Holiday Book Show: Listeners Pick the Best Books of 2013

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Listeners share their most memorable reads of the year and tell us what books would make good gifts.

Get all our critics' best of lists for 2013

Book Recommendations Heard During the Show


Christian Evans of Booksmith and Kepler's Books Suggests:

California Apricots: The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley by Robin Chapman

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Dissident Gardens: A Novel by Jonathan Lethem

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


Christin Evans, owner of Booksmith in San Francisco and buyer for Kepler's in Menlo Park

Sheryl Cotleur, buyer for Copperfield's Books


Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal by Nick Bilton

Saltscapes: The Kite Aerial Photography of Cris Benton by Cris Benton

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Trees in Paradise: A California History by Jared Farmer

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

The Wolf Of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort


Sheryl Cotleur of Copperfield's Books Suggests:

The Cartographer of No Man's Land by P.S. Duffy

The Circle by Dave Eggers

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry Brotton

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicolas A. Basbanes

Someone by Alice McDermott


Listeners Recommend:

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

Ageless Erotica by Joan Price

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fufillment by Martin E. P. Seligman

The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision to Bush's Gamble by Nancy J. Altman

Bold Spirit: Helga Etsby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Burying Ben by Ellen Kirschman

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Champion of Choice: The Life and Legacy of Women's Advocate Nafis Sadik by Cathleen Miller

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

Dead Men Hike No Trails by Rick McKinney

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky and Greg Harlin

Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail by Keith Heyer Meldahl

Hellgoing: Stories by Lynn Coady

Here on the Edge: How a Small Group of World War II Conscientious Objectors Took Art And Peace from the Margins to the Mainstream by Steve McQuiddy

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Living the Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World by Helen and Scott Nearing

In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America by Maureen Ogle

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked by Ernie J. Zelinski

The Ladies' Paradise by Émile Zola

Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Cornbelt by Tristan Egolf

The Martian by Andy Weir

My Magical Palace by Kunal Mukherjee

A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

New Leadership into the 21st Century Yahya ibn Shabazz

Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer

No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam by Reza Aslan

Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

On My Swedish Island: Discovering the Secrets of Scandinavian Well-being by Julie Catterson Lindahl

Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen

Palestinian and Jewish Recipes for Peace by The Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group

Paris France by Gertrude Stein

The People's Advocate: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Fearless Public Interest Lawyer by Daniel Sheehan

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exlcusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endagers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Saga of the Seven Sisters: Early Pioneer Families of Napa California by Gilbert Gray Patchett

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

The Sea Glass Rush by Bev Jacquemet

Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Tatya Tope's Operation Red Lotus by Parag Tope

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Tinkers by Paul Harding

TransAtlantic: A Novel by Colum Mccann

Transform Tomorrow: Awakening the Super Saver in Pursuit of Retirement Readiness by Stig Nybo

The Twin by Gerband Bakker

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Virgin Soul by Judy Juanita

We Should Never Meet: Stories by Aimee Phan

What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by Daniel Bergner

When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe

Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC by Frederick Buechner

The World Is Round Gertude Stein


Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin