Tis the season for book lists. As an avid reader, please bear with me as I pluck out some of the better ones over the coming weeks.
Jared Bland, book editor for The Globe and Mail, picks from a bounty of exceptional new books and presents his top ten books of 2013 — “the works that asked important questions, garnered prizes and nominations, surprised and inspired us and, most simply, were just plain excellent.”
Boyden’s heartbreaking tale of early Canada connects three main story lines across the expanse of the war between the Huron and the Iroquois.
Catton’s ambitious, Booker-winning novel of the 19th-century New Zealand gold rush is a sophisticated and surprising exercise in voice and vision.
Coady’s Giller-winning book of stories ranges wildly in style and content, but taken as a whole is an ideal introduction to one of Canada’s finest writers.
Meyer’s brilliant, bloody book tracks generations of family history in Texas, and features, in patriarch Eli McCullough, one of recent literature’s most memorable characters.
Tartt’s expansive (some say Dickensian) tale of a young man in love with a very famous painting is a piercing meditation on how we relate to the objects in our lives.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Gladwell’s latest documents ways in which successful people turn their disadvantages into advantages, resulting in an inspiring, and surprisingly moral, call to arms.
The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
MacMillan, one of the world’s leading historians, offers a fresh take on the First World War, arguing that it wasn’t inevitable, as we’ve been lead to believe.
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America
Packer, a New Yorker staff writer, offers an essential, character-driven look at contemporary America in its twin extremes of excess and decline.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Facebook COO Sandberg set in motion one of the year’s central debates by arguing that women must change the way they act in the workplace in order to succeed.
The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan
Smith, a former Globe correspondent, documents the horrors of the Afghanistan conflict, and critically examines the difficulty of war reporting as an endeavour.