Danny Caine's Top Ten of 2018
10. The Witch Elm, Tana French
Tana French’s standalone mystery is a simmering meditation on privilege and nostalgia, weighing what happens when everyone else’s memory of the past is much darker than yours.
9. American Sonnets for my Past & Future Assassin, Terrence Hayes
Terrence Hayes’s amazing sequence of 72 sonnets makes an old form do new tricks.
8. Friday Black, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
These brash short stories grab hold and don’t let go; they’re angry and darkly hilarious meditations on race, privilege, and consumer culture perfect for fans of George Saunders’s old stuff.
7. Disoriental by Negar Djavadi
A compelling queer coming-of-age story set in a Paris fertility clinic that also happens to tell the contemporary history of Iran. Djavadi’s epic is a winning marriage of the personal and the political.
6. Radioapocrypha, BK Fischer
With humor, pathos, and satirical critique, BK Fischer uses poetry to tell the story of what would’ve happened if Jesus’s first appearance was in a 1980s Maryland subdivision; it’s John Hughes meets New Testament.
5. There There, Tommy Orange
Orange’s sweeping novel kaleidoscopically narrates the urban Indian experience through more than a dozen compelling and memorable viewpoints.
4. Heavy by Kiese Laymon
Heavy is unlike any memoir I’ve read; Laymon’s story of difficult childhood, body issues, gambling addiction, and complicated love should be required reading.
3. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
This unsettling and hilarious novel about a woman who’s only self-actualized when working her entry-level convenience store job is a perfect parable for consumerist times.
2. Calypso by David Sedaris
Sedaris’s usual hilarity is here undercut by darkness as he explores his own aging, his parents’ mortality, and the suicide of his sister. The resulting mixture of uproarious humor and quiet meditation makes this Sedaris’s best book.
1. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
This sweeping novel filled with unforgettable characters fills a need: nobody has told the story of the AIDS crisis in Chicago in this depth. But even aside from this, Makkai’s skill as a storyteller and care for her characters make this tender novel a stunner.
Named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Boston Globe, LitHub, Vulture, Slate, Elle, Vox, and Electric Literature
“Tana French’s best and most intricately nuanced novel yet.” —The New York Times
Finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
One of the New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018
A powerful, timely, dazzling collection of sonnets from one of America's most acclaimed poets, Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“An unbelievable debut, one that announces a new and necessary American voice.” —Tommy Orange, New York Times Book Review
“An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny.” —George Saunders
“Dark and captivating and e$18.00ISBN: 9781609454517Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.Published: Europa Editions - April 17th, 2018
National Book Award Finalist: "A multigenerational epic of the Sadr family's life in Iran and their eventual exile . . . Full of surprises" (The Globe and Mail).$16.95ISBN: 9780814254646Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.Published: Ohio State University Press - February 1st, 2018A novella in verse, Radioapocrypha envisions what would have happened if Jesus Christ had arrived for the first time not in Palestine two thousand years ago but in a subdivision in Maryland in 1989, the year Depeche Mode released “Personal Jesus.” In this suburban retelling of the gospel, Jesus is a hunky post-punk high school chemistry teacher and the disciples a$25.95ISBN: 9780525520375Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018
ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
WINNER OF THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE$26.00ISBN: 9781501125652Published: Scribner - October 16th, 2018
*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*
*WINNER of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and FINALIST$20.00ISBN: 9780802128256Published: Grove Press - June 12th, 2018
The English-language debut of one of Japan's most talented contemporary writers, selling over 650,000 copies there, Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura.$28.00ISBN: 9780316392389Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 29th, 2018David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.
If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong.
$27.00ISBN: 9780735223523Published: Viking - June 19th, 2018
PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK OF 2018
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER
ALA CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNER
THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER
Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler