What’s the best thing you’ve read this year?

We asked our columnists this question and here's what they had to say

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The Independent Online


Grace Dent:  Marina O' Loughlin - Pet Hates. 11 Ways to Ruin my Appetite. 

Jane Merrick: Giles Coren in the Times, 19/10/2013 "A century on, the lamps are going out again. Young people are wasting their lives - lions led by high-tech donkeys. Or so my Kindle tells me." A chilling piece about a generation lost to technology.

Archie Bland: John Williams' Stoner, justly rescued from obscurity, was timeless and perfect. George Saunders' Tenth of December is perfectly of its time, and a complete pleasure to read. 

Lisa Markwell: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt and, consistently, the funny pages of The New Yorker.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: The blogs by Ms Jack Monroe. She writes recipes on food to cook when money is tight. She had to do that once. Love her.

John Rentoul: Alan Johnson's memoir of his childhood, This Boy, the saddest and best book. Howard Jacobson's columns for The Independent made me wish, every Saturday, that I could write like that. 

Andreas Whittam Smith: The Transylvanian Trilogy (They Were Counted, They Were Found Wanting and They Were Divided) by Miklós_Bánffy - I put this multi-volume novel in the same class as Tolstoy's War and Peace and Proust's A la Recherce de Temps Perdu.

Ellen E Jones: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

Stefano Hatfield: Stoner: A Novel by John Williams; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce; The 100 Year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

Owen Jones: My friend Ellie Mae O'Hagan's fantastic, vivid reports from Colombia. Most people aren't even aware of the horrendous injustices going on in that country, which doesn't say much about our political and media elites.

Read our columnists' answers to these questions:

What did the Government get right in 2013? And what did it get wrong?

What will 2013 be remembered for?

Who is your person of the year?