December 2013

This has been an extraordinary year for fiction. Maybe every year is an extraordinary year for fiction, and I just don't read enough new fiction. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid An unexpected heartbreak. Lovely.

Unexpected Lessons in Love by Bernardine Bishop Terrible title, magical novel. One of my favorites of the year.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill I'm not usually a fan of the experimental. Part of me says, "Oh, just write a damn novel." But this is terrific. Engrossing, enthralling.

A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik This novel blew my mind. I put it in the category of What is the What by Dave Eggers and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adele Waldman. The writer immersed himself completely in someone entirely different from himself. It's masterful.

Troika by Adam Pelzman I loved this fucking book. And that is the blurb I gave it.

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi The language! It's written in meter! One of my favorites of the year.

California by Edan Lepucki I adore a post-apocalyptic dystopia, and this is a great one.

The Messiah of Stockholm of Cynthia Ozick I want to be Cynthia Ozick when I grow up.

Someone by Alice McDermott I love how Alice McDermott gives us an entire life in 232 pages. This is a lovely novel. Not as good as Charming Billy, but nothing is.

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann It was very exciting to read this, because it has the same structure as my novel!

Tenth of December by George Saunders How does he do it? So simple, so perfect.

Her First American by Lore Segal Lore Segal is my absolute favorite writer of the year. This book is so full of stuff, so packed with wonderful insights and people.

Longbourn by Jo Baker I expected to hate this. How dare she dare to write a book inspired by Jane Austen? And you know what? I loved it.