Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2013 (88 books)

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Discover what the famous magazine Kirkus Reviews selected as the best fiction books released in 2013.

 

Asunder

by Chloe Aridjis

From a writer praised for her "fresh, original voice" (New York Times Book Review) and "hypnotic" prose (Junot Díaz) comes a captivating novel about two museum guards in London for whom life and art begin to...


The Blind Man's Garden

by Nadeem Aslam

The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest,...


Life After Life: A Novel

Costa Book Award for Best Novel 2013

by Kate Atkinson

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that...


Traveling Sprinkler: A Novel

by Nicholson Baker

Paul Chowder, the poet protagonist of Nicholson Baker's widely acclaimed novel The Anthologist, is turning fifty-five and missing his ex-girlfriend, Roz, rather desperately.

As he approaches the dreaded birthday,...


Longbourn

by Jo Baker

Pride and Prejudice was only half the story •

 

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.

 

In this irresistibly...


Lookaway, Lookaway

by Wilton Barnhardt

One of Slate’s and Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2013 and The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Indie Bound bestseller: "Lookaway, Lookaway is a wild romp through the South, and therefore the history...


Archangel: Fiction

by Andrea Barrett

"[Andrea Barrett's] work stands out for its sheer intelligence…The overall effect is quietly dazzling."—New York Times Book Review Winner of the National Book Award for her collection of stories Ship Fever...


Lexicon

by Max Barry

Stick and stones break bones. Words kill.

They recruited Emily Ruff from the streets. They said it was because she's good with words.

They'll live to regret it.

They said Wil Parke survived something he shouldn't...


Written In Red: A Novel of the Others

The Others #1

by Anne Bishop

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among...


The Night of the Comet: A Novel

by George Bishop

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

From the acclaimed author of Letter to My Daughter comes an engrossing coming-of-age tale that deftly conveys the hopes and heartaches of adolescence...


Box Office Poison

Linnet Ellery #2

by Phillipa Bornikova

What happens when exquisitely beautiful elves start getting all the roles in Hollywood? Human actors sue, that’s what. In a desperate attempt to keep the squabbling inside the Screen Actors Guild from...


Breaking Point

Joe Pickett #13

by C. J. Box

Joe Pickett always liked Butch Roberson-a hardworking local business-owner whose daughter is friends with his own. Little does he know that when Butch says he is heading into the mountains to scout elk, he is...


We Need New Names: A Novel

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction 2013

by Noviolet Bulawayo

A remarkable literary debut -- shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize! The unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America.

Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must...


Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

Dave Robicheaux #20

by James Lee Burke

Louisiana Sherriff’s Detective Dave Robicheaux and his longtime friend and partner Clete Purcel are vacationing in Montana’s spectacular Big Sky country when a series of suspicious events leads them to believe...


A Commonplace Killing: A Novel

by Siân| Busby

On a damp July morning in 1946, two schoolboys find a woman’s body in a bomb site in north London. The woman is identified as Lillian Frobisher, a wife and mother who lived in a war-damaged terrace a few streets...


Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

by Sarah Butler

About to turn thirty, Alice is the youngest of three daughters, and the black sheep of her family.  Drawn to traveling in far-flung and often dangerous countries, she has never enjoyed the closeness with her...


Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

by Sarah Butler

Alice is back in the family house that has never felt like home, waiting out the last few days of her father’s life and yearning to escape. Across the city, a homeless man named Daniel searches for the daughter...


No One Could Have Guessed the Weather

by Anne-Marie Casey

"If you loved The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, this book is right up your alley."-Isabel Gillies, New York Times bestselling author of Happens Every Day

A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR!

The middle...


The Luminaries

Man Booker Prize 2013, Governor General's Award for Fiction 2013

by Eleanor Catton

The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The...


Never Go Back: A Jack Reacher Novel

Jack Reacher #18

by Lee Child

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

Never go back—but Jack Reacher does, and the past finally catches up with him. . . . Never Go Back is Lee Child’s...


