The 15 Best Books of 2013

12/18/2013 4:00 AM |

– – – – 9 – – – –
Life After Life
By Kate Atkinson

The high concept is as provocative as it is head-scratching: a character lives, dies, and then lives again, repeatedly. But beneath the fantastical construct, Atkinson fashions a delicate, deeply felt latticework of life in all its infinite possibilities.

– – – – 8 – – – –
Tenth of December
By George Saunders

That said, the once and future king of short stories returned with more set in places where fantasy awkwardly shtups bureaucracy, breeding a futility that his hapless characters, striving and spectacularly failing, survive by withdrawing deeper into their
own heads.

– – – – 7 – – – –
The Color Master: Stories
By Aimee Bender

Of all the vaunted new fabulists—Wells Tower, George Saunders, Karen Russell—Bender’s work is the likeliest to endure, as this poetic and endlessly inventive collection suggests.

– – – – 6 – – – –
Dissident Gardens
By Jonathan Lethem

After a few books that were meh, the Brooklyn expat returns to greatness with this epic chronicle of several generations of New York political activists, from parlor communists of the 30s to the Occupiers of today.

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