My editor suggested I pick up SEATING ARRANGEMENTS by Maggie Shipstead, which I loved. The story of a WASPy family getting together on a WASPy island to celebrate a WASPy wedding weekend, it's a smart, funny read. Every character felt so real to me, the plot felt fresh. When I finished reading, I just wanted more.
Next, I read UP FROM THE BLUE, by the totally amazing Susan Henderson. It's a book about mothers and daughters, the way we see the past, and how we come to terms with it. Heartbreaking, haunting, and beautifully written. It's a book you won't soon forget.
I then read MAINE by J. Courtney Sullivan, which had been on my bookshelf for a while. I don't know why it stayed unread for so long-- I loved this book!! The story of three generations of women and a very special summer house in Maine, it's one of those books that you can't put down. You'll see so much of yourself and your family in the Kelleher women. An editor once taught me that the more detail a book has, the more universal it becomes, and that's true here.
After that, I picked up THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker, a book I'd be hearing about for a while. It's now on all of the top books of 2012 lists, and I can see why. It's so many different things-- a coming of age story set against the backdrop of a science fiction conceit. I just couldn't put this book down. I was obsessed with every part of it-- the implications of the earth's rotation beginning to slow, every detail of this 11 year old girl's life, what would happen to her family, would she get the boy? Even though I've finished it, I can't stop thinking about it.
Now I'm reading Mindy Kaling's IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? (AND OTHER CONCERNS) and I'm just loving it. It is, as you might expect, laugh out loud hilarious. Mindy is charming, adorable, and says everything that I'm thinking. I'm so glad I picked this one up!
Next up for me are the two books currently in transit from Amazon.com-- ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE by our very own girlfriend Jess Riley, and GIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES by Jennifer Close.
So, what did you read over the holidays? And what are you reading next?
I’m the author of SCOT ON THE ROCKS and JACK WITH A TWIST. My third novel, RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE, will be published by St. Martin's in 2013. My work’s also appeared in the New York Post and Publisher’s Weekly. You can find me at brendajanowitz.com or on Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.