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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Best Of Updates

Booklist has published its Best of 2013 list, and Kirkus has put up its Best Nonfiction list, so we can finally wrap up our look at the major journals’ take on the best books of the year. In the fiction category, there are no big surprises since last we spoke, although interestingly, most of the titles that moved up to two lists were books that we reviewed here. I’m especially excited to see Jenni Fagan’s Panopticon get the attention I think it very much deserves–indeed, it is the only title from this blog’s Best of 2013 list to be recognized on more than one Best Of list.
The nonfiction titles we hadn’t previously looked at. Two of the books to make three lists were reviewed here, but only two more on the much longer list of books that made two lists. In all, we reviewed 6 of the 24 fiction titles to make two or more lists, and 4 of the 21 nonfiction titles, for right around 25% of all the books listed below. Not bad, considering how many of them lack any obvious teen appeal. I could go on and on about all of this data for a long time, but for now, I’ll simply present my compiled list of the Best of 2013, according to library review journals.
Four Lists:

Three Lists:

  • Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (Kirkus, LJ, and PW)
  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (Booklist, Kirkus, and PW)
  • The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (Booklist, Kirkus, and LJ)

Two lists:


Three Lists:

Two Lists:

  • To the End of June by Cris Beam (Booklist and PW)
  • Mortal Sins by Michael D’Antonio (PW and Kirkus)
  • Searchers by Glenn Frankel (LJ and Kirkus)
  • The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Booklist and Kirkus)
  • Johnny Cash by Robert Hilburn (PW and Kirkus)
  • Dreadful Deceit by Jacqueline Jones (PW and Kirkus)
  • Lost Girls by Robert Kolker (PW and Kirkus)
  • Book of Ages by Jill Lepore (Booklist and Kirkus)
  • How to Create the Perfect Wife by Wendy Moore (LJ and Kirkus)
  • Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss (PW and Kirkus)
  • Gulp by Mary Roach (Booklist and PW)
  • The Great War by Joe Sacco (Booklist and Kirkus)
  • Last Train to Zona Verde by Paul Theroux (Booklist and Kirkus)
  • The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (PW and Kirkus)
  • Fosse by Sam Wasson (PW and Kirkus)
  • Ebony and Ivy by Craig Wilder (Booklist and Kirkus)
  • Going Clear by Lawrence Wright (PW and Kirkus)
About Mark Flowers

Mark Flowers is the Young Adult Librarian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo, CA. He reviews for a variety of library journals and blogs and recently contributed a chapter to The Complete Summer Reading Program Manual: From Planning to Evaluation (YALSA, 2012). Contact him via Twitter @droogmark


  1. Angela Carstensen Angela Carstensen says:

    If you want to go even further, take a look at the accumulated lists on Early Word, On the right side column, scroll down until you see Best Books 2013. The first two links there are downloadable spreadsheets (one fiction, one nonfiction) that include the library review journals as well as more popular review outlets (major newspapers, Amazon, Time, etc.). Great stuff!