10 books I loved this year, in the order I read them:
Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
This book is an insightful exploration of loneliness and urban living through the lives of artists like Edward Hopper and David Wojnarowicz.
Sherman Alexie, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
I read this book before the news broke that Alexie was accused of sexual harassment, but that fact makes this piece of work all the more heartbreaking, sad and raw. A searing memoir.
Mary H. K. Choi, Emergency Contact
Utterly charming and smart, with the right dash of zeitgeist. This YA book addresses tough issues and true diversity without feeling heavy-handed.
Tayari Jones, An American Marriage
This novel is a powerful look at Black American life, heartbreaking in its honesty about how we can never truly know all the intricacies of another person — or another relationship.
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
An epic novel, sprawling across generations and countries. This opened up a history I didn’t know enough about and an immigrant experience that feels all too relevant today.
Meaghan O’Connell, And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready
Meaghan’s self-deprecating, shattering honesty is just what I needed to read, and it’s what all my mommy friends need to read, too.
Lauren Groff, Florida
This story collection is rich with strong female characters, with the tension of life as it comes to us, with the singular moments that feel like they can change our trajectory forever, and maybe do.
Porochista Khakpour, Sick: A Memoir
Porochista’s voice is a light in the forest of chronic illness, muddied by medication and sleeplessness, resilient in her ability to finish another essay, make another move, fall in love again.
David Sedaris, Calypso
In Calypso, we get Sedaris being his funny, wacky, obsessive self, but also going broader and deeper on important topics: death, grief, addiction, aging. This book is entertaining and important.
Rebecca Traister, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger
This book is relevant, edifying and dotted with hope. It also made me want to punch all the comfy, rich white guys seated around me on the plane as I read.
Here are ten other books I read and liked:
Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know
Olivia Laing, Crudo
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation
Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Ali Smith, Autumn
Evan Connell, Mrs. Bridge
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
Scaachi Koul, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
Dorothy Day, The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus