Best Selling Books of 2013

With the leaves turning on the trees and those dark nights closing in, it’s hard to believe we are already halfway through the year. But what of the best selling books of 2013? What a year it has been for books so far, some old classics made a reappearance on the shelves, some favored writers took their hand to the pen once more and some new talent certainly crawled out of the woodwork. There has definitely been a balance of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the bestsellers of 2013 so far, from Twilight fan fiction to the greatest books of all time, take a look at what has been flying off the shelves all summer long.

infernoInferno – Dan Brown

You either loved or loathed the hype surrounding ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and now Dan Brown is back to tackle the mystery and darkness surrounding Dante’s long and winding poem Inferno. The tale pulls you in through secret passageways, classic art and the rolling landscape of Italy. Dan Brown seems to stick to a formula he knows well and the book doesn’t step out of line with the previous three books in this series. If you are a Dan Brown die hard then you will adore this book, if you are on the fence then you may find this book more of a chore than an intrigue. Brown certainly provides food for thought with his ethical questions imprinted in the text but his fascination with famous Italian attractions often gets in the way of a good story and makes his work read more like a guide book than a fast paced and well-structured thriller.

The Great Gatsby– F.Scott Fitzgerald greatgatsby

One of the best books in literature has made a comeback thanks to the release of the Hollywood blockbuster of a film. The Great Gatsby needs little introduction as it takes you into the heat of the summer in Long Island 1925 and paints a painful portrayal of jazz and decadence and the downside of the American dream. The writing is flawless, the characters shallow and vacant and the social commentary is violent and scathing. Fitzgerald manages to create an elegant novella with arguably some of the best stand out lines in English literature.

gone girlGone Girl – Gillian Flynn

The new novel by Gillian Flynn offers binge reading at its best. It’s a thriller that once you start you will literally be unable to stop, named as the New York Times bestseller, this is a story that will have you looking at your spouse with suspicion and unable to focus on anything but the mystery of marriage. The razor sharp tale focuses on the disappearance of Nick’s wife Amy one sultry summer morning when the couple are set to be celebrating their anniversary. As the story starts with golden boy Nick paying close attention to the skull of his beautiful wife as she lies in bed next to him, the reader is hurtled through a passage of dark secrets and whodunit scenarios. It’s a car wreck of a story you can’t miss and one that is sure to linger in the fabric of your imagination.

Fifty Shades of Grey – El James fifty shades of grey

The book that launched a thousand tirades still managed to make the best sellers list this year despite scathing criticism at every turn. This is a book that you should sheepishly hide under the cover of War and Peace when sat on the train. Spawned from Twilight fan fiction and an exploration of BDSM between a naïve college girl and a multimillionaire, the self-labeled mommy porn may be a page turner but for all the wrong reasons. Terribly inconsistent writing paired with irritating and unbelievable characters it’s a book that truly punishes its reader for even attempting to pick it up. If you have a sense of humor you may stick your tongue firmly in your cheek as you dare to tackle this masterpiece of poor talent.

The Best Thrillers of All Time

A killer thriller is a book that grips us with its plot, suspense and dramatic twist of adventure. Literary snobs can often turn their nose up when it comes to genre fiction and the best thrillers are normally the ones that denote a sneer or two in the wrong crowd. However thrillers are one of the most complex and creative forms of writing out there. They are the true storytellers that are skilled enough to enrapture the heartbeat of the reader and to have them turn the page in fear and hope. Thrillers crossover to many different genres and they aren’t all about cops and robbers, from Bram Stokers Dracula to Jurassic Park, a great thriller can bend the rules and still have you wanting more. Take a look at these top thrillers of all time and start your pulse racing…

silence of the lambsSilence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
This bone chilling book with a dazzling cast of characters was immortalized by Dennis Hopper in the film adaptation of the same name. Between the pages of Thomas Harris’s international best seller is where the story first began. A charming cannibal is kept under lock and key for his heinous crimes but a young FBI agent needs his help to track down a serial killer and into the mind’s eye of the monster she must look. This is no cheap and trashy thriller, this is a book that is executed with the precision of a surgeon. A complex plot is layered to perfection and the author seems to hit every note on the rising crescendo of this thriller classic.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larson girl with dragon tattoo
Stieg Larson hit the nail on the head and managed to create a thriller that captured the whole world with his fierce character Lisbeth and the frostbitten backdrop of Sweden. The first book in the Millennium series follows professional man Blomkvist and his quest to rekindle his reputation by investigating a mysterious disappearance with the help of Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. Not just a thriller this is a scathing political commentary, a page turner with hard hitting themes and highly intelligent characters. No one can accuse this book of being dumbed down for the masses.

rebeccaRebecca Daphne du Maurier
The new wife of Max de Winter has been swept off her feet by this older man with money, but it is only when she is brought home to his estate that she discovers love isn’t quite what it seems and she has to compete with the other women, the woman who has been dead for eight months. Spine chilling and resounding with atmospheric gloom Daphne du Maurier’s tale of gothic love is full of twists and suspense that will have you hanging on for dear life.