Harvest: A Novel

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 2013

by Jim Crace

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year

On the morning after harvest, the inhabitants of a remote English village awaken looking forward to a hard-earned day...


Queen Victoria's Book of Spells

by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

“Gaslamp Fantasy,” or historical fantasy set in a magical version of the nineteenth century, has long been popular with readers and writers alike. A number of wonderful fantasy novels, including Stardust...


The Crocodile

by Maurizio de Giovanni

This is Naples as you’ve never seen it before. A chaotic, shadowy city full of ominous echoes and dark alleyways where each inhabitant seems too absorbed by his or her own problems to give a damn about anybody...


A Thousand Pardons: A Novel

by Jonathan Dee

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

For readers of Jonathan Franzen and Richard Russo, Jonathan Dee’s novels are masterful works of literary fiction. In this sharply observed tale of self-invention...


The October List

by Jeffery Deaver

One of Kirkus Review's "Best Books of 2013" The shocking end is only the beginning . . .

#1 bestselling author Jeffery Deaver has created the most riveting and original novel of the year-a race-against-the-clock...


Ghosts of Bungo Suido

by P. T. Deutermann

A thrilling WWII adventure set in a submarine in the Pacific, by the Boyd Award-winning author of Pacific Glory

In late 1944, America’s naval forces face what seems an insurmountable threat from Japan: immense...


Deep Space

Star Carrier #4

by Ian Douglas

The fourth bookin the epic saga of humankind'swar of transcendence

Humanity had appeared to fend off theSh'daar assault once and for all, though they never learned why the alien empire was driven to halt Earth's...


Pacific

by Tom Drury

In a triumphant return to the characters that launched his career two decades ago, Tom Drury travels back to Grouse County the setting of his landmark debut, The End of Vandalism. Drury’s depictions of the...


Blood & Beauty: The Borgias; A Novel

by Sarah Dunant

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Italian Renaissance novels—The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan, and Sacred Hearts...


Dirty Love

by Andre Dubus III

In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking...


Midnight

by Kevin Egan

Midnight is a compulsively readable legal thriller by Kevin Egan that keeps tightening the screws with every page.

How long can you hide a death?

The New York County Courthouse, in Lower Manhattan, has its...


Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

by Sebastian Faulks

Bertie Wooster (a young man about town) and his butler Jeeves (the very model of the modern manservant)—return in their first new novel in nearly forty years: Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks. ...


Havisham

by Ronald Frame

HAVISHAM IS THE ASTONISHING PRELUDE TO CHARLES DICKENS'S GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams...


Schroder: A Novel

by Amity Gaige

A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.

Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder-a...


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

by Neil Gaiman

A major new work from "a writer to make readers rejoice" (Minneapolis Star Tribune)—a moving story of memory, magic, and survival

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a...


The Cuckoo's Calling

Cormoran Strike #1

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller 2013

by Robert Galbraith

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private...


The Shadow Tracer

by Meg Gardiner

An explosive stand-alone thriller from the Edgar Award–winning writer Stephen King called “the next suspense superstar”

Can a person ever really disappear for good by going off the grid? And what happens...


The End of the Point

by Elizabeth Graver

A place out of time, Ashaunt Point—a tiny finger of land jutting into Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts—has provided sanctuary and anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote,...


A Duke Never Yields

Affairs By Moonlight #3

by Juliana Gray

Impatient with the strictures of polite British society, Miss Abigail Harewood has decided to live life on her own terms—and the first thing she requires is a lover. When the commanding Duke of Wallingford...


Transcendental

by James Gunn

Riley, a veteran of interstellar war, is one of many beings from many different worlds aboard a ship on a pilgrimage that spans the galaxy. However, he is not journeying to achieve transcendence, a vague mystical...


How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel

by Mohsin Hamid

"Mr. Hamid reaffirms his place as one of his generation's most inventive and gifted writers." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A globalized version of The Great Gatsby . . . [Hamid's] book is nearly that...


