Meg Wolitzer

The Young, The New, and the Restless by Rebecca Howard

Do you read New Adult (NA) fiction? Although coined by St. Martin’s Press in 2009, I’ve only begun regularly hearing and seeing this phrase in the past year or so.  New Adult fiction is touted as a way of bridging the gap between Young Adult (YA) and Adult Fiction.  Characters are generally between the ages of 18-26 and are experiencing “new adult” kind of things—going away to college, beginning a career, a serious relationship.

Christmas in July, New Year's in August by Laura Raphael

Every late December or early January, I peruse my reading list from the year just ending or ended and pick my favorites. Here at the library, we even share our lists. It’s always one of the reading-related highlights of my year: both considering and choosing what stayed with me the most, and discovering what my colleagues considered and chose.

It’s not the end of the year yet (not even close), but if we can have Christmas in July, why not New Year’s in August?

With that in mind, here’s my list of favorite fiction reads for 2013 – so far:

(Women) Writers on (Women) Writing by Rebecca Howard

I’m still holding fast to my decision to no longer use the term “Women’s Fiction” when describing a particular style of writing that typically focuses on relationships among spouses, partners, friends, and/or family members.  It’s a reductive and somewhat condescending descriptor that pigeon holes certain writers.  Meg Wolitzer elaborated eloquently about this very topic in the New York Times Book

When Language Fails by Rebecca Howard

It happens once a week at choir practice on Wednesday evening.  Reading through a new piece of music will undoubtedly raise the question of whether or not to modify gendered language.  There’s only so much you can do with the words “king,” “father” and “lord” before you’ve made a piece of music entirely absent of lyricism.  Typically, the director will ask how strongly we feel about changing the language and a few eyes will dart to me, wondering what the most vocal resident feminist will suggest.  Ty