16. The World to Come by Jim Shepard

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Price: $20.86 on amazon.com

Shepard is not one to write collections of stories that reiterate a familiar experience;

he doesn’t tend to agonize over middle-class white men of a certain age or frustrated intellectuals.

The World to Come is no exception.

His deeply researched, detailed fiction places readers lightly but surely in an Arctic exploration, an early hot-air balloon flight, a frontier settlement’s domestic drama, and beyond, opening up unexpected worlds with each new story.

-CF

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen