Favorites of 2012: Jami Attenberg

The author of The Middlesteins selects her favorite reading of 2012.



The heart of Jami Attenberg's insightful and critically hailed work of comic fiction The Middlesteins is a Midwestern Jewish family fracturing under the weight of neurosis and obsession; its genius is the author's deep compassion for her characters.


When we asked her if she would pick three of her favorite reads from 2012, the novelist  told us "The colder weather makes me crave a little levity right now, so I can only think of the funny books I read this year." Below, her choices.


See all books by Jami Attenberg



Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

By Maria Semple


"Where'd You Go, Bernadette was the book that made me laugh out loud the most. This epistolary novel was steeped in charm, and somehow both light and dark at the same time."





How Should A Person Be?

By Sheila Heti


"Another funny book was Sheila Heti's crackling How Should A Person Be? Heti took (fictional) self-deprecation to new heights. "






Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn


"I know the bestseller Gone Girl doesn't need an ounce of support from me, but that book was as sharp and witty as they come".

July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).