The Books That Refuse to Be Labeled Anything Other than Great in 2013

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TheReadingRoom celebrates the best books of 2013.

TheReadingRoom has taken a leaf out of Margaret Atwood’s book this year and created a selection of “Best of 2013” reads that defy genre and focus on story. These are the books that escaped being labeled in 2013. In a recent interview with TheReadingRoom, Atwood said, “We stick labels on things to help us to define them and to arrange them in bookstores, but any good book escapes its labels.”

With the approaching year end festivities, the usual plethora of ‘best of” lists are beginning to appear, including the ubiquitious “Best Books of 2013,” with an eye towards helping all those in need of finding the ultimate gift.

With this in mind, TheReadingRoom has created five lists that focus not on a particular genre, but rather on great story telling and have been selected from the top 6 titles of numerous genres. The categories include Most Dazzling Debut, Most Deserving of an Award, The Best Young Adult Novel, The Ultimate Thriller, and Most Memorable Love Story. Voting has started, and the most popular books in each category will be announced in early January so all those last minute reads over the festive season will count.

The selection process took into consideration many factors, including the number of bookshelves on which the title appeared, the book’s average ratings and its number of favorable reviews, and the buzz it created in social media channels.

The result was a list of 30 great books. So if you are looking for something to read that didn’t make the short list of others but will provide as much pleasure and thought-provoking conversation, then these lists are for you. And if members want to ensure their favorite makes the cut, they can vote by visiting

Not surprisingly, some books are featured in more than one category. For example, members raved about Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. Kent’s 19th century portrayal of Iceland is “utterly convincing,” said one reader. “Burial Rites weaves a mesmerising tale of poverty, love, betrayal, violence and brutal justice.”

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion also featured prominently, as did award-winning Colum McCann, whose novel Transatlantic narrowly missed out on a place in the Booker Prize shortlist. We were all thrilled to see J.K. Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith) back on the best-sellers list with The Cuckoo's Calling and another Bridget Jones offering with Mad About the Boy.

To check out the full list go to

About TheReadingRoom

TheReadingRoom is one of the fastest growing book-centric social discovery platforms in the world. It has redefined ‘the independent bookseller’ allowing you to connect with like-minded people to share your favorite books, get trusted recommendations and read reviews from a global community, and trusted sources such as the New York Times & The Guardian (UK). There are millions of books to discover at TheReadingRoom. So whether you’re relaxing at home or out and about, finding your next great read is easy. Choose what you want to read or let TheReadingRoom recommend something for you. You might even want to just browse the bookshelves of friends or like-minded readers.

TheReadingRoom. Your Place for Books.

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Jeffrey A. Salzgeber
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