I’m not sure I’m really qualified to comment on the best books of the year since I haven’t read that many. Perhaps this should be called “My favorite reads.” But here are some of the books I read this year that I really enjoyed and recommend. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – This quirky, clever novel was a page-turning collection of correspondence seeking to discover why an anxious housewife disappeared. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – This beautiful novel tells the story of a couple whose desperation for family puts them in an unthinkable position. A great novel for anyone, but of particular interest for those in the adoption triad. Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman – A fascinating inside look into incarceration in America. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – This haunting novel about a man unearthing his childhood trauma won Book of the Year, and for good reason. Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey – I know that the word feminist conjures a lot of stereotypes, and even negativity for some people. But Sarah has such a kind and gentle spirit and her poetic and sincere writing sets the perfect tone for exploring how feminism and Christianity are not mutually exclusive. I think people from all walks of life will find it an enlightening read. When We Were on Fire :by Addie Zierman – This memoir of growing up in youth group and “on fire for God”, and the resulting disillusionment and rediscovery of a deeper faith, was like reading my own story. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – This young adult novel is a poignant love story. I found it a bit too precious at times, but it’s a quick and compelling read. The Language of Flowers: by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – This novel follows a young girl as she ages out of the foster care system, and her search for identity and intimacy. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris – I mean, really. David Sedaris. What else do I need to say? The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad – This should be required reading for every American to understand the historical and current oppression of black people and how it has effected the African American community. Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton – At parts heartbreakingly vulnerable and at parts hilarious, this memoir exemplifies how LOVE WINS. The Last Brother by Nathach Appanah – This brief novel is the heartbreaking tale of two unlikely young friends during the German occupation of a small island during WWII. A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon by Sophie Hudson – This hilarious book is full of Sophie’s heartwarming storytelling and quirky family life. Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan – A hilarious memoir of a harried dad of four kids. Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle – This witty, relatable book is great for moms who want to find the humor and grace in the everyday. The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates – A fascinating memoir of a father who was a Vietnam vet turned Black Panther who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. What were your favorite books of 2013?