As usual, The Washington Post made a list of The Best Books of 2013 and found a way to locate current and former Post writers and laud their books (and possibly spike their sales). The Top Ten of 2013 has five nonfiction selections and five for fiction. Two of the five nonfiction picks are from Posties, both on military matters: “The Guns at Last Light” by Rick Atkinson (Post reporter 1983-99), and “Thank You for Your Service” by David Finkel, currently on the National news staff.
There are no "perfect choices," said Post book critic Ron Charles in explaining the selections, but the same self-dealing trend happened in the Best 50 Nonfiction Books.
The first two books on that alphabetical list are inside picks: “Act of Congress,” by associatge editor Robert Kaiser (was the managing editor, the #2 job from 1991 to 1998) and “The Alchemists” by current economics columnist Neil Irwin. There’s also “Bolivar” by Maria Arana, a Post “writer at large” who ran the Book World section for ten years (1998 to 2008). The fourth is “Collision 2012" by longtime political reporter and columnist Dan Balz.
Other current or former national reporters made the Post list: former U.S. News & World Report writer Stephen Budiansky (“Blackett’s War”), longtime New York Times reporter Philip Shenon (“A Cruel and Shocking Act” about the JFK assassination), Time’s Amanda Ripley (“The Smartest Kids in the World”) The Wall Street Journal’s Jess Bravin (“The Terror Courts” on Gitmo), and Mark Leibovich of The New York Times, whose snarky Beltway expose “This Town” was the D.C. buzz-buzz book of the year.