The Funky Reader

You love books set in the the world of realistic fiction. That critics in New York love.

  • The Girls

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Readers looking for strong writing that delivers a poignant coming-of-age story set in 1969. Anyone interested in the horrific murders committed by Charles Manson's followers, and what could have led young, American teen girls to partake in them. Lovers of disturbing-yet-insightful intellectual fiction that examines the...


  • A Little Life

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Readers looking for a story of four college friends moving to New York City. Lovers of disturbing, intellectual fiction. Anyone interested in the life of an up-and-coming artist in the city.


  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Fans of investigative journalism that meets medical mystery. Those interested in a memoir, written by a 24-year-old New York Post reporter, and her descent into psychosis. Anyone looking for a page-turning read that investigates a rare medical condition.


  • Geek Love

    Bizarre, horrifying - and sometimes repulsive - this book delivers a punch about a family of circus freaks. Art and Lily own a traveling carnival and use drugs and radiation to help create their brood: a boy with flippers, conjoined twins, an albino hunchback, and a kid with paranormal abilities....


  • A Star Called Henry

    Born at the turn of the 20th century, Henry Smart steals to survive in the streets of Dublin. At age 14, he’s already a soldier in the Revolutionary Irish Republican Army, fighting against the British for an independent Ireland. Doyle is a master at writing witty, Irish dialect and finding...


  • This is Where I Leave You

    When Judd Foxman’s father dies, Judd returns home, along with his equally dysfunctional siblings, to sit shiva with their nutty mother. For the full seven days. Having just walked in on his wife with his boss, Judd needs some time to figure out what he’s going to do next. Old...


  • An Object of Beauty

    Steve Martin, actor, musician, comic, art connoisseur and writer, offers this fun and witty novel that follows intern, Lacey Yeager, as she enters the New York art scene and proceeds to charm her way up the social ladder. Martin uses experience to skilfully describe the lofty and ludicrous goings-on of...


  • Still Life with Woodpecker

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Lovers of linguistic wit who are young at heart Readers looking for a story about the moon, a modern-day princess, and a Twinkie-loving criminal Fans of authors who don’t take themselves too seriously


  • The Other Language

    In this delicious, short story collection, Marciano jumps between the Venice film festival, a remote island in East Africa, an island in Greece, and more, to introduce us to characters struggling with coming to terms with how unexpected life can turn out to be. And how they might negotiate it...


  • The Goldfinch

    Precocious Theo Decker lives in Manhattan with his beloved mother: when the two take a life-altering trip to the Metropolitan Museum, Theo must learn to navigate the world on his own. Bouncing between the privileged Upper East Side, the dusty world of antiques, the grittiness of Las Vegas and the...


  • The Sisters Brothers

    Eli and Charlie Sisters are hired assassins. During The Gold Rush Era. Their boss is The Commodore. That’s already too much info. Jump on in.Perfect for:Lovers of the Coen brothers’ movies.Anyone looking for a Western-style book with some added spunk.  Those who appreciate dark wit and humour. 


  • Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems

    Whether he’s taking off on one of the Concorde’s last flights, observing Playboy models in Belize or pondering the irony of the American citizenship process, humerous wit, David Rakoff, offers punch and sass in these clever and thought-provoking essays on elitism, consumerism and patriotism – to name a few ideas.Perfect...


  • Kissing in Manhattan

    Schickler’s quirky-yet-poignant collection of short stories follows a helluva cast of love-hungry Manhattanites, whose lives intertwine around a mysterious, old apartment building. A great mix of witty humour and romantic fantasy delivered in edgy writing. Perfect for: • Anyone who has a love affair with NYC. • Those wishing to...


  • Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities

    For anyone who enjoys comparing Paris to New York City, Muratyan offers a fantastic visual graphic display of side-by-side comparisons between the two cities. Perfect for: • A gift for the classic urbanite. • The ideal coffee table book that your guests will actually enjoy. • A funky read for...


  • Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

    You either love Klosterman or don’t: but who else weaves Saved by the Bell, Billy Joel & Pamela Anderson’s sex tape together with such seemingly continuous ease? It’s fun. Especially if you don’t take it too seriously: there are some golden nuggets to be found in his writing. Great for:...


