January 2013

Lots of great reading this time. So happy to be done with my Budapest obsession, the fruits of which will be published in April 2014 by Knopf. With or Without You by Domenica Ruta. I'm not usually so into the pain memoir, but the writing is so good, the mother so crazy, that it's worth it.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion Utterly charming.

The Purchase by Linda Spaulding Rich and dense and terrific.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter Despite wanting to hate it (dude was NOT nice to my husband) I fell under its spell.

Helpless by Barbara Gowdy Compelling, but the elephant book is genius.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich This book is actually pretty good. Although the ending is hard to swallow.

Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon Fascinating, beautiful in places, but influenced (of course) by the author's biases, both conscious and unconscious.

If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother by Julia Sweeney Hilarious. I want her to be my BFF.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Fascinating because it recounts an experience unfamiliar to me, but otherwise a bit predictable in terms of prose and story.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer I gobbled this up, refusing to converse with anyone until I'd finished.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain Simply marvelous. Read it.

Londoners by Craig Taylor A must-read for Anglophiles.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis Lovely first novel.

Hello Goodbye Hello by Craig Brown This book is utterly delightful. I know I say that a lot about books, but this one really is delightful.

The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy I know this book is nuts. It's told from the point of view of elephants, for god sake. But it's magical and heartbreaking. And it changed the way I think about animals in the world.

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson One of the ten best books I've ever read.

Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff 1. I utterly identified with Véra. 2. My God, was she a loathsome woman.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo Everyone should read this book. It should be required reading for every human.