I don't know about you, but for me there's nothing better after a long day than curling up in my PJs and getting lost in a good book. It's a healthy escape from the real world. Check out the list below to find some killer books to check out this year and get your read on. :)
1 The Futures
By Anna Pitoniak
Price: $26.00 on amazon.com
Evan and Julia met and fell in love at Yale before moving to New York City. Julia, born wealthy and beautiful, goes to work at a nonprofit, while Evan-who went to the elite Ivy on a scholarship, lands a job at a prestigious financial firm. If you think this is just another novel about the economic collapse of the late you're not completely wrong. It's also about the things you believe in when you're young, and what breaks your heart along the way; who can't relate to that?!
By Emily Ruskovich
Price: $18.56 on amazon.com
Long-married couple Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves in northern Idaho. But as Wade's memory begins to fade, Ann becomes determined to learn more about her husband's first wife, Jenny, and their daughters. Little by little, the shocking tragedy that split Wade and Jenny emerges, as does the story of how Wade and Ann found one another.
3 The Man Who Shot My Eye out is Dead by Chanelle Benz
Price: $24.99 on amazon.com
A debut collection that spans centuries and oceans, Benz’s book skips from adventure to adventure for an action-packed, imaginative read that takes you into the life events of her characters and shows how life events shape people in different ways.
4 The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Price: $24.21 on amazon.com
Two cartoonists meet in college, then form a brilliant artistic partnership in this debut novel. Sharon Kisses and Mel Vaught (really), the animation team, bring the best out of each other creatively ― until a breakthrough success fractures their friendship and opens up a growing divide between them.
5 Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
Price: $25.00 on amazon.com
This spare, strange book tells the story of a young woman named Amanda who lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.
6 Human Acts by Han Kang Price: $9.37 on amazon.com
Following The Vegetarian, one of the most stunning novels of 2016, Human Acts is yet another belatedly translated work from South Korean writer Han Kang. Centering on the killing of a young boy during a student uprising, the novel follows the rippling effects of the tragedy.
7 Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
Price: $19.07 on amazon.com
Once again Moshfegh takes us to a world filled with colorful, scary, and strange characters who teach us of self-deception and the human condition in ways we could never think of!
8 Abandon Me
By Melissa Febos
Price: $15.47 on amazon.com
In this, Febos turns the lens on herself, exploring and analyzing, layer by layer, why we love who we love, and the connections, however tenuous, that bind us together.
9 A Book of American Martyrs
By Joyce Carol Oates
Price: $29.99 on amazon.com
When an ardent Evangelical named Luther Dunphy assassinates an abortion provider in a small Ohio town, he believes he is acting out the will of God. But the doctor, Augustus Voorhees, leaves behind a wife and children scarred by the death of their loved one. A portrait of two families who must bear the weight of one man's action and the resounding effect it has on a small community.
10 All the Lives I Want
By Alana Massey
Price: $23.03 on amazon.com
When Alana Massey's essay, "Being Winona In A World Made For Gwyneths," debuted on Buzzfeed in January 2015, we sensed that maybe we'd found a new favorite writer to add to our lists.
In this new collection of essays, Massey delves into other pop cultural and public figures with a critical yet empathetic eye for life behind the glamour and fame.
11 The Woman Next Door
By Yewande Omotoso
Price: $16.00 on amazon.com
Neighbors Hortensia and Marion have shared a hedge — and a mutual hostility for one another — for ages. Both women, one of whom is Black, and the other, white, have had impressive careers; both have also recently been widowed.
When an unexpected event throws the women together and requires that they form a relationship, old wounds are reopened and disparate memories rehashed. But will this finally bring them together, or are they destined to always be on opposite sides of the fence?
12 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Price: $23.68 on amazon.com
Taking us into history with a fun twist, we learn of Abraham Lincoln's son Willie after death stuck I now a purgatory known to TIbetians as Bardo. Filled with fellow ghostly characters this should-be morbid story is deep and entertaining.
