This list does not include every book that I enjoyed this year, but it includes the ones that I found unique, challenging, and full of good questions.
From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty – When searching for the Good Death, anything beats traditional American death rituals.
The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt – Short stories where everyone has a secret, and that secret is usually that they can turn into an animal.
The Power by Naomi Alderman – If women had the ability to run the world through force, would they run it any better than men?
Vacationland by John Hodgman – It’s E. B. White. He’s talking about E. B. White.
Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht – The police won’t let anyone in the town leave (no phone or electricity) until a fugitive is found.
Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax – A future Japan that mixes questions about immigration, war crimes, fertility, and artificial intelligence exquisitely.
Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht – Is Vera Kelly a spy? Is she in 1950s Argentina? Is she a lesbian? Is she a smart cookie? Yes.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh – It’s a lot harder and also a lot easier than you would expect to sleep through an entire year.
Nothing Good Can Come From This by Kristi Coulter – Drinking keeps women from realizing their full potential, and alcohol is everywhere. Sobriety opens up new avenues.
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee – Pain becomes story becomes myth becomes novel.
Severance by Ling Ma – If the fever takes hold of you, you lose yourself, becoming stuck in mindless routines. Hell in an office building.
The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling – Daphne disappears off the grid with her toddler, trying to decide whether or not to join her husband in Turkey.
What were your notable reads for the year? Please share in the comments!