A Little Life: a novel / Hanya Yanagihara
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.
The Turner House / Angela Flournoy
The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone–and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage.
Fortune Smiles: stories / Adam Johnson
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed and bestselling novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson is one of America’s most provocative and powerful authors. In Fortune Smiles–he continues to give voice to characters rarely heard from, while offering something we all seek from fiction: a new way of looking at our world, in six masterly stories.
The Mare / Mary Gaitskill
Velveteen Vargas is eleven years old, a Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn. Her host family is a couple in upstate New York: Ginger, a failed artist and shakily recovered alcoholic, and her academic husband, Paul, who wonder what it will mean to “make a difference” in such a contrived situation. Gaitskill illuminates their shifting relationship with Velvet over several years, as well as Velvet’s encounter with the horses at the stable down the road—especially with an abused, unruly mare called Fugly Girl.
Balm: a novel / Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Set during the [era after the Civil War] and exploring the next chapter of history–the end of slavery–this …story of love and healing is about three people who struggle to overcome the pain of the past and define their own future.
Dreamland: the true tale of America’s opiate epidemic / Sam Quinones
Chronicles how over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin–the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, 2 to 3 times purer than its white powder cousin–to the veins of people across the United States.
Numero Zero / Umberto Eco; translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon
A novel about the murky world of media politics, conspiracy, and murder. A newspaper committed to blackmail and mudslinging, rather than reporting the news.
Golden Age / Jane Smiley
The last installment of the Last Hundred Years Trilogy, opens in 1987, the next generation of the Langdon family is facing economic, social, cultural, and political challenges unlike anything their ancestors had encountered before.
The Japanese Lover: a novel / Isabel Allende; translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson
A multigenerational epic that follows the impossible romance between a World War II escapee from the Nazis and a Japanese gardener’s son, whose story is discovered decades later by a care worker who would come to terms with her past.
Infinite Home / Kathleen Alcott
Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways—in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart—the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith’s deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together.