As part of the jury for the Elle magazine Readers’ Prize, all reviewers get to vote on the top book of the year, either for fiction or non-fiction. Since I’ve been reading non-fiction titles for them, I voted on six memoirs that had been picked as “best of the month” throughout 2013.

It was easy to set aside those that I wouldn’t select for the top prize, but my two favorites were both great for different reasons. I ended up going with Richard Russo’s memoir Everywhere, which was selected as best of the month last December. My 2nd place book, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde, was one that I had liked last February. It ended up getting the top honors for 2013. I’d highly recommend them both.

See the full end-of-year reviews at elle.com here.