Curl Up with the Best Books of 2016
YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT BY JESSI KLEIN
“You’ve got to read this!” Jessi Klein’s hilarious, spot-on essay collection is that kind of book. From her horror of thongs to her most humiliating breakups, Klein’s topics — and disarming honesty — strike a chord. The author, who’s also head writer for Inside Amy Schumer, told PEOPLE: “I hope readers take away a laugh . . . and feel less alone.” Done.
Buy it! You'll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein, $17.57; amazon.com
WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR BY PAUL KALANITHI
Diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at 36, Kalanithi, a physician, refused to go gently. Before his death at 37 in March 2015, he worked as a neurosurgeon, had a daughter with his wife, Lucy, and chronicled his fight. His life-affirming memoir lifts your spirits even as it breaks your heart.
Buy it! When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, $15; amazon.com
BORN TO RUN BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
We knew the man who wrote “The River” had a way with words, but his strikingly self-aware autobiography is a revelation nonetheless. The daddy issues, the depression, how music and marriage saved him — it’s all here and beautifully articulated, with a restraint that protects a rock god’s privacy while still making you feel you’re getting the goods.
Buy it! Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen, $19.50; amazon.com
SIRACUSA BY DELIA EPHRON
Here, Nora’s lesser-known little sister proves herself a literary force to be reckoned with. The story of two vacationing couples undone by travel’s disorienting — and clarifying — powers, her fourth novel is wry, wise and impossible to put down.
Buy it! Siracusa by Delia Ephron, $17.10; amazon.com
HILLBILLY ELEGY BY J.D. VANCE
Declared one of “six books to help understand Trump’s win” by The New York Times, Yale Law School grad Vance’s memoir about growing up poor in the Rust Belt shines a light on the dashed dreams of America’s white working class.
Buy it! Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, $16.79; amazon.com
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BY COLSON WHITEHEAD
A wildly imaginative novel about an escaped slave’s perilous journey in the antebellum South.
Buy it! The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, $16.17; amazon.com
THE NIX BY NATHAN HILL
When the mother who abandoned him turns up decades later, a professor’s life is upended. Comic, tragic, superb.
Buy it! The Nix by Nathan Hill, $16.77; amazon.com
THE NEST BY CYNTHIA D'APRIX SWEENEY
Four adult siblings battle over the fate of their shared inheritance in this engrossing debut.
Buy it! The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, $17.85; amazon.com
COMMONWEALTH BY ANN PATCHETT
One drunken kiss on a sultry afternoon changes the lives of the Keating and Cousins families forever. Spellbinding.
Buy it! Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, $16.79; amazon.com
THE GIRLS BY EMMA CLINE
Inspired by the young women drawn into Charles Manson’s violent cult, Cline’s novel examines adolescent longing and the allure of the extreme.
Buy it! The Girls by Emma Cline, $17.52; amazon.com