Wünsche“, 301 pages, 2013. [German]

05: MARTIN KLUGER, „Abwesende Tiere“, 1040 pages, 2002. [German, recommended by Jo Lendle]

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usually, I also promote three books that I read – and that were really good.

but I’ve spent the month finishing a long, nerdy (paid) Marvel Comics book translation for a German publisher…

…and spent all my reading-time with old Superman comics to prepare a slew of Tagesspiegel articles I will write this month – now that „Man of Steel“ is finally in theatres.

I also watched „Iron Man 3“ – and it was near-perfect superhero fun: 4 of 5 stars.

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Underdog Literature, March 2013: 15 fresh or overlooked, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature March 2013 WordPress.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: RUTH OZEKI, „A Tale for the Time being“, 432 pages, March 2013.

02: CHRISTINE SNEED, „Little-known Facts“, 304 pages, January 2013.

03: PETE WENTZ, „Gray“, 240 pages, January 2013. [Memoir of the „Fall Out Boy“ singer… and „One Tree Hill“ guest star.]

04: TY BURR, „Gods like us: On Movie Stardom and modern Fame“, 448 pages, 2012. [Cultural Studies]

05: SONALI DERANIYAGALA, „Wave“, 274 pages, March 2013. [Memoir about the 2004 tsunami]

06: KENT HARUF, „Benediction“, 272 pages, February 2013.

07: KATE SOUTHWOOD, „Falling to Earth“, 272 pages, February 2013.

08: MAY SARTON, „As we are now“, 144 pages, 1973.

09: JOHN GLASSCO, „Memiors of Montparnasse“, 296 pages, 1970. [Memoir about Paris in 1928]

10: DON CARPENTER, „Hard Rain Falling“, 308 pages, 1966. [Noir / Thriller]

11: CHLOE HOOPER, „Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee“, 258 pages, 2008. [True Crime]

12: MICHAEL HAINEY, „After Visiting Friends“, 320 pages, February 2013. [Memoir]

13: ERNST-WILHELM HÄNDLER, „Der Überlebende“, 250 pages, 1992. [German, Sci-Fi / Philosophy, recommended by Thomas von Steinaecker]

14: DANIEL BROOK, „A History of Future Cities“, 352 pages, February 2013. [Cultural Studies, Architecture, Urban Planning]

15: VAHRAM MURATYAN, „Paris vs. New York“, 224 pages, 2011. [Cultural Studies, Graphic Design]

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Here are three books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: GERMAN KRATOCHWIL, „Scherbengericht“, 400 pages, 2006. [German / Austrian novel about expats in Patagonia; Perlentaucher]

02: MATTHEW QUICK, „The Silver Linings Playbook“, 289 pages, 2008.

03: CORY DOCTOROW, „Homeland“, 384 pages, 2013. [YA Sci-Fi: I’m a fan of Doctorow’s writing and activism, and I liked the first book of this series, „Little Brother“]

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

4 of 5 stars: T COOPER, „Real Man Adventures“, 272 pages, 2012. [Memoir / Cultural Studies about Female-to-Male transexuality. German edition here]

4 of 5 stars: MARIA DERMOUT, „The Ten Thousand Things“, 208 pages, 1955. [Dutch / Indonesian]

4 of 5 stars: ALEXANDER MAKSIK, „You deserve nothing“, 308 pages, 2011.

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