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New and Not to Be Missed

In the past couple of months, there have been some really amazing books released.  Sure, they may have missed the holiday rush, but that doesn't mean that they should be overlooked.  A few of the not to be missed titles include:

1.  Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo Cover Image

Told in a chorus of voices, this novel is about the death of Lincoln's son Willie.  Willie is stuck in the bardo, the transition between life and death.  In this liminal state, he meets others who have not yet accepted their deaths either.  In order to move on, both father and son must let go. 

Saunders creates a masterpiece of intricate voices for the deceased, giving their stories slowly in the spare and telling details of their own words.  While there are certainly moments of Saunders's signature humor embedded in the narrative, there is depth and painful humanity to this novel that lingers and asks to be reread.    

2.  Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

Homesick for Another World: Stories Cover Image

This book of short stories collects some of Moshfegh's most brilliant pieces on the complexities of human connection, or perhaps more prominently, disconnection.  Moshfegh's previous book Eileen earned her critical acclaim and her new book is just as fascinating.  Meet the professor who summers in a town that she considers a slum, the man who pines for a woman he only occasionally likes, the would-be movie star who has barely ever seen a film.  The book is a remarkable study on flawed characters who are searching for a home in another world, longing for something that may not even exist. 

3.  Lillian Boxfish Goes for a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Cover Image

Lillian spends her New Year's Eve wandering through her beloved Manhattan, a city that has been her home for 80+ years.  Although told in the space of a night, she meditates on her entire life.  This book is relatively light, but it manages to still carry a meaningful exploration of a life.  Based loosely off of the life of an ad woman, Margaret Fishback, Rooney makes a statement about the evolving roles of women in the workplace and home.

4.  The One-Eyed Man by Ron Currie

The One-Eyed Man Cover Image

K loses his wife Sarah to cancer.  To deal with the grief of her death, he turns to the theory of relativity and reminds himself that time is only an illusion.  He also becomes overly literal about everything, overly analytical.  Essentially, he is able to separate himself from an emotional life and live only as a practical being.  His unusual personality leads him to a lot of odd adventures--like foiling a robbery and becoming a reality television star.   Funny, very political, poignant. 


That's just a tiny sample of the things that you won't want to miss out on, but hopefully it will get your reading list started--or grow it a little longer!




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