13 Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin
Price: $23.02 on amazon.com
There was a time when a flâneur — an idle walker and observer of cities — was considered an elite, whereas a flâneuse, a woman who took up the same pastime, was presumed to be up to no good. Elkin chronicles the history of women wanderers, threading her own on-foot experiences in New York City, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong throughout. -MC
14 Dear Friend, from My Life, I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
Price: $19.20 on amazon.com
Li’s fiction has earned her a MacArthur fellowship, and a 20 Under 40 designation. Now, her memoir written amid the throes of depression has garnered praise from Marilynne Robinson and Akhil Sharma. Li celebrates the authors who make reading a joyous pursuit, and the details that’ve made her own life worth living. -MC
15 Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
Price: $24.00 on amazon.com
Of Enriquez’s collection, Kelly Link says, “these stories unsettle.” That’s bold praise coming from Link, who isn’t alone in her endorsing of a writer who chronicles corruption in Argentina, in all its forms. The surreal is used to illustrate the real feelings elicited by violence. -MC
16 The World to Come by Jim Shepard
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
17 The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Price: $20.60 on amazon.com
After his debut novel The Sympathizer took home the Pulitzer Prize and seemingly endless other honors, Nguyen is back with more fiction: This time, short stories linked by their attention to people caught between two worlds. -CF
18 A Separation by Katie Kitamura
Price: $25.00 on amazon.com
A young woman’s relationship with her mother-in-law is less than ideal, so when she’s asked to fly to Greece to retrieve her missing husband, she begrudgingly agrees. What she fails to mention is that she and Christopher have been separated, and that, as far as she’s concerned, divorce is imminent. The resulting days spent on a fire-addled island are languid, but tension looms over a story about fidelity, secrecy, and feeling invisible. Kitamura’s style is intoxicating, and alone makes the book worth reading. -MC
19 Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
Price: $18.75 on amazon.com
The indie musician, best known as the founder of The Mountain Goats, has dabbled in the literary realm before, but it seems Darnielle’s 2014 novel Wolf in White Van was only a first sally. After his well-received debut, Darnielle turns his foreboding eye and moody prose on the tale of a young man working in a small-town video rental store whose life is upended by mysterious recordings he discovers on VHS tapes in the shop. -CF
20 The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
Price: $23.93 on amazon.com
Nine years after the release of her debut — a New York Times notable book — Tinti returns with the story of a girl, Loo, and her criminal father who takes her with him from city to city. As the longtime editor of lit mag One Story, Tinti knows how to blend emotional connections with engrossing plots. -MC
21 South and West: from a Notebook by Joan Didion
Price: $17.58 on amazon.com
Yes, that Joan Didion. Her new book features two essay drafts, previously unpublished. The first chronicles a trip she took with her then-husband through the South; the second is a collection of scribblings (albeit insightful ones, to be sure) she began working on for Rolling Stone about the Patty Hearst trial. -MC
22 The Rules do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Price: $16.62 on amazon.com
As women, as people, living in the 21st century, it’s easy to feel that we’ve gained a certain autonomy that makes even the staunchest facts of life feel negotiable. We can order new books via drone, why shouldn’t we be able to extend the window of fertility further past 40ish? Levy examines these questions and others in her memoir about trying to have it all. -MC
23 Ill Will by Dan Chaon
Price: $26.08 on amazon.com
Thirty years after his adopted brother, Rusty, was convicted of murdering his parents, aunt and uncle, psychologist Dustin finds out that Rusty’s conviction was overturned by DNA evidence and he’s being released from prison. Rattled and wrapped up in a paranoid obsession with a series of drunk college students who drowned, Dustin swiftly begins to spin out of control. -CF
24 Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Price: $24.39 on amazon.com
A love story set in the midst of a refugee crisis, or the story of refugees who fall in love, Hamid’s timely and spare new novel confronts the inevitability of mass global immigration, the unbroken cycle of violence and the indomitable human will to connect and love. -CF
25 White Tears by Hari Kunzru
Price: $22.31 on amazon.com
“We really did feel that our love of the music bought us something, some right to blackness, but by the time we got to New York, we’d learned not to talk about it.” So says Seth, one of the two young, white, music-obsessed men at the heart of White Tears. When his friend Carter releases a recording Seth made of an anonymous singer online, claiming it’s by a 1920s blues artist, the two are drawn into a mystery wider than they imagined possible, in Kunzru’s layered exploration of race, exploitation, privilege and power. -CF
26 The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Price: $25.82 on amazon.com
The New Yorker writer crafts a coming-of-age novel for the female artist, a story of a young woman in her first year at Harvard who finds herself opening out in new and unexpected directions. -CF
27 The Book of Joan
By Lidia Yuknavitch
Price: $22.08 on amazon.com
First of all: If you haven't read this gorgeous Guernica essay by Lidia Yuknavitch, get on that immediately. She's one of the best literary voices on gender and sexual fluidity writing today.
She's also a tremendous novelist, and The Book of Joan is evidence: The heroine of this novel is a reimagined Joan of Arc, plunked into a modern doomsday scenario and battle between good and evil. Insightful and sometimes frighteningly relevant, this narrative also hunts for hope — and love — in the darkest of places.
