Goodreads, that favorite social platform for readers looking to share and learn about books, has released its list of the best books of the year, as chosen by its site users. There are many good titles included on this list, but we’re excited by how many books by female authors were chosen.
While December is the month of “best of 2013” lists, and there will be many, many book lists floating around on the Internet, we thought we’d give the Goodreads selections a look since they were chosen by you, the readers, rather than us, the critics.
We put this novel, by the author of the über-popular The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, a book on our radar back in July. Bustle's Nathalie O’Neill wrote of the title that Hosseini “delivers again.” The book is a daringly complex narrative of several generations of Afghans who move back and forth between their home country and the Western World, tracing their history from the country's pre-Soviet Union days to the invasion of American troops following 9/11.
Nonfiction: The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin
This book is a scientific exploration of autism with a personal touch, since Temple Grandin is autistic herself. Grandin, who couldn’t pass high school algebra due to her neurobiological differences, went on to earn a Ph.D and designed a more humane cattle processing system that won her much acclaim. If you’d like to hear Grandin speak before diving into her book, check out her TED talk on neurobiological differences and why the world needs different kinds of minds. (Which she should know about, since her brain, though sometimes troublesome, was able to design that processing plant without ever laying pen to paper — yes, she made it in her head.)
Brosh, the creator of the well-known blog-comic-strip hybrid Hyperbole and a Half, came out with a book of based on the blog this year. With child-like yet evocative stick figures, Brosh tackles hefty subjects like depression as well as lighter ones like childhood misadventures.
Memoir: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Written by Malala Yousafzai, a teenaged Pakistani girl shot in the head for trying to attend school, the memoir tells of her life in Pakistan under the strict, conservative rules of the Taliban. After recovering, Malala spoke at the United Nations, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and, to top this all off, published her life story on the one-year anniversary of being shot. This book is certainly a tale of triumph.
Check out the rest of the winners here.