New year, new book choices. And a new discussion leader: Catherine Oddenino, the director of business development for Real Simple and other Time Inc. brands, is a newbie as a NOBC moderator. But she is a voracious reader—I’ve eyed her up for a while as a potential lead Bookie—and she’s always looking for book suggestions. In fact, I’d say that outside of work our two leading topics of discussion are books and ice cream (could be worse, right?). In her other life, Catherine is the cofounder of Luca & Bosco, which makes fine-crafted ice cream in such offbeat flavors as Rosemary Olive Oil With Spicy Cashew Praline and Drunk & Salty (caramel): pure deliciousness.
For our January read, Catherine has chosen four books, from satirical to suspenseful. Now you make the final pick: Vote for your favorite below by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
Two days before Christmas, wife/mother/renowned architect Berndadette Fox vanishes. Her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, tries to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, following a trail of e-mails, letters, blog posts, doctors’ reports, even F.B.I. documents, in this witty-poignant form-busting novel.
The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
Seven-year-old Irish orphan Lavinia begins a new life as an indentured servant on a Virginia plantation in 1791. Her reality is brutal, but no more so than that of the slaves she lives among—but is never quite one of—in a twisting, tense take on the antebellum novel.
My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store, by Ben Ryder Howe
What happens when an earnest literary editor finds himself ping-ponging from his day job at a floundering magazine to his night job at the struggling Brooklyn deli he and his wife have bought for his Korean in-laws? Howe tells all in his funny, heartfelt memoir.
The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
A riveting coming-of-age story that begins with a horrific attack on the mother of the 13-year-old narrator, Joe, The Round House delves into issues of race and justice, love and revenge. The powerful winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction.