Best of 2013: Best books of 2013

Pro wrestling, Scientology and the ’70s art world buzz through our favorite fiction and nonfiction of the year



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E-book sales leveled off, Amazon started paying some sales tax, and many indie shops managed to thrive in somewhat hostile environs: Though still a bit uneasy, 2013 was the year that the lit world eased off the gloom and doom just a touch. True, Random House and Penguin merged, and many publishers continue to fear an ultimate Highlander-like showdown with Amazon CEO (and new Washington Post owner) Jeff Bezos, but nothing deterred the arrival of great literature. Some of the best books of the year—The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Tenth of December by George Saunders—were also the biggest books, but we found as much joy in smaller, stranger titles—Duplex by Kathryn Davis, White Girls by Hilton Als—that nabbed our attention.

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