Now that Christmas is over, I’ve been catching up on the 2013 “Best of” lists that I’ve been bookmarking throughout December. People love to groan at these lists, but I really like them—I’m always curious about what I missed during the year, and recommendations from trusted sources are a great thing.

I always start with NPR’s recommendations. This year they’ve created the Book Concierge, which is a bit different from their usual approach (lists!). The new format is great, though. It makes it easy to browse through a variety of titles across genres or to focus on your favorite genres.

I also really appreciated the lists at Brain Pickings. This blog by Maria Popova is chock full of fascinating ideas and wonderful books and profound advice from people who’ve lived amazing lives. Maria posted about her favorite 13 books of 2013 here. Do explore her blog, though, because she’s also posted lists of favorites within specific genres or types of books.

And one of my other favorite sources is Publisher’s Weekly. From that link you can also access the lists from previous years. Naturally, the New York Times and The New Yorker and Huffington Post all have their lists, and they’re all worth a look.

The titles that I saw again and again? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, among others.

Perhaps my favorite list of all is from Flavorwire. It’s not a Best of 2013 list; it’s a list of syllabi by famous authors, including Zadie Smith and David Foster Wallace. That is a compilation of lists worth studying!

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