Shouts out to the people commuting to work on public transportation who still lug books. This labor of love is for you. Staying up on the latest movies and TV eats up enough time—carving out a space for the many hours of concentration required to read a novel is another thing entirely. The even harder thing is finding the right books. There are far fewer movie and TV shows released in a given year as compared to books. Finding good books, the ones that stick with you for years, is a full-time job that requires, duh, lots of reading and, in most cases, a social network of other readers to keep you abreast of anything great.

By no means is this list meant to take the place of the hours spent looking for new books in journals and bookstores. It can't take the place of a group of friends who read and recommend. But there's some incredible, life-changing stuff here. These are the best books of 2013.

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