In the great realm of fiction I read a couple books that have reserved themselves a place amongst my favorites list. These are The Borrowed House by Hilda von Stockum, both Murder on the Orient Express and The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, the final three books in the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, San Domingo by Marguerite Henry, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, and a few others.
I was also pleasantly surprised by Pride and Prejudice and held in suspense and striving to solve crimes with numerous Agatha Christie novels (4:50 From Paddington, The Mysterious Affair At Styles, Death on the Nile, Lord Edgeware Dies, etc.).
With non-fiction there are five books that stuck out to me in particular this year: The Undercover Revolution by Iain Murray (which I actually read twice), Return to the Hiding Place by Hans Poley, City Notebook by McCandlish Phillips, The Last of the Doughboys by Richard Rubin, and Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland. Undercover Revolution details how certain English authors tore down Christianity in Britain during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It is an excellent read, though I must confess to have been thoroughly devastated with my newfound knowledge of Robert Louis Stevenson. City Notebook was a collection of articles from the 1960s and 70s chronicling the ever changing landscape and culture that is New York City. The Last of the Doughboys was a non-fiction book on WWI compiled of interviews that the author conducted with the last remaining veterans of the war in the early 2000s. A bit of language and a brief paragraph or so that I could have done without in the later part of the book, but otherwise a very good and, if possible, much less depressing look on the war. Structuring Your Novel was an excellent book on just exactly what the title says. Most people have a sense of novel structure built into them, but it was splendid to have it all laid out and organized in the book. Highly recommend.
New Authors -
As for new authors, I delve further into Agatha Christie's works, was introduced to the books of Grace Livingston Hill by my writing class teacher, read my first Rosemary Sutcliff novel (The Silver Branch) and have since gotten my hands on a copy of The Eagle of the Ninth and can hardly wait to read it.
While 2013 did not seem to hold quite so many stand outs as 2012, it did contain some more quieter additions to the favorites shelf.