Maybe you’re not ready, or just not interested in participating in NaNoWriMo as a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate at all. Besides following along on social media and encouraging and supporting your friends and family in their novel-writing endeavors, join in as a reader! Pick up or download one of the great (that means critically acclaimed!) debut novels below to celebrate NaNoWriMo as a reader.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Join them as they navigate a terrible loss, and explore the small details of family history leading up to that loss. Everything I Never Told You won the Amazon Book of the Year Award in 2014, and is still flying off our shelves here at Piscataway Public Library. If you can’t make it in to the Library, or can’t wait for your hold to come in, download the ebook. Prefer to listen? Stop by and pick up the audiobook, or download the eaudiobook from eLibraryNJ. This title is also available in Korean from the Piscataway Public Library.
The Idiot is a 2017 novel by Turkish American writer Elif Batuman. It is a bildungsroman – or a coming-of-age novel. This novel follows the story of Selin, a college freshman at Harvard University in the 1990s. As NPR’s review concludes, “The Idiot replicates the feeling of those years when stories don’t seem to match up with lived experience and it’s not clear if it’s your fault or the world’s. Like that time, The Idiot is both boring and strangely intense, fraught and apparently meaningless, confusing and inevitable, endless — and over in a moment,” and it makes for a captivating read. The Idiot was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Batuman is a otherwise a prolific essayist.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is not only the author’s first novel, but also the first work published by SJP for Hogarth, a new imprint directed by Sarah Jessica Parker. A Place for Us follows an Indian American family as they are reunited on the eve of the eldest daughter’s wedding. The novel explores themes of belonging and tradition, delving into the complex experience of an immigrant family in the United States. This is a beautifully written and poignant novel that feels like a privilege to read (the Washington Post agrees). Swing by and pick it up in large print or download the ebook or eaudiobook.