By Patricia Reaney
NEW YORK Nov 7 Author Donna Tartt's "The
Goldfinch," a novel about a 14-year-old boy surviving in
Manhattan after the death of his mother, topped Amazon.com Inc's
list of 100 best books of 2013.
The list, released on Thursday, is compiled by editors at
the online retailer. The top choices include fiction and
non-fiction works, a collection of short stories, a young adult
novel and an account of being held captive in Somalia.
"The Goldfinch" is Tartt's first book since "The Little
Friend" in 2002, which followed her 1992 debut novel "The Secret
"Our top choice, 'The Goldfinch,' is an emotionally
trenchant masterpiece and was hands down our team's favorite
book of the year," said Sara Nelson, editorial director of books
and Kindle at Amazon.
"And the Mountains Echoed," by Afghan-American novelist
Khaled Hosseini, author of "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand
Splendid Suns," came in second.
Amazon said the saga about a father in Kabul who gives his
daughter to a wealthy man proved that lightning can strike not
twice but three times.
"As a sweeping epic, family tale, it was best in show,"
Nelson said in an interview.
A GREAT YEAR FOR BOOKS
"Thank You for Your Service," a non-fiction book about
soldiers returning home from war by Pulitzer Prize-winning
journalist David Finkel, came in third.
"Finkel gets inside the families of these guys that have
come back after horrible, horrible experiences in Iraq and
Afghanistan," said Nelson. "It is about their experience and how
they readjust to life at home, but a lot of it is seen through
the eyes of the people around them, the wives and children."
Kate Atkinson's "Life After Life" and Tom Kizzia's
"Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the
Alaska Frontier" completed the top five.
The annual list is chosen from monthly favorites and any
other noteworthy works. Amazon also compiled lists of 20
favorite books in more than two dozen categories such as
mystery/thriller, biography/history, literature/fiction,
non-fiction, humor/entertainment, young readers/teens, cookbook
Other books in the top 10 include George Saunders' "Tenth of
December." The No. 7 pick is a collection of short stories and
is a fiction finalist for the 2013 National Book Awards, due to
be announced on Nov. 20.
In the category of best books chosen by other celebrities
and writers, author George R.R. Martin selected Stephen King's
"Doctor Sleep," and "The Sound of Things Falling" by Juan
Gabriel Vasquez was among Hosseini's favorites.
"Eleanor & Park," a young adult novel by Rainbow Rowell,
came in 10th, while an account of 460 days spent as a captive in
Somalia, "A House in the Sky: a Memoir" by Amanda Lindhout, was
"It was a great year (for books)," said Nelson.
The cookbook "Manresa: An Edible Reflection" was Amazon's
favorite in the lifestyle category, and "Remodelista" was the
best home improvement and design book.
Among children's books, "The Day the Crayons Quit" was named
the favorite picture book, and "Counting by 7s" was the best for
9-12 year olds.
The full list can be found at www.amazon.com/bestbooks2013