28 Imagine Wanting Only This
By Kristen Radtke
Price: $20.76 on amazon.com
An evocative debut and a glorious mashup of genres, Imagine Wanting Only This contains the meandering stories of everyday places that have fallen to ruins — from deserted cities of the American Midwest to an Icelandic town buried in ash to tiny populated islands in the Philippines and beyond.
A personal history that takes the shape of graphic illustrations, Radtke's stories take a reader on a winding journey that also traverses the crumbling canals of human history — and the human heart.
29 Marlena by Julie Buntin
Price: $26.00 on amazon.com
A buzzy debut that melds psychological suspense with pure literary fiction, Marlena revolves around the death of the title character, who drowns in just a few inches of icy water as a teenager, and her friendship with the narrator, Cat. “Tell me what you can’t forget,” Cat begins, “and I’ll tell you who you are.” It’s Marlena, and what she did or didn’t do to save her friend, that Cat can never forget or escape ― a constantly expanding conundrum of responsibility, guilt, and self-loathing that novel explores. -CF
30 Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard
Price: $10.46 on amazon.com
From the author of Binary Star comes a collection of essays centered on her home state, Florida. There’s a welcome trend in essay-writing of blending the personal with the fastidiously reported, as is the case in Belle Boggs’ The Art of Waiting, Eula Biss’ On Immunity, and Alex Mar’s Witches of America. Gerard’s is the latest addition, weaving her youthful immersion in the place through her more analytical observations drawn from time spent in wild bird rehabilitation facilities and golf course developments. -MC
31 Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
Price: $26.00 on amazon.com
“I found Borne on a sunny gunmetal day when the giant bear Mord came roving near our home.” So begins the latest novel from VanderMeer, whose “Southern Reach” trilogy is getting the Hollywood treatment. Borne has all the quintessential qualities that fans of the author will love: an unexplainable natural phenomenon, a fraught relationship, a story that reels you in from its first sentence. -MC
32 Somebody with a Little Hammer by Mary Gaitskill
Price: $25.95 on amazon.com
Ever wonder what the master of fictional power dynamics ― the author of the classic Bad Behavior ― thinks about Lolita and Gone Girl? Mary Gaitskill’s essays span literature, music and personal escapades, handled with the same biting wit as her fiction. -MC
33 Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki
Price: 20.91 on amazon.com
From the author of California — a post-apocalyptic book about a marriage amid dystopia — comes another novel that promises to be as psychologically resonant as it is fast-paced. Memoirist Lady Daniels hires a woman, S., to care for her sons while she finishes her book, and takes a break from her husband. Noirish tension ensues. -MC
34 The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Price: $26.99 on amazon.com
In a post-“Serial” age, our national fascination with murder and true crime has peaked. Marzano-Lesnevich complicates an easy narrative of salacious crime and righteous justice in her hybrid memoir and reported work, which unpacks her encounter as a legal intern with a convicted killer and the unacknowledged prejudices that each person brought to his case. -CF
35 Men without Women by Haruki Murakami
Price: $22.06 on amazon.com
Cats! Baseball! Highfalutin musical references! A new Murakami book promises to be both predictable in its motifs and unpredictable in its wending plot. His latest to be translated into English is a collection of short stories, peopled with single men. -MC
36 The Answers by Catherine Lacey
Price: $26.00 on amazon.com
As in her mesmerizing debut, Nobody Is Ever Missing, Lacey traces the contours of a contemporary female trauma. The protagonist of The Answers, a young woman with no money and a mysterious, crippling pain disorder, finds herself caught up in a wealthy man’s odd girlfriend-for-pay scheme in order to pay for her experimental treatments. -CF
37 Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Price: $26.00 on amazon.com
Ward’s lyrical debut novel, Salvage the Bones, follows a family in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, which Ward herself was impacted by. She’s since written award-winning nonfiction, and with Sing, Unburied, Sing, she returns to writing elliptical, voice-driven novels about the South. -MC
38 Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
Price: $25.00 on amazon.com
A college wrestler battles through his senior season in a debut Hanya Yanagihara has called “a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study.” -CF
39 The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro
Price: $20.46 on amazon.com
The author of Cutting Teeth — a debut novel about 30-something families and the fissures that form between them on a long weekend away — returns with a story set on a fictional island in the 90s. -MC
40 A Dog's Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron
Price: $6.59 on amazon.com
W. Bruce Cameron's book is about a reincarnated dog. Through the narration of this dog, we see him live many lives — in an animal shelter, with a loving family, as a rescue dog – never forgetting the ones before. Cameron's book, released in 2010 to positive reviews, is being given the movie treatment in 2017.
