My Favorite Books, 2013


I was recently chatting with some authors, when one confessed how much she loathed Best of Book Lists this time of year. We all chimed in with our shared exhaustion on the topic, and we admitted that our enjoyment of them was in direct correlation with whether or not we made a list. Because of this, I hesitated to create my own list, but I decided to anyway. Here is why.

The thing is, it’s not about who isn’t on the list; it’s about who is. And just because a book isn’t on the list, doesn’t mean I didn’t love it. In fact, on this blog I only recommend historical fiction that I LOVE. So if you’d like to know what I loved for the entire year, scroll through my posts.

My criteria for books on my favorites list is unscientific and simple:

*I read it obsessively.
*I can’t stop thinking about it.
*I can’t stop recommending it.

Without further ado, in no particular order, and with links to my reviews, here are my favorites of the books I read in 2013…

  1. Bellman & Black, by Diane Setterfield
  2. The Light in the Ruins, by Chris Bohjalain
  3. Mrs. Poe, by Lynn Cullen
  4. Margot, by Jillian Cantor
  5. The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes
  6. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
  7. The Light Between Oceans, by M. L. Stedman
  8. No One Is Here Except All of Us, by Ramona Ausubel
  9. Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman
  10. The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you have not read these novels, I highly recommend them. I’d also love to hear some of your must reads of the year.


*Photo Courtesy of Moonlight Traveler at




22 thoughts on “My Favorite Books, 2013

  1. Mary West says:

    ASHENDEN by Elizabeth Wilhide

  2. I LOVE the best book lists this time of year; it’s fun to see what moved other readers, plus I often get new ideas. I’ve read your books 7-10 and enjoyed them as well. Though I’d add some of my other favorites: The House Girl, The Snow Child, The Lowland, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving & The Round House. Thanks for sharing with us this year; I can’t wait to read so many of your 1-6 list!

  3. Lynn Cullen says:

    Thank you, Erika, for including MRS. POE on your list. What an honor to have it nestled in among these great books! I’m really touched that you chose it. Thanks so much!

  4. Beth Hoffman says:

    What a wonderful surprise! Thank you so much, Erika. I’m incredibly honored to be on your list.

  5. An excellent list of why you choose a book, as well as which books you’ve listed. Thanks for always inspiring me and others with great books, Erika!

  6. I love these “best of” lists, especially from readers I trust and have shared interests with. I, too, loved THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. And many of the others on this list are currently waiting for my in my to-read stack.

    My favorite reads this year were THE ORCHARDIST by Amanda Coplin, THE PROMISE by Ann Weisgarber, and THE LOST WIFE by Alyson Richman (which I learned about from you and won a copy from your blog!).

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  7. Love your list, especially #7. That was my favorite book last year. It still haunts me.

  8. jojo says:

    Thanks so much Erika – and I’ll certainly look up some of your other recommendations – Jojo Moyes

  9. Jim Kane says:

    Thanks for the recommendations Erika! Here is a link to my list and on it there’s a title I think you are very familiar with! 🙂

  10. girlparker says:

    Love your list, Erika. I’d only add THE HOUSE GIRL by Tara Conklin. Just can’t quit recommending that one.

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