The last time I led the club was in December 2010, and as hard as it is to believe that two years have passed, it’s equally hard to reconcile the fact that 2012 is coming to a close (even if, across the street, Radio City Music Hall is already decked out in all its holiday trimmings).
What with time whizzing by and all that, I didn’t get to all of the highly regarded books I’ve noted this year (I have a pile of clippings that seems to grow at an alarming rate; did any of you actually manage to knock off all of your must-reads??). So that’s the inspiration for the four books below: All came out this year, all got great reviews, all went on my to-read list, all languish there still. Let’s read one of them together: Vote for your favorite by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 25.
P.S.: As for the books I did read beyond our club selections, I finally got to Stephen King’s 11/22/63, though not while on vacation, as I’d intended. (At the last minute, I plucked a book from the teetering pile of galleys on my office windowsill. I won’t say much more about it because, honestly, it was sort of awful; but the book was set just blocks away from where I stayed in London, so it had that going for it.) Has anyone else read 11/22/63? Without giving too much away to those who haven’t, I thought it was overlong and I was somewhat thrown by King’s nods to other books he’s written, since this was my first of his. But, boy, was I gripped by the story when it gained steam. What did you think?
The Chaperone,by Laura Moriarty
Before she was a megawatt film star, before she was a Hollywood “It” girl, Louise Brooks was a 15-year-old from Kansas. But this rich, captivating novel is really about the woman who accompanies her to dance school in the wild New York City of 1922, and how a short five weeks altered her life.
The Cove,by Ron Rash
The Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina circa World War I is the setting for this haunting, engrossing love story by way of a mystery. Quietly beautiful.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore,by Robin Sloan
In a debut called “dazzling” and “flat-out fun,” Sloan mixes new tech (the lead character is a Web designer…) with old tech (…who lands a job selling books at surprisingly odd hours) and adds a dash of mystery: Exactly what is going on at that store?
The Fault in Our Stars,by John Green
Don’t let the fact that this is a YA book—and a YA book about two teens who meet at a cancer support group, at that—put you off. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, The Fault in Our Stars is luminous. One of the best-reviewed books of the year.