Fiction Books I Read in 2012:
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
I wanted to read this before seeing the movie. Almost 100% of the time, I like the book better than the movie, and this was the same. There was more in the book, and the movie didn't convey some of the characters as well as I wanted it to. It was also the first book I read on my Kindle!
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
In college I took a courses on the history of India and the Middle East, where I discovered the joys of novels based in the area. This book is a collection of short stories, that I really enjoyed.
Bed, by David Whitehouse
This is the story of a son who, on his 25th birthday, refuses to leave his bed. It follows his life, and the toll his decisions take on his family. Like a lot of good novels, it's depressing. But a great read.
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart
I read this after my friend recommended it to me. Umm, I really like this book. A lot. It's an interesting view of the near to mid future world. The most interesting part was the prevalence and incorporation of technology into our lives. Yes, there is also a love story.
The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
This novel follows a man and his family as he emigrates to America, marries, raises a family, and copes with the change in cultures. I decided to read this after reading Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies (see above).
How to Read the Air, by Dinaw Mengestu
Many of these books came from the NYTimes bestseller lists. This was one of them. It's. Really. Boring. The son of an African immigrant tells his father's story, and recreates a road trip his parents took. All while the son's marriage is falling apart. I just couldn't connect to this one...
Swamplandia!, by Karen Russell
After her mother dies, Ava and her family try to keep their alligator wrestling show open. I can't say too much more without making the book sound strange. It is strange. But very good. This was one of my favorite fiction books, and another NYTimes bestseller.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire
Two years ago, I saw the musical with my friends in Indianapolis. I liked the story, but thought the ending was really dumb. A year ago, I was lucky enough to see the musical again in DC (Kennedy Center for the win!). I decided I needed to finally read the book that started it all, and I really liked it. The ended is different, and much more realistic than the musical.
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
Okay, this was definitely my favorite fiction novel. It reminded me of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, in the sense that it was two magicians pitted against each other in the past. The book is full of beautiful images of the Night Circus, which is only open at night, and full of mysteries. Read this book!
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
Yet another NYTimes bestseller... It took forever to borrow this on my Kindle, because there was a long wait list. It was a good mystery, but I hated the main characters. They were really annoying, and it made it hard to enjoy reading.
I promise the 2013 book list will be shorter! I have less free time, and the two books I'm reading are both long (David Copperfield and Anna Karenina).