The votes are in and the winner is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz! So let's have fun with Oscar!
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love.
With dazzling energy and insight, Junot Díaz immerses us in the uproarious lives of our hero Oscar, his runaway sister Lola, and their ferocious beauty-queen mother Belicia, and in the epic journey from Santo Domingo to Washington Heights to New Jersey's Bergenline and back again. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humor, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and the endless human capacity to persevere - and to risk it all - in the name of love.
FYI Second winner was: Beyond the Islands by Alicia Yánez Cossío with 3 first choices and 2 second choices.
It’s a novel in the form of a set of eight stories, each about a different character. Each picks up from where the previous one left off, and there is continuity and overlap, but they are somewhat separate stories; eight narrative arcs rather than one overarching one. At turns hilarious and troubling, Yanez Cossio's ultimately generous treatment of small town self-importance and personal ambition underscores the violence born of prejudice and intolerance and finally discovers an unexpected path to renewal.