1 Though I miss the table flipping on occasion, my top ten books were well worth the read.">

River City Reading: Best books of 2013

This year, I cut my ties with the Real Housewives, read an absurd number of books, and attempted to keep track of them all.1 Though I miss the table flipping on occasion, my top ten books were well worth the read.

The Son

by Philipp Meyer

The Son is a sprawling, gritty portrait of three generations of an American family made wealthy through years of oil drilling on their vast Texas ranch.

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

Tartt’s first novel in over ten years, The Goldfinch is an irresistible journey through American art and culture filled with remarkably unforgettable characters.

The Interestings

by Meg Wolitzer

Fame, jealousy, and romantic relationships collide in Wolitzer’s amazing novel about a group of friends who meet as teens and attempt to hold their bonds through adulthood.

Lookaway, Lookaway

by Wilton Barnhardt

Lookaway, Lookaway is a brash, yet insightful romp through elite Southern culture, centered on the unraveling of a North Carolina family.

Southern Cross the Dog

by Bill Cheng

Dark and beautifully visualized, Bill Cheng’s debut novel set during the Great Flood of 1927 is a seamless fit into the Southern Gothic canon.

Fallen Land

by Patrick Flanery

Fallen Land is an eerie page-turner that examines the core of the modern American dream with marvelous passages, well developed characters, and a driving plot.

The Humans

by Matt Haig

Though The Humans starts as a funny satire of our ridiculous quirks, it becomes a careful examination of the very things that make us human: sacrifice, forgiveness, and love.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

by Anthony Marra

Anthony Marra’s gorgeous debut revolves around a modern war, but feels like reading an epic classic.

Want Not

by Jonathan Miles

Both hilariously funny and painfully honest, Want Not captures the best and worst of the human spirit in a thoroughly enjoyable read.


by Michael Farris Smith

Michael Farris Smith has skillfully filled his violent, dangerous tale with hope and love, making the flooded world of Rivers a stand out, unforgettable read.

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  1. This isn’t to say you can’t have books and TV. I was more than glued to Breaking Bad and reading Brett Martin’s Difficult Men made it even better. 
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Shannon Nemer

Shannon is a reader, teacher, and professional Australian Shepherd entertainer.

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