RT Editors' Best of 2013: Devon's Picks
This blog post is part of a series that the RT Editors will be taking part in during the month of December. Please check back all month long for each editor's installment!
With 2013 winding down, the RT editors thought December would be a good time to reflect on what each of us read this year and which books stuck with us long after we finished them. While this year's RT Awards winners won't be announced until our convention in May, we've decided to share our personal favorites of 2013, in no particular order. Today RT Editor Devon Glenn shares her favorites of this past year:
Tales From the Edge of America, Part 1: New York to Montana
In this travel journal, British author Smith takes American readers to corners of the country that even they may not have seen on a cross-country train trip from New York to Montana. (New London, he discovers, is not quite as impressive as the original.) Smith may have lowered the stakes since he wrote Twitchhiker, which chronicles his trip around the world with the help of strangers he met on Twitter, but whether he’s gazing out the window or testing the pizza at a dive made famous by a chick flick set in Mystic, Conn., Smith’s eye for the unusual and his deadpan humor make for cheerful traveling companions.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
After rising to the top of a male-dominated industry, the First Lady of Facebook shares in eye-opening detail what happens when -- gasp! -- women become successful. From awkward bosses who are afraid to invite female employees out for happy hour and mean co-workers who undercut their peers, Sandberg convincingly argues that what ultimately holds women back is their need to be liked, and it doesn’t help that society punishes them for being too earnest. Her ideal workplace sounds like paradise: women get equal pay for equal work and men have the flexibility to be equal partners at home.
It’s easy to sympathize with this group of teenagers who form a bond at an arts camp as they grow up and tackle the creative world with uneven results. Each character grapples with the constant, magnetic pull of what might have been as they compare the arc of their lives to the triumphs of the most successful among them, which are detailed annually in a cringe-inducing holiday card. Not everyone who falls short of stardom should feel quite so dissatisfied, but Wolitzer astutely captures that blissful time in a young artist’s life when possibilities seem endless, and when everyone seems a little more interesting.
Do you and Devon share some favorite books of the year? Which reads did you love in 2013? Let us know in the comments, and check back all month long for more editors' picks!