By George Saunders
After Abraham Lincoln’s son died, the president reportedly went back to the Bardo (tomb) to literally feel his loss in his arms. Yeah. He was so full of grief he hugged the boy’s dead body on several occasions. Allegedly. Saunders turns this tale into an incredibly creative ghost story like you’ve never experienced. Really. I’ve never read anything like this.
By Edward Abbey
I picked this up for our roadtrip through the west, which included a drive through Abbey’s beloved and now besmirched Utah desert. I love his cantankerous outlook. It feels oppressively appropriate considering how disrespectfully we continue to treat our land (hello, Mr. President) despite protestations by scientists like Abbey.
By Roxane Gay
This came out in spring and it finally came through via my library hold request. Roxane Gay’s honest stories about her body feel at once entirely her own and completely universal. Finger snaps.
By Jill Filipovich
This is another feminist text from this year I’ve been meaning to read for months. It wasn’t until I started reading it that I remembered that the line “the pursuit of happiness” comes directly from a Declaration of Independence. My — and everyone else’s — distraction from this fact is exactly why Filipovich wrote this book. How would we all benefit if we made laws and policy based on what made people — especially women who were historically disenfranchised — happy?
By James Joyce
Have you ever not read a book because someone who hurt you loved it? For shame! Also: Same. A college ex of mine loooooved “Dubliners,” thus, I promptly pushed my desire to read it to the back of my brain after we broke up. After recently reading in a writing textbook one of the short stories from JJ’s greatest hit. I decided to pick this up and let that shit go. I found this cool Centennial version on Amazon.