I feel like I'm always last on the bandwagon, but these are some of my favorites lately:
1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
I really couldn't put this book down for a few weeks. The culture and practice of foot binding in nineteenth-century China was fascinating to read about, (albeit, rather gruesome, too) and was so well written that I really felt like I was a part of another time in history. What especially kept my attention, though, was the story of Lily and her relationship with her "laotong" Snow Flower. Their friendship, the intertwining of their lives through their secret messages and fan; you read their story starting from their early foot bindings at six or seven years old, through their adolescence, marriage, family, children, etc. I thought the concepts and ideas in this book such as "old-sames" and "a woman's duty" were intriguing and thought provoking, and was glad my mom had already read it because it was definitely one of those books you want to discuss and ask questions about.
Go Icelandic music.
3. The Artist
I will admit, although I'm sure I've tried to sound cultured (read: trendy) enough in admitting that I enjoy silent movies, and periodically visit the Organ Loft, if I were really being honest, I would tell you that I actually get bored every time. It is only fun for the first five minutes, and then I check my watch every few minutes after that waiting for the end. This silent movie, however, (a very, very big however!) was enchanting, charming and simply perfect from start to finish. Max wishes he could be Captain America, I wish I could be Peppy Miller. I have seen it three times already, and can honestly admit that The Artist is definitely a new favorite in every way.
(and what kind of person shares lists like these without sharing a viral YouTube video. now, that is the bestest... it's yumma!)