John Michael Green is an American author of young adult fiction, YouTube video blogger, historian and creator of online educational videos.
An old professor of mine told me to drop everything and read this book, and I'm so glad I did. A rags-to-riches story set in a nameless Asian nation, I find myself thinking of Hamid's novel almost daily even though it's been months since I finished it.
"Mr. Hamid reaffirms his place as one of his generation's most inventive and gifted writers." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "A globalized version of The Great Gatsby . . . [Hamid's] book is nearly that good." Alan Cheuse, NPR "Marvelous and moving." TIME Magazine From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the boldly imagined tale of a poor boys quest for wealth and love . . . His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the worlds pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputationand exceeds it. The astonishing and riveting tale of a mans journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over rising Asia. It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.
Rainbow Rowell's novel was one of the first I read in 2013, and it remains one of the best. It's a beautiful and often funny love story that also explores the reality of poverty and emotional abuse.
"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try"--
Where'd You Go Bernadette is the funniest novel I've read in years. Everyone I've recommended this book to has thanked me.
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.