Amazon’s Best Book 2012

Hai hai semua pemalas muncul lagi, ehem, tepatnya saya bukan malas buka blog tapi ini loh dikejer-kejer challenge di Goodreads, baru 56 dari 70. Haiyah. Padahal sudah pertengahan November >.<

Berhubung sudah menjelang akhir tahun dan saran dari @melmarian untuk sekedar meng-update blog yang tidak harus berisi review buku, nah pas beberapa hari lalu saya melihat daftar Best Book 2012 menurut Amazon.com. Ada hal-hal menarik yang saya cermati di listopia itu, tapi sebelumnya saya cantumkan apa saja buku-buku yang masuk list buku terbaik.

1. The Round House

The Round House

The Round House

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

“Moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting…likely to be dubbed the Native American TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD” (Parade, Fall’s Best Books )

“Riveting…One of Erdrich’s most suspenseful novels…. It vividly portrays both the deep tragedy and crazy comedy of life.” (BookPage, Cover/Feature Review )

“A gripping mystery with a moral twist: Revenge might be the harshest punishment, but only for the victims. A-” (Entertainment Weekly )

“THE ROUND HOUSE is filled with stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison. Deeply moving, this novel ranks among Erdrich’s best work, and it is impossible to forget.” (USA Today )

4.6 out of 5.

2. The Yellow Bird

A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.

The Yellow Bird

The Yellow Bird

“The war tried to kill us in the spring.” So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.

3. Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Nah! Akhirnya ada buku yang familiar, dua list teratas saya malah belum pernah tahu, tapi Gone Girl kurang menarik minat saya sih, covernya juga gelap banget

4. The End of Your Life Book Club

The End of Your Life Book Club

The End of Your Life Book Club

“What are you reading?”

That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.

Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.

Aaaak! Dari sepuluh buku teratas buku The End of Your Life Book Club yang menarik perhatian saya, dari judulnya, ceritanya yang ternyata memoar dari ibunya sendiri, hauhau, bisa dipastikan akan mewek bombay bacanya. I want this book. Stat.

“Will Schwalbe gives us two love stories in one: that of his relationship with his dynamo of a mother as her horizons shrink, and that of their mutual devotion to the printed word, infinitely and insistently engaging.  Tender and touching and beautifully done.”
–Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra

“This touching and insightful memoir [will] appeal to readers of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, but also to people who love delving into books and book discussions . . . While it is a story about death, it is mostly a celebration of life and of the way books can enrich it.”
–Booklist (starred)

“I was so moved by this marvelous book. Schwalbe has done something extraordinary: made a personal journey public in the most engaging, funny and revealing way possible. It is a true meditation on what books can do.”
–Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes

5. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Bill Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Bill Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at “the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal”—three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America’s most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny’s Child.

Among the Bravos is the Silver Star–winning hero of Al-Ansakar Canal, Specialist William Lynn, a nineteen-year-old Texas native. Amid clamoring patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and Support Our Troops bumper stickers on their cars, the Bravos are thrust into the company of the Cowboys’ hard-nosed businessman/owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a luscious born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized pro players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Among these faces Billy sees those of his family—his worried sisters and broken father—and Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy’s mind and died in his arms at Al-Ansakar.

Over the course of this day, Billy will begin to understand difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms—soldiers both dead and alive. In the final few hours before returning to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years.

6. Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths,the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

Another version of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Another version of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Wishlist ketiga saya setelah The Round Year dan The End of Your Life Book Club.

7. A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.

8. The Middlestein

The Middlesteins, nice cover!

The Middlesteins, nice cover!

For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie’s enormous girth. She’s obsessed with food–thinking about it, eating it–and if she doesn’t stop, she won’t have much longer to live.When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle– a whippet thin perfectionist– is intent on saving her mother-in-law’s life, but this task proves even bigger than planning her twin children’s spectacular b’nai mitzvah party. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie’s devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession. The Middlesteins explores the hopes and heartbreaks of new and old love, the yearnings of Midwestern America, and our devastating, fascinating preoccupation with food.

Membaca sinopsisnya saya langsung tertarik dengan The Middlestein terlebih lagi kesannya satir dan sedikit mengingatkan saya dengan Lemon Cake yang sempat saya baca awal tahun 2012. Me want this also. #edisimaruk

9. Mortality

Mortality

Mortality

On June 8, 2010, while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his NewYork hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported “from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.” Over the next eighteen months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.

Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.

The Last Lecture versi sarkas sepertinya, pengen dibaca sih tapi dari tadi banyakan buku depresi gini jadi kapan-kapan aja deh masuk wishlist.

10. The Fault in Our Stars

Haaa! Akhirnya ada juga buku yang sudah terbaca masuk di sini. Memang pantas dan worth to read.

 

Itulah 10 buku teratas via amazon. Ngik, kok berasa jadi narator di acara On the Spot? *bantingmike*

Jadi dari semua itu ada yang memoar, ada yang novel, semuanya memiliki nilai plus yang pasti sangat tinggi sampai bisa masuk di list best book. Apa saya yang kurang tanggap dengan best book versi 2011 atau saya melihat perubahan pola baca. Rata-rata buku yang masuk adalah buku yang sarat dengan kesedihan, pergumulan, kanker dan kematian. Jika sempat saya coba bandingkan dengan versi tahun lalunya deh.

Manusia sekarang lebih realistis? Apakah sudah bosan dengan kisah romantika? Apakah dengan membaca buku ‘depresif’ membuat kita bersyukur dengan hidup kita yang acapkali terkesan biasa-biasa saja?

 

Entahlah. Review ini dibuat bukan untuk menjejalkan wishlist saya ke Secret Santa loh ya🙂

 -15.11.2012-

Edisi merenung di kamar.

 Cheers! Happy long weekend bagi yang liburan dan bagi yang masih berkutat dengan Goodreads Challenge macam saya, selamat membaca🙂

8 thoughts on “Amazon’s Best Book 2012

  1. astridfelicialim says:

    samaaa the end of your life bookclub itu tampak menarik banget ya, mungkin karena kita suka buku yah =) middlesteins juga tampak rame di luar…hmmmm kapan ya pada masuk kesini dgn harga terjangkau =p

  2. melmarian says:

    Saranku diikutin… *blush*
    Aaah belom baca satupun dari 10 buku diatas. Udah ngantongin ebook The Fault in Our Stars sih, tapi belom tau kapan bacanya. The End of Your Life Book Club emang menarik yah! *nambah wishlist*
    Btw aku suka theme something fishy ini, kupake buat blog pribadiku. Hayuk semangat ngabisin GR reading challenge & update blog ya Mia \^o^/

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