O's 2012 Summer Reading List
O, The Oprah Magazine |
June 25, 2012
There's something irresistible about a morally complex story that makes
you root for all its flawed characters, even when they're at odds with
You don't have to know Seattle to get Maria Semple's broadly satirical novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette.' '
Rachel Joyce's gorgeously poignant novel of hope and transformation.
Count yourself lucky if you've never met (let alone parented!) teenagers
like cheerleaders Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy; Megan Abbott, the
author of the disturbing novel Dare Me, clearly has seen such creatures up close.
A secret diary, a mysterious lover, the Kennedys, the Mafia—this novel about Marilyn Monroe's death will thrill your inner conspiracy theorist.
The horrors committed by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, as experienced by one extremely resilient girl. A brutal novel, lyrically told.
In this enthralling novel, two cousins, both dealing with husband issues, reunite at the family beach estate. But the discovery of a murdered girl makes for a less than relaxing vacation.
Passion, power, and technology converge in this imaginative novel (written before the Arab Spring) about a dissident hacker tormented by love and pursued by a repressive government.
You may never look at that lamp the same way again after reading this evocative memoir told through physical objects.
A fast-paced novel centered on three world-class cyclists that juxtaposes the thrill of elite competition with the joys and sorrows of family life.
In this compelling mix of memoir and reporting, a journalist travels thousands of miles, pores through centuries-old documents, and uses DNA evidence to discover the truth about her heritage.
An FBI contractor with a gift (curse?) for reconstructing murders tries to solve a hideous double homicide as a hurricane hurtles toward town. A very suspenseful novel.
The author, who twice competed in the Canadian Olympic trials, reflects on a life spent underwater.
This dazzling collection is filled with men and women who love and wound each other, playing out their intimate dramas against a vast and lonesome American landscape.
The story of a confused (is there any other kind?) teenager.
Money + family = trouble.
It's in your head...which, for some of us, is the whole problem.
A real-life tale of rape and murder.
Isn't it sad to be so privileged?
A family tries to find its footing.
A new case for a favorite female forensics expert.
How being unseen can help you be heard.
How mothers and daughters get along. And don't.
A new book explains how animals are just like us.
A fascinating and wisely observant novel, set in the 1960s and the near future.
Deliciously dark and dangerous.
Family—can't live with them, can't free yourself from 'em.
An American family grieves for what might have been.
A sitcom-ish tale of a mixed-race family obsessed with British royalty.
A story about the volatility of fresh grief and old antagonisms.
A street kid saves herself.
An irresistible romp through Italy in the Technicolor era.
Two brutal crimes—eerily similar but separated by 40 years.
Asks the question many long-marrieds barely dare to contemplate.
A smart short novel about a young writer.
In mid-20th-century Ireland, a good Catholic girl decides to give up her half-Jewish child for adoption.
A sharp and funny romantic tale.
Navigates both coastal waters and social politics.
A story collection filled with playfulness, warmth and plenty of insight.
thrillers conclude by exposing a killer. Drowned,
on the other hand, ends with a larger, more upsetting truth: how we expose
introspective but fast-moving prose, the story provides an up-close look at
life in an intensely orthodox culture.
Part love story, part murder mystery, part mediation on violence, part exploration of what home can and should mean, this novel roams wide and far.
Get ready for a collection of love stories that
absolutely doesn't include a variation on Cinderella-plus-Prince.
Francine du Plessix
Gray's' 'The Queen's Lover portrays a wizened and seriously depressed
Marie-Antoinette in the years before her death.
With a clinically depressed mother at home, isolated young Naomi
Feinstein and her father often escape to 83 Beals, in Brookline, Massachusetts,
otherwise known as the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, where the
glamorous former president and his parents once lived as a family.
What is the legacy of four generations of loss? For Americans without a
direct link to the current conflicts overseas or who get their war news
from TV and Twitter, the question can seem like a distant concept. Oddly
enough, however, this tightly crafted English novel, tracing a family
from World War I to Iraq, brings it to life.
Can any of us really save another person? Or is each of us solely responsible for his or her own life? That's the question lurking behind Alix Ohlin's astute novel.