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Amazon announces Best Books of 2013

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Each year, Amazon's book editors choose the best books of the year. Recently, the Amazon Book Editors announed their 2013 Best Books of the Year, naming Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" as Best Book of the Year.

“This year offered a stellar list of books to choose from, both fiction and nonfiction,” said Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Books and Kindle at Amazon.com. “Our top choice, The Goldfinch, is an emotionally trenchant masterpiece and was hands down our team’s favorite book of the year.”

The annual list includes Amazon’s Editors’ Picks for the Top 100 Books of the Year, as well as specially-selected top 20 lists in over two dozen categories.

The top picks in the Children’s categories are The Day the Crayons Quit (Picture Books), Counting by 7s(Middle Grade – ages 9-12) and Eleanor & Park (Teen and Young Adult). Topping the list in Lifestyle categories are Manresa: An Edible Reflection (Cookbooks) and Remodelista (Home Improvement & Design).

Celebrity top picks include Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, chosen by George R.R. Martin, Life After Life, selected by Helene Wecker (debut author of The Golem and the Jinni), and The Sound of Things Falling, which is one of Khaled Hosseini’s favorites.

This year, Amazon has also compiled a Best Books of 2013: Reader’s Guide, a free Kindle book giving readers a taste of what the books on the list have to offer.

The Reader's Guide includes a variety of interviews, essays and excerpts from authors on the list, including a piece from Donna Tartt about her writing process.

Click the link above for the full top 100 list. The top 10 are highlighted below.

"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt: A decade after her last novel, Tartt has written a wide-ranging, emotionally trenchant masterpiece that follows the life of Theo, a 14-year-old Manhattanite, who loses his mother, steals a painting and sets off on a journey worthy of Dickens.

"And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini: A father gives away his daughter to a wealthy man in Kabul, setting into motion a novel that moves through war, separation, birth, death, deceit and love.

"Thank You for Your Service" by David Finkel: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good Soldiers comes a mesmerizing nonfiction account of the day-to-day hope and pain that soldiers carry upon returning home. As Finkel writes: “while the truth of war is that it’s always about loving the guy next to you, the truth of the after-war is that you’re on your own.”

"Life After Life: A Novel" by Kate Atkinson: What if you could be born again and again? This brilliant, multi-layered novel answers that question as Atkinson’s protagonist moves through multiple lives, each one an iteration on the last, flirting with the balance between choice and fate.

"Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier" by Tom Kizzia: When the “Pilgrim” family rolled into the old mining outpost of McCarthy, Alaska, they were a sight to behold: Robert “Papa Pilgrim” Hale, his wife Country Rose, and their 15 children. But dark secrets lurked behind their congenial faces, ones that shocked a frontier community.

"Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East" by Scott Anderson: During World War I, the course of the modern day Middle East was set by a handful of young, low-ranking actors who exerted oversized influence on the region. Anderson focuses our attention on four men: a minor German diplomat and spy, an American oilman descended from the Yale family, a Romanian-born agronomist, and T.E. Lawrence himself.

"Tenth of December: Stories" by George Saunders: Saunders’ first collection of short stories in six years introduces his ironic, absurd, profound and funny style to an army of new readers.

"The Son" by Philipp Meyer: A multigenerational Western spanning the 1800s Comanche raids in Texas to the 20th century oil boom, The Sonis a towering achievement.

"A House in the Sky: A Memoir" by Amanda Lindhout: Written with uncommon sensitivity, Lindhout’s account of the 460 days she spent as a captive in Somalia is a moving testament to human resilience in the midst of profound darkness.

"Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell: This young adult novel about two kids who fall in love on a bus is sweet without being saccharine. And it’s a story adults can love, too.

You can't go wrong with the gift of books for Christmas. Choose one of Amazon's Best Books of 2013 or find many other great books at Amazon's website.

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