41 A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
Price: $6.58 on amazon.com
At some point in your young adult life, you may have read A Wrinkle In Time, a sci-fi book about a girl, Meg Murry, who sets out with her youngest brother and friend Calvin to find her father, a scientist who went missing after doing some research on time travel. With the help of the mysterious Mrs. Ws, the threesome find themselves traveling throughout the vast universe to find Meg's dad. A Wrinkle in Time may have been first released in 1962, but the book is now being adapted by Ava DuVernay — best known for her Oscar-nominated Selma — for the big screen. The film will star Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and newbie Storm Reed as Meg Murry.
42 The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
Price: $11.47 on amazon.com
A Wrinkle of Time is not the only book from the '60s getting a film adaptation. Published a year after the children's classic, The Bell Jar was Sylvia Plath's only novel, a fictionalized version of her experiences as she came into her own as a woman, as a writer and as a person struggling with severe depression. A movie version for the film is in the works and will mark the directorial debut of Kirsten Dunst. Dakota Fanning will star in the film as Esther Greenwood, Plath's alter ego in the novel.
43 The Dark Tower, by Stephen King
Price: $9.03 on amazon.com
Plenty of Stephen King's novels have now become cultural landmarks. There's Carrie, The Shining and The Shawshank Redemption, works of King that have become icons — mostly because they were made into films, as is so often the case. The Dark Tower, a series of eight books by King, is the latest of his works to get its own film version, which will star Idris Elba as a knight who, with the help of an 11-year-old boy, attempts to reach the mysterious Dark Tower. He faces opposition from an evil sorcerer, played by Matthew McConaughey. The film version of King's book will be released in July.
44 I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus
Price: $10.98 on amazon.com
Though it was released in 1997, there's been a resurgence in popularity of Chris Kraus's semi-fictional book about an almost-40-year-old woman who grows infatuated with a famous academic. Enlisting the help of her husband, the woman begins to write letters to this theorist, "Dick," and in the process discovers the depths of her desire and the power of transformation. Following the success of Transparent, Jill Soloway decided to adapt the book into a television series. The pilot became available earlier this year, and the series was picked up by Amazon.
45 Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Price: $6.70 on amazon.com
After Sam (Deutch) dies on February 12, she’s forced to relive that day over and over, unraveling the mystery of her death.
46 Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Price: $9.75 on amazon.com
A young boy (Tremblay) with a rare facial deformity attends a new school and desperately wants to fit in with his peers. The first look from the film was released recently, and Tremblay is 100 percent unrecognizable.
47 It by Stephen King
Price: $9.17 on amazon.com
After children start mysteriously dying, a group of kids known as “The Losers Club” face off against the evil entity responsible — which takes the shape of a clown named Pennywise.
48 The Mountain between Us by Charles Martin
Price: $9.57 on amazon.com
Two plane crash survivors seek help while sustaining serious injuries.
49 Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Price: $15.99 on amazon.com
The first in a series about Dominika Egorova and Nathaniel Nash, Red Sparrow follows a Russian spy who develops a love affair with a CIA officer.
50 All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Price: $4.80 on amazon.com
When a boy and girl inadvertently meet at the top of a bell tower, they develop an interesting relationship.
51 The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
Price: $9.99 on amazon.com
Two teen boys combat the drama of high school by forming a punk band.
52 My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
Price: $14.84 on amazon.com
This graphic novel gives us a peek into the life of Jeffrey Dahmer before he became a cold-blooded serial killer.
53 The Death Cure by James Dashner
Price: $9.48 on amazon.com
The final book in the Maze Runner trilogy, Thomas and his friends frantically search for a cure to “The Flare,” a terminal disease that nearly destroyed the world.
54 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Price: $11.23 on amazon.com
People living in a virtual reality world compete in an 1980s-themed scavenger hunt, the prize being a rich man’s entire fortune.
55 The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
Price: $9.00 on amazon.com
A scientist slowly becomes insane when he makes himself invisible.
56 The Lost City of Z: a Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
Price: $12.87 on amazon.com
Famous explorer Percy Fawcett travels to the Amazon to locate an ancient civilization, but mysteriously vanishes. Based on a true story.
57 The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Price: $2.91 on amazon.com
The first in the Chaos Walking trilogy, this story involves a womanless land where all the residents can hear each other's thoughts. The film’s taken forever to be made, but with Ridley’s recent casting announcement, maybe the ball will finally get rolling.
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