#2: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
If there was ever an opposite to Atonement, this would be it. Diaz writes a modern, urban account of a Dominican family struggling to overcome a terrible curse. The characters are dynamic, but relatable because they go through common struggles and insecurities. Oscar is witty without being pretentious and touching without being sappy. Not only that, but there are footnotes throughout the book that give the reader snippets of real life history in the Dominican Republic. This combination of fiction and learning was fun and refreshing - a definite recommendation.