I used to think that if fancy people in fancy cities fuss about a book and give it a fancy (and fussy) award, the book must not be meant for my very unfancy and unfussy self. So for the longest time, I steered clear of anything that appeared on “Editor’s Picks” booklists, leaving those to the tea-and-crumpet crowd.
I have since wisened up and try to read a few award-winning titles every year. Don’t be scared off by all the fuss – these books are totally worth it. (And you have my permission to read them sprawled on your couch wearing your very-unfussy-and-very-unfancy-never-wear-in-public-sweats).
Less by Andrew Sean Greer – This year’s Pulitzer winner. A globe-trotting tale of adulting when you don’t wanna. Sad until it’s not.
The Great Believers by Rebeccah Makkai – A National Book award short-lister. The Eighties AIDS epidemic, shared honestly and vulnerably through fiction.
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – A NYT bestseller. Strange robot sculptures appear instantly in NYC and around the globe. Who put them there? Why? April and Andy are determined to find out why… and also determined to become viral social media sensations in the process.
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen – 2016’s Pulitzer winner. The book’s narrator straddles life – as a communist double-agent, as a half-Vietnamese/half-French man, as a resident of Saigon and LA. This book straddles both thrilling and thinking.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou – McKinsey Business Book of the Year. The so-crazy-it-must-be-true story of a Silicon Valley wunderkind, a brazen deception, and the people (who should have known better) that fell for it.
How does this worker-bee/soccer-mom/rickety-runner find time to read 50 books a year? This is my secret.