page contents

Best of 2013: Books



Our top books of the year list is always our most difficult to put together—this is why we’ve never actually had one. When the ballots come in there are always a wealth of wonderful choices, but none that show up on enough lists to confidently rank them together in a top ten. This year we received votes for authors as varied as Nate Graziano, Steven King, and Neil Gaiman. But one title showed up across enough lists that, though we were not able to pull together a top ten list, we knew we would be able to name it our Best Book of 2013: Bud Smith’s novelTollbooth.

Bud is a favorite of ours, and we’ve been proud to publish a number of his short stories throughout the years, but with Tollbooth he pulled off something unexpected. The book is as unsettling as it is entertaining, as we delve deeper into the head of Jimmy Saare—and find it a place we might not want to linger, but can’t look away from. And yet, Jimmy is a real person, and that awkward humanity drives the novel as it does in all of Bud’s work. Tollbooth is a remarkable achievement from one of the rising stars of the literary underground, and our Best Book of 2013.