American magazine The New Yorker has compiled a list of the best books of the year so far. All of them will be an excellent addition to the Christmas and New Year holidays, bringing in an extra charming, exciting atmosphere full of feelings and events.
The selection was made by the acclaimed critic Katy Waldman, who commented on her choice: “Even the most disorienting novel is a reminder that you are more than a frayed nerve ending flailing across the Internet—that you, a somewhat coherent person, exist. Each one of these books does what Alexander Pope (an English poet of the 18th century) said wit can do: it ‘gives us back the image of our mind.’”
1. “Asymmetry,” Lisa Halliday
The author’s debut novel, published in February, tells, it would seem, two different stories connected only by a thin coda. Throughout the narrative, the main characters—Philip Roth, a womanizer resisting aging, and Amar, a Muslim-American economist, — both drift apart and resonate with each other, bringing up questions of power, love, and work. According to Katy Waldman, Halliday’s book is “a pleasure rush with a long half-life.”
2. “Ordinary People,” Diana Evans
Evans’s third book can easily be called a tragicomedy portraying the life of two married couples: one has long lost a spark in their relationship, the other has moved to an average British suburb, where life flows at a tempo of "living death". The style is close to noir fiction, seeping from the darkness through the light of street lamps, has a seamless, measured flow, but then boldly changes direction.
3. “Small Fry,” Lisa Brennan-Jobs
A sensitive and soulful memoir of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s daughter is a real page turner that allows you to look at one of the instigators of the technological revolution through the eyes of a child who needed his attention, trying to hide her fears and anger. The story has a dynamic narration and sharp wit.
4. “Florida,” Lauren Groff
Lauren Groff’s finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction is a series of short stories about Florida, which transforms with each page into a surreal place of beauty and danger. Women are uninhibited, all day long they drink wine, gossip and try to become or not to become the notorious panthers—young flesh hunters. Children get increasingly distant, becoming almost wild. Groff’s style reveals the absurdity of seemingly ordinary things.
5. “Immigrant, Montana,” Amitava Kumar
The book is an acquaintance—acquaintance with a country and with a young man, a student who came to the US from India to study literature. The novel is funny, with an excellent sense of humor and moderate self-criticism, which reverses our view of the colonial literature. Making new acquaintances and friends, Kailash takes us through his transformation from an immigrant into a native.