The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

by Jack Handey

The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel-a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale.

THE STENCH OF HONOLOLU

Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist...


Enon: A Novel

by Paul Harding

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY

The Wall Street Journal • American Library Association • Kirkus Reviews

A stunning allegorical novel about one man’s enduring love for his daughter

In Enon, Paul...


The Best Man

by Kristan Higgins

Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect…

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's...


Good People

DS Glyn Capaldi #1

by Ewart Hutton

A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

A Finalist for the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey New Blood Dagger

Detective Sergeant Glyn Capaldi, fallen from grace and exiled from Cardiff to the Welsh...


Hidden Heritage: A Lottie Albright Mystery

by Charlotte Hinger

After a gruesome killing at the Carlton County, Kansas, livestock feedyard, Sheriff Sam Abbot, Undersheriff Lottie Albright, and her ranching husband deputy know their resources are over-stretched. Still, none...


Nightrise

by Jim Kelly

Journalist Philip Dryden is shocked to be informed by police that his father has been killed in a car accident - he drowned during the fenland floods of 1977, 35 years before. At the same time, two unrelated...


Doctor Sleep: A Novel

The Shining #2

by Stephen King

Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old...


Dream Eyes

by Jayne Ann Krentz

A suspicious death. A ghost in a mirror. The new Dark Legacy novel from the New York Times bestselling author known for crafting stories of burning passion and chilling suspense...

The death of her friend and...


The Flamethrowers: A Novel

by Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award, was just named a Top Ten Book of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review and one of Time magazine’s top ten fiction books. Kushner’s...


The Lowland

by Jhumpa Lahiri

National Book Award Finalist

Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that...


Angel Baby: A Novel

by Richard Lange

**Winner of the International Association of Crime Writers' Dashiell Hammett Award**

A woman goes on the run in this intense and cinematic thriller by an award-winning writer.

To escape the awful life she has...


One Good Earl Deserves a Lover

The Rules of Scoundrels #2

by Sarah MacLean

Lady Philippa Marbury is . . . odd

The brilliant, bespectacled daughter of a double marquess cares more for books than balls, for science than the season, and for laboratories than love. She's looking forward...


The Infatuations

by Javier Marias & Margaret Jull Costa

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, NPR Great Reads, and Onion A.V. Club Best Book of 2013

Each day before work María Dolz stops at the same café. There she finds herself drawn to a couple who is also...


A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

John Leonard Award 2013

by Anthony Marra

New York Times Notable Book of the Year * Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year

In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the...


The Good Lord Bird: A Novel

National Book Award for Fiction 2013

by James McBride

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith

A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year

"A magnificent...


TransAtlantic: A Novel

by Colum Mccann

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

In the National Book Award–winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled...


Life After Life: A Novel

by Jill McCorkle

Award-winning author Jill McCorkle takes us on a splendid journey through time and memory in this, her tenth work of fiction. Life After Life is filled with a sense of wonder at our capacity for self-discovery...


Someone

by Alice Mcdermott

A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author

An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of...


The Night Guest

by Fiona McFarlane

A mesmerizing first novel about trust, dependence, and fear, from a major new writer

Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small....


The Woman Upstairs

by Claire Messud

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own.

Nora...


The Son

by Philipp Meyer

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through...


The Extinction Club: A Neo-Noir Thriller

by Jeffrey Moore

Nile Nightingale is on the run. Fleeing across the border to rural Quebec, he seeks refuge at an abandoned church when his junked-up, overstimulated mind takes in that he has just witnessed a body drop—in...


The Accursed

by Joyce Carol Oates

A major historical novel from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation)—an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early-twentieth-century Princeton, a cultural crossroads...


Want Not

by Jonathan Miles

From the author of Dear American Airlines, a highly inventive and corrosively funny story of our times.


A Tale for the Time Being

Kitschies Red Tentacle Award 2013, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction 2013

by Ruth Ozeki

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki-shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you,...


