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NPR’s Book Concierge

Our Guide To 2013’s Great Reads

Choose your own adventure! Use the categories below to search through more than 200 standout titles selected by NPR staff and critics. (You can also combine categories!) Then click on the books' covers to find out why we love them.

(But wait! No best-of lists this year? Here's why we decided to try something new.)

Want even more recommendations? Check out our favorite books from 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008


“Bake baklava? Forget it. Mine always comes out gummy and sodden, unlike the crisply perfumed trays I get UPS'd from Detroit's Shatila ...”
Read Neda Ulaby's
full recommendation »
Sweet Delights From A Thousand And One Nights: The Story Of Traditional Arab Sweets
“It's hard to talk about J.F. Powers, the Catholic writer who crafted a modern American classic with his 1962 novel, Morte d'Urban, without ...”
Read Michael Schaub's
full recommendation »
Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story Of Family Life: The Letters Of J.F. Powers, 1942-1963
“You wouldn't necessarily expect the story of a dye manufacturing facility to be one of intrigue, insurrection, deception and death. But Dan Fagin's ...”
Read Andrew Prince's
full recommendation »
Toms River: A Story Of Science And Salvation
“Who was Michael Hainey's newspaper-reporter father really with on the night he dropped dead? His sons were told one thing; their father's obit alluded ...”
Read Rose Friedman's
full recommendation »
After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story
“Curiosity and creativity collide in this exuberant biography of Albert Einstein. Silent as ...”
Read Lisa Yee's
full recommendation »
On A Beam Of Light: A Story Of Albert Einstein
“Meet Elizabeth Blackwell, who was never particularly interested in healing or medicine (she hid herself away when she ...”
Read Mara Alpert's
full recommendation »
Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story Of Elizabeth Blackwell