(My) Best Books (by Women) of 2013

Ok, so “best” is misleading. I don’t think I read nearly enough books by women this year–that were published this yearto make that call (I’m still catching up on this 2012 list). Also, I read a ton of poetry, but not so much fiction and nonfiction. I’ll do better next year.

What I do have is a list of pretty damn good books written by women and published in 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these new books, and I’m positive that many of them may in fact be some of the best books published this year. Let’s just call this “books you should read.” Here they are, in no particular order:

Salamandrine:8 Gothics by Joyelle McSweeney (Tarpaulin Sky) – short fiction/contemporary gothic tales/might make you think about motherhood in an apocalyptic way/read the review in Brooklyn Rail to learn more

The Tales
by Jessica Bozek (Les Figues) – prose poetry/not-otherwise-specified genre/post-apocalyptic in a conceptual way

Lullaby (with Exit Sign
) by Hadara Bar-Nadav (Saturnalia) – prose poetry + some verse/Dickinson-inspired/read the review in Coldfront to learn more


Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don’t
 by Agnieszka Kuciak, translated by Karen Kovacik (White Pine) – poetry (don’t be fooled, all the poems in here are by the same Polish poet, but she’s made up different aliases for this faux anthology)/read the review in The Rumpus to learn more

by Mary Szybist (Graywolf) – poetry/oh, you know, just a National Book Award winner

Red Doc
> by Anne Carson (Knopf) – a novel in verse/follow-up to Autobiography of Red/Ms. Carson needs no introduction

Full Cry
by Lisa Ampleman (NFSPS) – poetry/winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition

Engine_Empire_softcover.inddEngine Empire by Cathy Park Hong (Norton) – poetry/lyrical and exciting/both historical and futuristic/ok, the hard copy came out last year, but the paperback is a 2013 edition/this is actually one of the best books I’ve read in years, period

To See the Queen
 by Allison Seay (Persea) – poetry/winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Book Prize


An Elegy for Mathematics
by Anne Valente (Origami Zoo) – a chapbook of short/flash fiction/it’s on Little Fiction’s list of top ten book covers as well

Hemming the Water
by Yona Harvey (Four Way) – poetry/stylistically varied poems but all very musical/jazz-inspired

Plus four awesome books by women from 2012–I missed these last year, but I’m glad I caught them this year:

When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz (Copper Canyon) – poetry

Two-Headed Nightingale by Shara Lessley (New Issues) – poetry

The Apothecary’s Heir by Julianne Buchsbaum (Penguin) – poetry

Hold Like Owls by Julia Koets (U of South Carolina) – poetry


One thought on “(My) Best Books (by Women) of 2013

  1. Patricia Pomeroy Tanner

    Hi Rochelle, Please check out my book on Amazon. The title is, The Shining Mountains Mystery. Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s