We’re at the close of yet another year, and what better way to end it than by sifting through our favourite books in each genre and picking the ones we like best. The literary world saw the release of a fair few keepers in 2013; we were introduced to books we read, re-read, and that stayed with us long after we were past the last line on the last page. With books such as the haunting autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, Stephen King’s bone-chilling sequel to The Shining and J.K.Rowling’s triumph in the world of crime fiction through The Cuckoo’s Calling featuring in 2013’s list of releases, it is indeed a tough task to pick. But, pick we must, and here are the ones we’ve chosen in the genres of Literature & Fiction, Children & Young Adult, Biographies & True Accounts, and Business & Economics.
Literature & Fiction was a tough one, given the wide array of books this genre envelopes and calls its own. Some books thrummed with lyrical prose, others with deliciously original plots, and yet others with rich, intricate narratives that never failed to fascinate. We chose Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountain’s Echoed for its ability to connect with a variety of literary tastes. The book, written in Hosseini’s signature style, tells the tale of two children, separated in childhood. Tracing their lives from Kabul, to Paris and San Francisco, the book tells a myriad other stories in the course of one. You’ll love this one if you enjoyed the author’s previous books – The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Children & Young Adult was, to us, a toss-up between Rick Riordan’s House of Hades from The Heroes of Olympus Series, and the 8th book in Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. We picked the latter though; for sheer originality. The series’ protagonist, Greg Heffley, is inimitable, along with the books’ engaging illustrations and tongue-in-cheek look at the big, bad world of middle school. While House the Hades is still the book to pick if you’re a Fantasy Fiction fan, the Wimpy Kid series is likely to appeal to more readers. It’s also a great way to get an eight year old to pick up a book. The eighth book – Hard Luck, which centres around Greg’s quest for a new friend after his best friend ditches him, is just as enjoyable a read for adults as it is for children. It also gives you little insights into the world of children that you may have long forgotten. And of course, it’s hilarious!
Biographies & True Accounts is probably where we had the easiest time. We aren’t discounting the books that were released in the genre over the past year; there were some definite gems, such as the autobiographies of Sir Alex Ferguson, Usain Bolt, Milkha Singh, and Stephen Hawking. But, the strength of Malala Yousafzai’ s story and the currentness of its impetus make her autobiography, I am Malala – The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban, a must-read in the genre. Her journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to halls of the United Nations, and her quiet, determined fight for the education of women, is nothing short of inspiring.
Business & Economics too saw the release of a slew of books that went on to become bestsellers worldwide. COO of Facebook - Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, Ruchir Sharma’s Breakout Nations, An Uncertain Glory by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze, and Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, are some of the titles we’re glad we cracked open. But, we pick Reimagining India - a collection of essays by the brightest minds on what the world needs to know about modern India. The book pulls in expert opinions on multiple fronts to examine India’s true potential. Some of the book’s contributors include CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Mukesh Ambani - CEO of Reliance Industries Limited (India's largest private conglomerate), Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria, award-winning author Suketu Mehta(Maximum City), and Nandan Nilekani - Infosys cofounder and chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India. Need we say more?
Explore more of the most popular and celebrated books of 2013 at The Best of 2013 section on Junglee.com.