  • Tepper Isn’t Going Out

    Murray Tepper lives in New York. And he won’t give up his parking spot. So he starts to read his newspaper. And, despite drivers pleading for the desirable piece of property, he refuses to leave. With his funny commentary on how people behave in big cities while doing absurd things,...


  • The Art of Fielding

    Henry Skrimshander is gifted as a shortstop in baseball. When he is recruited for the Westish College Harpooners, his adventures propel him towards the next step – until someone gets injured. A beautifully written novel. Great for: • Baseball enthusiasts • Lovers of American writing set in college towns •...


  • The Middlesteins

    Edie Middlestein can’t stop eating. It’s a serious problem. Along with her crumbling marriage, her disintegrating career, her issues with her children – all of this doesn’t necessarily point to a heartwarming story but Attenberg never looks down on her protagonist in this curious character study. Great for: • Readers...


  • The Imperfectionists

    Offering nuggets of outstanding character studies – Rachman sets his debut novel-in-stories at an international newspaper in Rome. With adults behaving like adolescents, parents enduring unimaginable loss, reporters trying to catch a break and revenge of the most humiliating kind – Imperfectionists offers a story for any reader interested in...


  • A Visit from the Goon Squad

    Mostly set in NYC, Squad traces a set of different people who work in the music industry as they navigate growing up, losing relevance and the division between past and present. Great for: • Readers who enjoy narrative jumps through time • Multi-character perspective • People who enjoy reading about...


  • Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See

    The novel opens with powerful Hollywood studio executive, Greyson Todd, walking out on his family due to his desire to travel the world. As the novel unfolds we are introduced to his disturbed past with a father suffering from mental illness that has – with terrible repercussions – passed down...


  • Beautiful Ruins

    Critics went nuts for this sun-soaked story following interweaving lives set against the backdrop of – among many things – the fictitious town of Porto Vorgogna, Italy; the filming of the now-legendary disaster that became Cleopatra, and modern-day Hollywood. Jumping between present-day America and 1960s coastal Italy, the novel explores...


  • American Dervish

    Hayat Shah grows up in a Pakistani household in the Midwest. His parents don’t get along so well and he’s a little confused about his religion: when his mother’s oldest friend – the enigmatic Mina – comes to stay with them as a refuge from an abusive marriage back home,...


  • The Interestings

    When six, artistic teenagers meet for a summer in 1974 at Spirit in the Woods, they dub themselves ‘The Interestings’ due to their intellectual connections. Covering the next four decades of their lives the novel – despite some wonky plot lines – investigates changing dynamics among old friends, the repercussions...


  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Chabon’s brilliant read follows two cousins - Josef "Joe" Kavalier and Sammy Klayman – as they enter the comic-book business. A phenomenal exploration of the effects of WWII on Jewish refugees and the role of creativity in releasing responses to injustice, this novel...


  • The White Tiger

    Balram Halwai narrates this darkly comic story of his transformation from a rural boy in ‘The Darkness’ into a wily businessman in Bangalore. With this exploration of India’s caste system, poverty and changing landscape, Adiga provides both a thoughtful narrative and memorable characters. Great for: Readers who appreciate a cynical...


  • The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas

    The editor of Found magazine, Rothbart has an eye for the small but beautiful details in life that lend themselves to fiction. From road trips to abandoned teens, this collection of eight, charming stories reignites your inner fiction lover while providing some much needed nourishment for a proper literary diet.Great...


  • Crossing California

    Spanning the days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Langer creates a sphere encompassing wonder, struggle and creativity in the Jewish enclave of West Rogers Park, Chicago.With a cast of characters who walk right across the page and into your mind (and who would benefit from an on-screen treatment), Crossing California provides a...


  • The Gun Seller

    Yup, 'House' has written a book. And it's good: meet gunman Thomas Lang, whose plans to assassinate an American businessman go deliciously awry. Great for: Lover of the spy genreLovers of Hugh Laurie Readers who enjoy satire. And snark. 


  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

    When Oscar’s father dies in the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center, he embarks on a journey through all of Manhattan on a mission to discover a mystery his father has left behind.Great for:More advanced teen readers (suggested for ages 15 and up)Lovers of an unusual protagonistAnyone looking for...