It’s that time of the year when everything is strangely candy-cane scented and glittering with a tourniquet of lights. We are anxious with our lists, with our need to prove our thoughtfulness. We want the “perfect”, unnamable thing to fill up our loved ones hands. Inevitably, we turn to the experts who tell us what is the “best” of this past year: the best album of the year, the best gadget of the year and of course, the best books of the year. Everyone has a list, but like all things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I’m not sure what it means to be the “Best Book of 2013”. I just know that if you ask me, I can list some great books that I’ve read over this past year. My desk is overflowing with them.
Goodreads has got a list that gets voted on by readers:
Slate.com’s list also includes a list of “Overlooked Books” and “Best Lines of 2013”, to which I say, Bravo!:
Publisher’s Weekly was only able to list 5 best books of poetry this year (let’s hope 2014 is better):
NPR put out a good list of some noteworthy books of 2013 but has placed poetry and short stories together, because they are apparently the same thing:
So, the following is what I’ve read this year that I really liked. The first list of books was published in 2013. The second list is no different as far as wow-factor, they just missed the list because of expiration dates. All of these books are interesting, unique and “perfect”. I’ve calculated that I’ve bought about 18 books of poetry over this past year and I’m hoping for at least 20 in 2014. I figure, I write it, so I should read it.
If you are looking to fill up the hands of the ones you love with something beautiful and thought-provoking, then please consider the following:
Sky Ward, Kazim Ali
Bright Power, Dark Peace, Traci Brimhall & Brynn Saito
X Marks the Dress: A Registry, Kristina Marie Darling & Carol Guess
Vow, Rebecca Hazelton
The Traps, Louise Mathias
Body Thesaurus, Jennifer Militello
Mezzanines, Matthew Olzmann
To See the Queen, Allison Seay
Incarnadine, Mary Szybist
Antidote, Corey Van Landingham
Small Porcelain Head, Allison Benis White
Below is a list of the poetry books I also bought/read this year—but were published prior to 2013:
The Lost Country of Sight, Neil Aitken
Fair Copy, Rebecca Hazelton
Loveliest Grotesque, Sandra Lim
Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, Erika Meitner
I Was There for Your Somniloquy, Kelli Anne Noftle
Animal Eye, Paisley Rekdal
On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year, Lee Ann Roripaugh
Bellocq’s Ophelia: Poems, Natasha Trethewey
Enjoy yourself—read a poem!