1 of 10
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
In a graveyard on a chilly night in 1862, Abraham Lincoln—nearly mad with grief over the death of his young son—struggles to comprehend his loss, surrounded by a chorus of very vocal ghosts. Saunders’s first novel is strange, profound, utterly wonderful.
Lincoln in the Bardo, $17; amazon.com
2 of 10
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
A seemingly perfect family in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where perfection is legislated right down to the permitted house colors, discovers its fault lines after a rule-breaking mother and daughter come to town.
Little Fires Everywhere, $27; amazon.com
3 of 10
Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza
Here are the qualities that radiate from these photos of the former President and his family, all taken by Souza during his eight years as official White House photographer: intelligence, kindness, warmth, integrity. Drink it in.
Obama, $50; amazon.com
4 of 10
The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 by Tina Brown
The 1980s and ’90s were prime time for magazines; presiding over the glossy rebooted Vanity Fair made editor Brown queen of the roost. Her sharp commentary on the era and its excesses, interspersed with glimpses of her
The Vanity Fair Diaries, $32; amazon.com
5 of 10
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Jojo, a wise and watchful 13-year-old boy, is at the center of Ward’s National Book Award-winning third novel, the story of a Mississippi family torn apart by drugs, imprisonment and racial strife yet yearning for redemption.
Sing, Unburied, Sing, $26; amazon.com
6 of 10
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Focusing on a pair of lovers who flee their war-torn country through a magic portal, Hamid’s novel is a haunting yet hopeful take on the world’s immigration crisis.
Exit West, $26; amazon.com
7 of 10
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
When Claude grows up, he wants to be a girl. How his large, loving, baffled family handles that fact forms the basis of Frankel’s indelible novel.
This Is How It Always Is, $25.99; amazon.com
8 of 10
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
The Olive Kitteridge author does small-town anomie better than anyone—without making you want to slit your wrists. Here she’s in top form.
Anything Is Possible, $27; amazon.com
9 of 10
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
"There are very few spaces where bodies like mine fit," Gay writes in this stunningly candid memoir about her life as a fat (her term) woman. Revelatory and important.
Hunger, $25.99; amazon.com
10 of 10
No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America by Ron Powers
From nearly unbearable sorrows—two schizophrenic sons, one of them lost to suicide— Powers crafted a searing memoir and a powerful call to arms.
No One Cares About Crazy People, $28; amazon.com
Nick Nolte on His Infamous 2002 Mug Shot: I Looked ‘Like an Asylum Inmate Out for a Lark’
41 Super-Revealing Celeb Memoirs to Read Right Now