The 5 Best Novels of Summer 2013 (Chosen by Karen Russell)

Five flights of fancy recommended by a writer who knows a thing or two about literary pyrotechnics.
Photo: Martha Pavlidou

Note to Self

256 pages; Faber & Faber
This one is about a late-blooming 37-year-old who's looking for love online. I was laughing out loud reading lines like "Kudos to you... It's not easy to eroticize a cabbage leaf." Simone's is a wisecracking, mordantly observant, wide-awake voice. Even when the humor is bitter, there's something joyful in it—like hearing a direct dispatch from a neurotic person's consciousness. 
— Karen Russell