Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Paperback: 392 pages
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, October 2016

20170121_091542-01“Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Since her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here ar MVB High. I want to tbe the gifrl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. what no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game-which lands them in group counseling-Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more they spend time together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One and Two by J.K. Rowling

Hardbound, 327 pages20170121_091516-01
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, July 2016

“Nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts…

It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son, Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

20170121_090704-01Paperback, 395 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books, July 2016


Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life-as she sees it-is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.


And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Paperback, 571 pages20170121_091240-01
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016

“In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham response, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”

How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so ‘closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years-a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Block and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home-and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.”

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

20170121_091331-01Paperback, 512 pages
Publisher: Walker Books, Ltd, 2008

“Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Then, just one month away from the birthday that will make Todd Hewitt a man, he unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible.”

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Hardbound, 293 pages20170121_091437-01
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, November 2016

“The year is 1926 in the city of New York…

A time and place where the actions of a handful of people. . . and creatures. . . will determine the fate of the many. Magizoologist Newt Scamander, newly arrived in town, intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Net’s magical case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone. . .”

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

20170121_092148-01Paperback, 816 pages
Publisher: Anchor Books, 2015

A Little Life follows four college classmates-broke, adrift and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition-as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.”

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Paperback, 375 pages20170121_092355-01
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing, 2004

“Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was just four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother’s love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unyielding father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant.

When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of the three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as the mystery surrounding her mother.”

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

20170121_092416-01Paperback, 530 pages
Publisher: Scribner, April 2015

“Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When the Nazis occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and danger jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. His talent for building and fixing these crucial new instruments wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. That leads him to Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill”(Los Angeles Times).”

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Paperback, 318 pages20170121_092502-01
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001

“Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening – until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people form different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for the great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion . . .and cannot be stopped.”

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

20170121_092521-01Paperback, 529 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2011

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again as a teenage boy in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing generic history that turns her into Cal, one of the most audacious narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.”

Aside from the books mentioned in this list, I am looking forward to obtaining and reading the below books:

  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  2. The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima
  3. A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
  5. Silence by Shusako Endo
  6.  The Prime of Miss Brodie by Muriel Spark
  7. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  8. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  9. Perfume by Patrick Suskind
  10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  11. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  12. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Part I   My 2017 Top 20 Reading List (Part I)
Part II  My 2017 Top 20 Reading List (Part II)

Also read my Book Blog: New York Times by the Book Tag.