The Most Popular Books of the Month: November 2013

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We love to geek out with stats, and what could be better than using them to see which books Book Riot readers were most interested in? Below are the five most-clicked-on titles from the previous month.

the goldfinch cover1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt seems more at home with art than other people, so it’s no surprise that The Goldfinch, a story about one person’s fraught history with a painting, is so compelling. This is a novel about being a person through and with art and all the strange ramifications of such a life. Tartt is fantastic with place, and her expansive interests in the humanistic world makes The Goldfinch is both specific and timeless. This is a get-lost-in-it novel, and one of the favorites for this year’s Tournament.

–Jeff O’Neal, The 2014 Tournament of Books: Projecting the Field

 

 

 

the sparrow mary doria russell2. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I picked up The Sparrow last year based on the strong recommendation of a close friend. I didn’t know much of anything about the plot or characters (other than it sounded strange, bringing together four Jesuit priests, a child prostitute turned computer expert, a doctor, an engineer and an astronomer). And it turned out to be one of the most incredible books I’ve ever read. The ending was like an emotional punch to the stomach (in a good way, I promise). I’m so grateful to have found this one.

–Kim Ukura, The Books We’re Thankful For

 

 

 

The Moon and More Sarah Dessen Cover3. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Want to read some YA books that reject these binaries and present multidimensional girl characters? The Moon and More and every single other one of Sarah Dessen’s books….We put so little value on the story of a whole girl who isn’t just an easy thing to put a label on. Perhaps because Dessen’s girls have full lives, internal and external, is exactly why she hasn’t earned the sorts of prestigious accolades and legacy within YA history she deserves.

–Kelly Jensen, The Girl Myth in YA Fiction (And Beyond)

 

 

 

tiny beautiful things4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Strayed’s collected advice columns from her tenure as Dear Sugar at The Rumpus are filled with warmth, tenderness, and tough love. She gently reminds us that we are all broken, and she urges us to make ourselves whole. I’ve given this book to friends who were struggling, and it has given us a shared language for supporting each other through difficult times and celebrating together in good ones. What could be better than that?

–Rebecca Joines Schinsky, The Books We’re Thankful For

 

 

 

 

parnassus on wheels5. Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

Put down whatever you’re reading and spend a few hours with this lovely novella right now. Do it. Helen McGill is rolling toward her fortieth birthday, slaving away in the kitchen while her brother, who is supposed to be managing the farm, makes a name for himself as a writer and goes off on countless adventures. When a man driving a bookstore on (wagon) wheels arrives at the farm one day hoping to sell his set-up to Helen’s brother, she buys it herself and sets off to become a traveling bookseller. The story drips with charm and is packed with pull-quote-worthy lines about the magic of books. It’s essential reading for book lovers, and I’m a little bit mad that the bookternet didn’t tell me about it sooner.

–Rebecca Joines Schinsky, Inbox/Outbox: November 8, 2013

 

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