Lists, Miscellanea, Reviews

The First Half’s Best: A Top Ten List

As it’s about midway through the year, it’s apparently time to make a top ten list of the top ten books I’ve read so far, but not necessarily released, in 2013 (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). Getting creative now, aren’t I? Teasing. I do love a list. And this is serving as a good reminder of great books; I’d completely forgotten how much I loved The Half Brother…which I read only. last. month.


So, as usual, in no particular order, I’ve really enjoyed the following ten books:

10. The Trouble with Harry by Jack Trevor Story. This was made into the movie that is arguably Hitchcock’s masterpiece. (And I am willing to hear arguments.)

9. In Love by Alfred Hayes. Because Alfred Hayes wrote in the same way I think, which could be perhaps correctly construed as convoluted and melancholy.

8. In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell. It only took me ten tries to type that correctly. You should read it because there’s a bear, a squid, a fingerling, and a foundling. You might not want to ask what a fingerling is.

7. Love Is a Canoe by Ben Schrank. Because love is, in fact, like a canoe. Or some such nonsense. It’s actually a funny, sweet look at publishing and marriage failure*.

6. Donnybrook by Frank Bill. A bare-knuckled, drug infused, crime laden boxing ring in Indiana. Not for everyone, but certainly for me.

5. Deliverance by James Dickey. If you hear banjos, paddle faster. (You can learn other fabulous bits if wisdom in my review).

4. The Teleportation Accident by Ned Bauman. I’m probably a 13 year old boy on the inside. So is Ned Bauman, he just uses bigger words. If you want literary fiction about never getting laid, this one’s for you.

3. The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen. What John Irving does for wrestling, dysfunctional families, and circuses, Christensen does for boxing, dysfunctional families, and circuses.

2. Double Feature by Owen King. The novel (and perhaps the author) has a love of B-movies, the proper disdain for the Yankees, and an entire list of things that induce unnecessary fatigue. It’s also quite funny.

1. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this one, just read it already. It anyone wants it (it’s been well loved), I’ll give you my advanced review copy (assuming you promise not to sell it and agree to sing its praises) – just tell me in the comments or email me!

The ten best books I’ve read in the first six months of 2013. The question is how many of these will be on my end of the year list…? What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

*It sounds like an oxymoron to me too, but I swear it’s true.


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