We live in exhausting times—why not escape for a bit with a book? Here are our top 10 staff picks, guaranteed to hit the spot by providing some much-needed escapism.
The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. Nick Offerman says this book will “Explode the Planet.”
“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. Now Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president”.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
From the best-selling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
“The heart of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is story – the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we’ll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song…Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it.” (Buzzfeed)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Exit West follows remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy
A gorgeous, darkly humorous memoir for listeners of Cheryl Strayed about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention, based on this award-winning writer’s New Yorker article “Thanksgiving in Mongolia”. Rules Do Not Apply reveals what happens when nature decides to smash the plans you’ve made, and derail what you thought was your life.
American War by Omar El Akkad
An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle – American War is a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.
Startup by Doree Shafrir
An assured, observant debut from veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money, and technology’s inability to hack human nature.
Men Without Women Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami can do no wrong in my book (pun intended). Across seven tales, Men Without Women brings Haruki Murakami’s powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all. Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.