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith talented mr ripley
Tom Ripley is highly talented when it comes to stealing identities, juggling separate lives and getting rid of those who stand in his way. In this gorgeous thriller set against the backdrop of a sun scorched Italy, we follow Tom Ripley at his very best game. The jury is still out as to whether Tom Ripley is a sociopath or a lost young man with an enormous talent, whatever the answer, Patricia Highsmith nails the suspense, the descriptions of Italy and the flawless story telling without taking a breath.

 

jaws

Jaws – Peter Benchley
No one can forget the fear roused by Steven Spielberg’s killer epic Jaws but the great white first made its appearance in the bestselling book by Peter Benchley. The tale centers around the great white shark that begins to terrorize beach goers in a local small town and the three men who set out to kill the great beast. There’s more than a bit of shark hunting going on between the pages of this best seller, there are complex explorations of marriage and discontentment and a tightly wound narrative. A thrilling read with more than a dash of horror and plenty of suspense, this book will have you gripped and even afraid to get into the bathtub.

Best Selling Books of All Time

Sometimes a book comes along that you simply refuse to part with; you grip it like a lost lover on the bus. You sneak out on your lunch break to hungrily race through the pages like a starving man at a great feast. And you are not the only one; in every book lovers home across the globe you can find a battered copy of these best-selling books. You can shyly nod at strangers on the train who pull this book out from their bag. Literary scholars may debate which is the best book in the world, but this list is a look at the best-selling books of all time. It encompasses a range of literary genres from fiction to philosophy, to make believe worlds, books that sparked children’s imaginations and books that have hung around our shelves for centuries. Take a look at few of the best-selling books of all time and see how many you have read.

tale of 2 citiesA Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens 200 million copies sold
Dickens may demand a lot of concentration but this story set in the gray slate streets of London and the violent streets of Paris truly has everything of a great story stashed between its pages. Love, blood, revenge and revolt are just a few of the themes that Dickens makes come alive in his tale that follows Dr. Manette, a former prisoner of the Bastille. Love it or loathe it, Dickens knows how to throw together a great melodrama and although many will claim that finishing a Tale of Two Cities was the best of times and the worst of times, 200 million gave it a go and made it the best-selling book of all time.

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien 150 million copies sold The Fellowship Of The Ring Book Cover by JRR Tolkien_1
The one story to rule them all is without a doubt The Lord of the Rings trilogy by the late and the very great J.R.R Tolkien. This is the quintessential story of good vs. evil, set in a fantasy world that the linguistics and literary professor crafted and shaped from our very own earth. It’s a story of sheer delight and fascination with loveable characters that will stay in our hearts until the end of time. Frodo Baggins, a quaint and happy hobbit who loves to smoke beside the fireplace is taken out of his comfortable life and given a quest that will change Middle Earth forever. Elves, wizards, dwarves and all living species come together to fight the greatest war that will ever be. Although this is fantasy you can get lost in, you can never escape the human qualities of bravery, spirit and good and evil that Tolkien makes so relevant in his timeless masterpiece.

le petit princeLe Petit Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 140 million copies sold
Antoine de Saint-Expery was a wealthy aristocrat who managed to capture the hearts of millions with his tender tale of the little prince who fell to earth. Although published as a children’s book with gorgeous illustrations, this short and sweet poetic tale manages to encompass the heart, the human condition and loneliness in one swoop. Peppered with philosophy and some acute observations that bind the young and the old, few books have been so cherished and loved as Le Petit Prince in both the hands of adults and children.

dream of the red chamberDream of the Red Chamber – Cao Xueqin 100 million copies sold
Hailed as the Romeo and Juliet of the far flung East, Dream of the Red Chamber is known as the best book to come out of China. With an enormous cast of characters and complex themes entwined in the breathtaking and tragic story against the backdrop of 18th century china. The novel focuses on the Chia family and how their illustrious image cannot hide the deterioration of their household from the inside out. With family conflicts flying left, right and center this is an epic story that will grip you from beginning to end.

then there were noneAnd ThenThere Were None – Agatha Christie 100 million copies sold
Agatha Christie is la crème de la crème when it comes to mysteries and thrillers and this was the tale that really hit home with no less than 100 million eager readers. It’s the basis for all murder mystery weekends that have ever been as in the story ten people, with skeletons in the closet are invited to a lonely mansion where an unseen host accuses each of murder. The plot itself makes great stuff and is sure to have you hooked, each of them will fall but who will be left standing?