Tammy’s Top Ten Books of 2013 – ADULT

Best of 2013 banner copy

It’s the end of the year, which means lots of top ten lists! Selecting my top ten favorite books of 2013 is extremely hard, because I read so many amazing books this year.  Like many bloggers, I find it nearly impossible to select only ten books that I loved for the entire year! So this year, I’ll be doing at least two Top Ten lists, and I may add others if I’m in the mood:) First up: my Top Ten best adult books of the year! I will always remember 2013 as the year I discovered Chuck Wendig and Victoria Schwab. Both of these authors made my Top Ten Adult and my Top Ten Young Adult lists, which I think is pretty amazing. To be fair, I’ve arranged my list in alphabetical order, by the title of the book. I’ve also awarded each book a *special* designation, because hey, I wanted to shake up the boring top ten list! (Clicking on the covers will take you to Goodreads.)

Best Characters

The Blue Blazes

1. The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig. Chuck, Chuck. What can I say? I love Chuck. This book truly changed the way I evaluate books, and from now on, each book I read will unfortunately be compared to this one. In my opinion, this book is perfect. And it’s the first in a series! Bloody Bride, Book #2, will be released, well, I don’t think there’s a date yet, but you can bet that whenever it comes out, life will come to a screeching halt while I read it:) Read my review of The Blue Blazes here.

best twist

Gone Girl

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Even though Gone Girl was released in 2012, I didn’t get to read it until this year. I’m happy to say that, at least for me, it lived up to all its hype. Even though I saw some of the twists coming, I still loved Flynn’s portrayal of an extremely unhealthy marriage. I can’t wait to go back and read her other books. You can read my discussion of Gone Girl here.

most heartwrenching


3. Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. Stormdancer made my top ten list last year, so it’s no surprise that Kristoff delivered once more. His gorgeous descriptions were over-the-top at times, but they brought this story to life. Thrilling and heartbreaking, I swear I could hear a Wagner opera playing as I read Kinslayer. Some people stick Kristoff’s series in the Young Adult category, but I’m throwing it in with Adult because it’s not published by a YA imprint, and it isn’t priced as YA.  You can read my review here.

most evocative writing

Mad Scientist's Daughter

4. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke. The moody cover doesn’t prepare you for this truly original science fiction story. Clarke’s beautiful writing brings the painful relationships of this story to life, and I can’t wait to read more from this talented author. Read my review here.

Best Ending


5. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. A book about books and bookstores? Yes! The story behind this mostly unassuming cover was unexpected, magical, and full of emotion. And yes, that ending. Brilliant. You can read my review here.

scariest future


6. Plastic Jesus by Wayne Simmons. I’m pretty sure this book is mostly unknown here in the United States, but I’d love to change that. Simmons is a force to be reckoned with. His writing is sharp and his vision of the future is highly original. I’m looking forward to reading more of his books. You can read my review here.

Best World Building


7. Three by Jay Posey. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Usually covers with big hulking men carrying nasty weapons scream VIDEO GAME to me, and I don’t normally enjoy those types of stories. But I was entranced by Posey’s world. It was so hard to get back to my real life when I finished this book, which to me is a good indication that the world-building is superb. My review of Three.

Most Creative Use of Magic


8. Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone.  The first book in this series, Three Parts Dead, made my top ten list last year. Max is just that good. I honestly could have awarded this book “Best World-Building” or “Best Characters” but I decided to go with “Most Creative Use of Magic.” The Craft Series is unlike anything else I’ve read, and for urban fantasy fans, these books shouldn’t be missed. My review of Two Serpents Rise.

Best Collection banner

Vampires in the Lemon Grove

9. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell.  I read many really good short story collections this year, but this was my favorite. Each story spoke to me in some way. Russell is so creative and original, that I’m gleefully awaiting her next book. My review of Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

Best Story Construction


10. Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Last but certainly not least, Vicious was so brilliantly written that I still can’t figure out how Schwab pulled it off. You really have to read the book to understand what I’m talking about. Vicious has so many layers, so many surprises, and so many wonderfully diabolical characters, that I can’t imagine how Schwab will top this book. But I’ve no doubt she will! My review of Vicious.

I also want to mention these books, which all received 4 ½ or 5 stars, but didn’t make it into the top ten. I love you all as well! The Lives of Tao & The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu, Rapture’s Edge and Edge of Darkness by J.T. Geissinger, The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace, Revenge by Yoko Ogawa, The Miniature Wife by Manuel Gonzales, Appalachian Undead edited by Jason Sizemore, Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty, Plow the Bones by Douglas F. Warrick, What Makes You Die by Tom Piccirilli  Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler, The Descent by Alma Katsu and The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher.

Did you make an Adult Top Ten List? Check out my Top Ten Young Adult Books of 2013 here!

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Posted December 30, 2013 by Tammy in Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments


10 responses to “Tammy’s Top Ten Books of 2013 – ADULT

  1. This is such a cool list! I don’t read much adult lit, but I’m totally going to use this as a reference when I feel like digging into some!

  2. Vicious! I need to read that one soon! And the Jay Kristoff series too. I’m excited to see what good books the new year will bring.

  3. I so agree about story construction when it comes to Vicious. Technically is was just something to behold. Also glad you labeled Kinslayer as an adult book because it IS!! I understand why people think it’s YA but we’ve asked the author himself and his opinion matters.

  4. Pabkins

    Oh man I love the categories you broke them down into. I picked up a copy of The Mad Scientist’s Daughter at WorldCon and I look forward to reading it. Lee the editor said if I don’t cry by the end that I’m broken inside. haha.

      • Pabkins

        Good good to know! Jeez I need to just hide away in my library and not come out for three months to read everything I want. I”ll take my meals delivered to me. Maybe I’ll take breaks for showers and the bathroom. Or I can become a nasty Jaba and not move and start growing books out of crevices…ok scary picture l…..