‘Brown Dog: Novellas,’ Jim Harrison
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David L. Ulin’s best books of 2013

‘Brown Dog: Novellas,’ Jim Harrison
Six novellas recounting the saga of a shambling savant with a genius for living in the moment.

MORE: Read the review (MCT / Wyatt McSpadden)
‘Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography,’ Richard Rodriguez
Billed as a “spiritual autobiography, this book of essays addresses love, loss, faith and character.

MORE: Read the review (Viking)
‘The Faraway Nearby,’ Rebecca Solnit
A surprising inquiry into empathy and storytelling that looks at the tales that sustain us.

MORE: Read the review (Viking / David Butow)
‘The Flamethrowers,’ Rachel Kushner
A novel about the 1970s New York art scene that raises questions about the tension between art and artifice.

MORE: Interview with the author (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
‘The Great War,’ Joe Sacco
A 24-foot-long panoramic image (folded and slipcased) portraying the brutal first day of the Battle of the Somme.

MORE: Read the review (Norton / Don Usner)
‘Harvest,’ Jim Crace
Crace’s novel portrays the dissolution of a farming village, a cautionary tale about insularity and fear of outsiders. (Random House / Andrew Bainbridge)
‘Never Built Los Angeles,’ Greg Goldin & Sam Lubell
An alternate history of architectural projects that could’ve transformed L.A.

MORE: Read the review (Amy Steinberg / Metropolis Books)
‘A Tale for the Time Being,’ Ruth Ozeki
A brilliant novel with intertwined narrators that raises questions about identity and personality. (Viking / Kris Krug)
‘Tenth of December,’ George Saunders
Ten short stories show Saunders at his most intense and varied: absurd, satirical yet always real. (Random House / Chloe Aftel)
‘White Girls,’ Hilton Als
This remarkable essay collection blurs fact and fiction, rethinking ideas about race, class and criticism.

MORE: Read the review (Fraenkel Gallery / Getty Images)