16 Books to Watch for in January 2012
A coming-of-age novel about a mesmerized Muslim boy, a literary thriller set in North Korea, a rollicking account of one woman's search for a new best friend, and more. Start off the new year by cozying up to one of these captivating reads.
O, The Oprah Magazine |
December 26, 2011
Loss of innocence—sexual, of course, but also cultural and religious—is the subject of Ayad Akhtar's poignant American Dervish, set in a Muslim-American community in the early 1980s.
Based on the lives of Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and one of her muses, it tells the story of Rafaela, a young occasional prostitute who decides it's safer to get paid as an artist's model.
In Leigh Stein's debut novel, The Fallback Plan, Esther Kohler, who once swore she'd rather live in a car than move back in with her parents, has returned to her childhood home for a long, lazy summer.
The spirited young nun at the center of Nancy Bilyeau's expansive novel of political treachery, The Crown, is the very definition of an accidental heroine.
Stuart Nadler's The Book of Life is that rare thing: a collection of short stories that are not technically "linked" but together define a whole world as deliciously as any novel.
Set in North Korea, this literary thriller about a man who dares to seek freedom from the repressive regime is ambitious, violent, audacious—and stunningly good.
An African-American journalist examines her lifelong habit of being emotional caretaker to men who rarely appreciate, let alone reciprocate, her sacrifices.
A sweeping novel about Catherine the Great's ascent from young outsider to ruler of Russia, as told by a palace maid-and-spy who helped her rise to power.
The author of this lighthearted memoir moves to Chicago for her man, and finds herself friendless. Her solution: 52 "girl dates" in as many weeks.
Two hilarious novellas revel in the secret erotic exploits of seemingly conventional people. Who knew sex could be so funny?
In this irreverent comic novel of self-empowerment, the narrator tries to pattern herself after the hero of Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure classic.
An American lawyer takes on ruthless traffickers in India to save two orphaned teenage sisters from prostitution. A pulse-revving novel with a serious message.
The stories in this strange and original collection bend genres—horror, mystery, Western—into wondrous new shapes.
A portrait of modern India, a lament for youthful idealism, a celebration of friendship—this novel about four once-inseparable Bombay women is about all of that, and fundamentalism, too.
Forget bridezillas. A best-selling journalist visits a small-town wedding shop to uncover the poignant dreams of real women on the verge of commitment.
"At every turn, girls—even the most carefully raised and deeply loved—are surrounded by a popular culture that exhorts them to think of themselves as sexually disposable creatures."—Caitlin Flanagan, on what it means to be female, in Girl Land.