Night Film: A Novel

by Marisha Pessl

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

NPR • Cosmopolitan • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson,...


Quiet Dell: A Novel

by Jayne Anne Phillips

A spectacularly riveting novel based on a real life crime by a con man who preyed on widows: “a brilliant fusion of fact and fiction, Jayne Anne Phillips has written the novel of the year” (Stephen King)—“think...


Visitation Street

by Ivy Pochoda

Summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn, an isolated blue-collar neighborhood where hipster gourmet supermarkets push against tired housing projects and the East River opens into the bay. Bored and listless, fifteen-year-olds...


Bleeding Edge

by Thomas Pynchon

The Washington Post

"Brilliantly written... a joy to read... Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best." (Michael Dirda)

It is...


Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Ron Rash

PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash turns again to Appalachia to capture lives haunted by violence and tenderness, hope and fear, in unforgettable stories that span from...


The Other Typist

by Suzanne Rindell

A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR!

Keira Knightly is to produce and star in the movie adaption of The Other Typist!

A haunting debut novel set against the background of New York City in the 1920s...

"From...


Silken Prey

Lucas Davenport #24

by John Sandford

Murder. Scandal. Politics. And one billionaire heiress so dangerous in so many ways.

It's the explosive new Lucas Davenport thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

All hell has broken loose...


Tenth of December: Stories

Folio Prize 2014

by George Saunders

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment...


The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

by Bob Shacochis

Renowned through four award-winning books for his gritty and revelatory visions of the Caribbean, Bob Shacochis returns to occupied Haiti in The Woman Who Lost Her Soul before sweeping across time and continents...


A Fatal Likeness: A Novel

Charles Maddox #2

by Lynn Shepherd

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

With The Solitary House, award-winning author Lynn Shepherd introduced readers to Charles Maddox, a brilliant private detective plying his trade on the...


Fools: Stories

by Joan Silber

LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD. “Emotionally, it’s astounding. ‘Linked’ doesn’t begin to describe the complex web Silber has woven. . . . Beautiful, intricate and wise.”—New York Times...


Bear is Broken

by Lachlan Smith

A Kirkus Reviews and Deadly Pleasures Best Book of the Year

Leo Maxwell grew up in the shadow of his older brother Teddy, a successful yet reviled criminal defense attorney. As children, their father was jailed...


Tatiana: An Arkady Renko Novel

Arkady Renko #8

by Martin Cruz Smith

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Arkady Renko, one of the iconic inves­tigators of contemporary fiction, has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed...


Neptune's Brood

Saturn's Children series #2

by Charles Stross

The year is AD 7000. The human species is extinct-for the fourth time-due to its fragile nature.

Krina Alizond-114 is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. She's on a journey to the...


The Goldfinch: A Novel

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

by Donna Tartt

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

"The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt...


Blood Oranges

Siobhan Quinn #1

by Kathleen Tierney & Caitlin R. Kiernan

My name’s Quinn.

 

If you buy into my reputation, I’m the most notorious demon hunter in New England. But rumors of my badassery have been slightly exaggerated. Instead of having kung-fu skills and a...


Something More Than Night

by Ian Tregillis

Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels,...


The Center of the World

by Thomas Van Essen

Alternating between nineteenth-century England and present-day New York, this is the story of renowned British painter J. M. W. Turner and his circle of patrons and lovers. It is also the story of Henry Leiden,...


The Golem and the Jinni

by Helene Wecker

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles...


The Assembler of Parts

by Raoul Wientzen

From the start of this extraordinary first novel, eight-year-old Jess finds herself in heaven reviewing her short life. She is guided in this by a being she calls the Assembler of Parts, and her task, as she...


The Land Across

by Gene Wolfe

An American writer of travel guides in need of a new location chooses to travel to a small and obscure Eastern European country. The moment Grafton crosses the border he is in trouble, much more than he could...


The Maid's Version: A Novel

by Daniel Woodrell

The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations.

Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for...


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