(repost from Dec 2013)
Here are my favourite books of 2013, not all of which were actually published this year. If there's a theme, I think it might be possibly be walking or maybe the literary ascent of the extended Morrissey clan. (as usual there will be a separate list for crime fiction)
1. Red or Dead - David Peace. One of England's best writers uses the medium of Bill Shankly's tenure at Liverpool FC to reinvent what the novel can do.
2. Autobiography - Morrissey. The Moz gets his revenge on anyone who's ever crossed him in this poisonously brilliant billet mal.
3. Edgelands - Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley. Two poets explore the edges of civilization in a walk throughout England's shittier and lesser known byways.
4. The Generals - Tom Ricks. Best history book of the year. An exploration of the decline in American generalship since the second world war.
5. The Maid's Version - Daniel Woodrell. Yet another classic from one of America's best novelists.
6. The Old Ways - Robert Macfarlane. Posh intellectual Robert Macfarlane goes for lots of walks in Britain and abroad and waxes lyrical about them.
7. Parallax - Sinead Morrissey. Ireland's best young poet up to all her old tricks and some new ones too.
8. The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton. A man walks into a bar and finds an Irishman, an Englishman and a Scotsman... and 9 other strangers. They've got a story to tell.
9. London Orbital - Iain Sinclair. Iain Sinclair and his hippy best friend decide to walk around the M25 motorway. Anti clockwise. JG Ballard gets invoked. A lot. This also is a very good thing.
10. The Broken Road - Patrick Leigh Fermor. Part 3 of Paddy Fermor's journey a pied to Constantinople completed by sympathetic editors.