Looking Back on 2013: My Favorite Nonfiction

I feel like such a lazy-butt for posting this two weeks after the start of the new year. Truth is the craziness of the Holidaze hit me hard and boy oh boy did I need a little break. Well, the break is over and it’s time to get back to blogging. Might as well get things rolling with a little “best of” list.

Since I read a number of very good books this year, it’s been hard to make a list of my favorite ten nonfiction books from 2013. Like many book bloggers who do these kind of lists, it’s a list of the best stuff I read over the course of the year, regardless of publication date. (For consideration a book need not to have been published in 2013, it just needs to be outstanding.) However, after looking back on all the books I read, here’s what I finally came up with. Of course, just like in past years, these aren’t presented in any particular order.

  1. God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter
  2. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief  by Lawrence Wright
  3. The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels by Janet Soskice
  4. The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
  5. Prague  Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948
    by Madeleine Albright
  6. Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service by
  7. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum
  8. Hunting the Tiger: The Fast Life and Violent Death of the Balkans’ Most Dangerous Man by Christopher S. Stewart
  9. The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe
  10. Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea’s Prisons by Cullen Thomas

There you have it. And let me tell, ya, there’s a whole bunch of books that easily could have made the list. I’m still second guessing myself for not including wonderful books like Warren Kozak’s The Rabbi of 84th Street: The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession and David Feldman’s Pilgrimage to Darkness: Nuremberg to Jerusalem

It was also difficult to assign an overall winner as my favorite book of the year. It was a tough call, but Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 narrowly won. Her scope, depth and sophisticated analysis make it a winning book.

7 thoughts on “Looking Back on 2013: My Favorite Nonfiction

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