A List of Mid-Year Favorites

I can't believe we are already halfway through 2012.  The first half of the year has been pretty consistent, reading wise. I've completed 27 books as of last week, maintaining at least a book a week for the first half of the year. Among those books, these are my five favorite. 

1.Native Son by Richard Wright: This might be the most powerful book I've read in my adulthood thus far. Not only is this an explicit and heart-wrenching account of the perils of the black man in 1930's America (and in some cases, they story is also relevant today), but it is truly a page-turner. Despite the brutal and affecting details, I was completely engrossed in this book. This is a life-changing read. 

2. 11/22/63 by Stephen King: The premise of the novel is what initially drew me to this book, but in the end the reasons I adored it so much was not because it was a time travel novel (I'm a serious sucker for those) but because it was truly moving and really made me think about destiny how the choices we make today change our future in a way we can't even imagine.

3. People who Eat Darkenss by Ricahrd Llyod Parry: I didn't expect to read this one in just a few days, but it was just so fascinating. This non-fiction novel follows the disappearance of Lucie Blackman; a young English woman who moves to Toyko in hopes of a more exciting life. It turns out, this is much more than a true crime book. It's also a lens for what happens behind closed doors in eastern culture, like an anthropological look at the darker, hidden aspects of this culture and their obsession with ritual and role play.

4. Moon Palace by Paul Auster: This is the fourth novel of his I've read and once again he delivered. This is a book that offers unlikely adventure, a bit of mystery, and a whole lot of heartache. As always, the characterization of Auster's main character is incredibly believable, but also unconventional. The plethora of characters and events Fogg is met with are whimsical and odd, but also complex and exuberant, making for a fun and intelligent read. 

5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: There is so much to examine throughout this novel. It explores a myriad of human emotions. It's a novel about love, loss, sex, passion, hope, and obsession. Although the chapters go on forever, there is careful attention to detail that I really enjoyed. But this isn't your mushy-gushy love story, not even close. This novel takes patience, but it's worth the effort.

*Gasp* I can't believe there isn't a single female author on this list. 


  1. I haven't read any of these, but a few are on my wish list. Native Son wasn't, but I love a powerful book so I'm off to see if I can order a copy from the library. :-)

    1. Oh my gosh do it! I experienced so many emotions reading that book. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts!

  2. Yay Moon Palace! Yay Auster! Also, you made me really want to read The Men Who Eat Darkness, so good job for that :)

  3. Now that I've read and enjoyed The Stand I think I need to read 11/22/63. I realized that my King prejudice was a bit unfounded.

  4. I wanted to read them before, but the fact that both Native Son and People Who Eat Darkness made your "best so far for the year" list means I need to get to these sooner rather than later.

  5. Native Son is one of my all-time faves. I first read it in high school and was floored.

  6. I also enjoyed The People Who Ate Darkness. Harrowing but definitely a page-turner. After reading that I jumped into Natsuo Kirino's Out and Grotesque, two dark Japanese contemporary novels and they were sensational. You might enjoy them if you haven't read them already.

  7. Love in the Time of Cholera - so good! I ate that one up. Haven't read the rest except for a bit of Native Son, which I remember finding both painful and powerful.

  8. Love your blog. New follower. I definitely will put some of your favorites on my TBR. I have one trimester left and I will also be the proud owner of an English degree. Belle