Rank #1: David Sedaris: Calypso
David Sedaris is hilarious but that’s just the obvious. He discusses the art of melancholy, and mortality, topics in his new book of humorous stories, Calypso.
Rank #2: Tommy Orange: There There
Beauty and despair woven into their history, twelve multigenerational urban Native Americans find ways to live in Tommy Orange’s There There.
Rank #3: Susan Orlean: The Library Book
Susan Orlean’s The Library Book is about the cultural institution of libraries, with each chapter a source of its own excitement.
Rank #4: Linda Spalding: A Reckoning
Linda Spalding’s novel, A Reckoning, based on her family history, describes past nightmares that trickle into today.
Rank #5: Rita Bullwinkel: Belly Up
Bewildered imagination finds a home in the stories of Rita Bullwinkel's Belly Up.
Rank #6: Yiyun Li: Where Reasons End
In Yiyun Li’s Where Reasons End, a mother discovers a place where she can talk to her son who committed suicide.
Rank #7: Marlon James: Black Leopard, Red Wolf: The Dark Star Trilogy
Marlon James discusses the endlessly beautiful and brutal world of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first novel in The Dark Star Trilogy.
Rank #8: Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley: Permanent Green Light
Bookworm alumnus Dennis Cooper, and collaborator Zac Farley, discuss the creative impulses behind their film Permanent Green Light.
Rank #9: Deborah Eisenberg: Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories
Again Deborah Eisenberg demonstrates herself as a masterful and electric writer, in her new collection of seven stories, Your Duck Is My Duck.
Rank #10: Barbara Kingsolver: Unsheltered
In Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered, char acters feel as if they did what was right in life, but get a bad deal at the end of their lives.
Rank #11: Joshua Cohen: ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction
Joshua Cohen’s collection of nonfiction, ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction, examines the effect of the internet and technology on the human mind.
Rank #12: Mary Ruefle: My Private Property
Mary Ruefle reads the entirety of her glorious and gruesome essay about shrunken heads, the title essay in her book My Private Property.
Rank #13: Sam Lipsyte: Hark
A novel that presents ambiguity as a constant feature of modern life, Hark is a book full of tensions, written with Sam Lipsyte’s fine grain strangeness, and absent of easy answers.
Rank #14: Chloe Aridjis: Sea Monsters
Sea Monsters is a fascinatingly consistent and exquisitely shaped novel by Chloe Aridjis.
Rank #15: Edward St. Aubyn: The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels
Edward St. Aubyn’s Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last: The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels, recently adapted into a five-episode limited series on Showtime.
Rank #16: Joshua Cohen and Samuel Nicholson: ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction
Samuel Nicholson edited three of Joshua Cohen’s books at Random House, including his recent collection of nonfiction, ATTENTION: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction.
Rank #17: Patrick deWitt: French Exit
French Exit by Patrick deWitt, a vastly amusing novel about a spider woman.
Rank #18: Jeff Jackson: Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel
Jeff Jackson’s Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel comes at the same story from radically different angles that echo and rewrite each other.
Rank #19: Gary Shteyngart: Lake Success
Gary Shteyngart’s Lake Success is about a hedge-fund manager billionaire who has lost track of what he once cared about and loved.
Rank #20: Christian Kracht: The Dead
Christian Kracht’s The Dead is an expectations bending book with more tricks than a circus.