Best Books of 2013


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Though we made some changes to the way we presented January Magazine’s best books of the year feature in 2013, this is the 15th time we’ve done this in our 17 year history.

This year we asked our contributors to come up with a list of their five top books in each category they reviewed in. As you can imagine, in some cases it was tough for them to come up with five they loved enough to warrant best of the year status. In other cases, it was hard to keep them to just five. If you’re a passionate reader yourself (and if you’re reading this, I suspect that you are!) you’ll understand the dilemma.

We do not arrive at our Best Books of the Year list in a scientific way at all, nor do we wish to. Quite simply, January Magazine’s Best of the Year lists represents the books that our writers and editors liked best. End of story.

When the smoke clears and the dust settles, we have a group of books that our writers and editors liked better than all of the other ones they read. That’s it: no mystery and no technology; no playing favorites. And, as much as possible, we try to make sure that no one has a horse in this race.

Although in some regards, we all have a horse in this race. Because we love books. All of us. And we all have a vested interest in making sure that the love of them continues from here until eternity. That’s not a comment on digital versus analog. That’s not a crack about battery free books as opposed to the kind you plug in. That’s not a race we need to get into. And why? Because it does not matter to us. The format must always be second to the content. Did the story transport me? Did the author make the characters live and breathe? If so, the delivery method does not matter. Paper or electronic? Those are your details, not mine. Is it a book? Is it a good book? It’s a book. | January 2014

Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.