Best reads of 2013

It’s been a while since we stepped into 2014. So happy new year! ( A bit late but the year is still young.) I was having this conversation with Rita Says who asked me for the five best reads of 2013. Books that I read not books that were published in 2013. I obviously had a longer list. Here they are:

Anushka Ravishankar’s Moin and the Monster and its sequel Monster Songster. Both are so hilarious I laughed so much! I read out bits to my parents and they laughed as well. It got an element of fantasy as well.
Genre: Young Adult fiction.
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. I went to a talk at Tara books by Sarah Odedena, the editor who oversaw the editing of Harry Potter at Bloomsbury when she was visiting India last year. She is no longer with Bloomsbury. She recommended generally to all those present to read this book because it was discovered by her current publishing house. It’s about a dyslexic boy and how he stands up to authority. It’s quite unlike any book I have read.
Genre: Young Adult fiction.
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I kept hearing good things about this book. So when I found a worn copy at Odyssey, I had to buy it and no, I didn’t get a discount for it. But it was so worth it! It’s hilarious because it imagines the Queen of England as a reader who lost in the books once she starts reading. Very British, very funny.
Genre: Fiction.
Maus: Vols 1 and 2 by Art Speigelman. The artist who drew this book mined the story of his parents. It is a Holocaust story but explored through the media of graphic novel. Wonderfully moving. Very unique treatment of subject matter.
Genre: Graphic novel.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It’s a picture book for kids but it was rather appealing to me as well. I was trying to write picture books sometime last year so was trying to read up on some iconic ones to get a feel of the genre. This is one of them.
Genre: Picture book.
Mille’s Marvellous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura. This book touched me a lot because it asked the child/reader to imagine. A picture book again.
Genre: Picture book.
Not a part of the list but as a footnote: Finally, I will remember 2013 as the year I re-discovered Neil Gaiman. The Sandman series did not work for me. (Yeah, I know.) But his Ocean at the End of the Lane and Neverwhere are fascinating books. It makes me want to go back and reread Coraline.

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