Published December 12, 2016 | By thea

Little Red Chairs, Edna O’Brien I had never read her before. I love her style and her depiction of small town Irish life and the psychology of a psychopath dictator. Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi. With its transparent prose, only the story, characters and emotions remain. A 17th century African village is depicted with amazing historical accuracy that never displays the virtuoso research this must have entailed. A seamless and haunting story of the slave trade and its lasting effects. Burning Down the House by Jane Mendelsohn The style, overtly lyrical, staccato, at times baroque, and the subject , 21rst century wealth and its demented sources, are captivating. The emotional impact is intense and lingering. I loved it. Hologram For a King by Dave Eggers. At once, naturalistic and modern in its spare lucid descriptions. The story feels like an allegory about the pitfalls of modernity itself. Very Eggers. Citizen by Claudia Rankine These poems create a memoir of vitality and depth. New insights startled me on every page about race and the struggle to have a self in a world that can’t see you. Erratic Facts by Kay Ryan. Crystalline poems given as a gift to my husband from poet, Elise Paschen. I read them first and loved them. Seven Brief Lectures on Physics by Carlo Ravelli. I knew nothing and now I know something. The Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont A first novel about infidelity and its ravaging consequences on a family, wrought in stunning, original prose. Episodic, lyrical and expertly paced, the novel traces the effects of the breakup over many years and the complex fallout for the children. Euphoria by Lily King .A novel about anthropologists their genuine searches, their egos and careers by a skilled novelists. The story is lively, fun and deep. Lost in The Fun House by John Barth I should have read this in college but didn’t. There is an essential artifice in even the most realistic fiction. His stories echo naturalism but are interspersed with commentary on themselves. This would be a great book to teach as it elucidates elements of fiction as it deconstructs them and entertains. A Brief History of Vice by Robert Evans. Because its good to know you can have one or two. A really engaging, funny read that lets you forgive yourself and learn how to make mead, a celtic beverage. Today Will be Different by Maria Semple. Hilarious and so familiar it hurts.

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