Tenth of December, George Saunders – If you are not reading George Saunders, I suggest you start. Then remember what a story is capable of being, and capable of doing to you.
Boyhood: A Memoir, J.M. Coetzee – I so admire his style, regardless of the topic at hand.
Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis – The action builds to a hilarious crescendo of distress. You hardly go two sentences together without some piece of humor (reminded me of Three Men in a Boat in this way). I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read this, given that I must have bought it ten years ago or something. Liked so much.
The Emperor’s Children, Claire Messud – An eminently successful book in that it made me decide to read more of the author. Many of those ‘yes, life is just like that’ moments. She’s wonderful in person, too. I always admire authors who, when taking questions from the audience, can give a great answer to even the most vague and nonsensical of questions. Also recommend this Vulture article. Pronounced ‘Messooood’.
A Little History of the World, E. Gombrich – A fantastic overview of world history, translated from the German not so long ago, intended for perhaps 7-12 year-olds (and written with great charm) but I would recommend it to anyone.