Title: The 13 Best Books of 2016
Author: Lauren Christensen, Harpers Bazaar
Full Text & Source: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/art-books-music/g8057/best-books-2016/?
The Internet, Online, 1/2/2017
2016 may be coming to a close, but there’s still time to catch up on the year’s most remarkable, influential and simply page-turning reads. From the memoir of a rock music icon to a debut restaurant world exposé-meets-bildungsroman for the millennial urban female, a fictional account of the Black American experience in the slavery-ridden South to a dying neuroscientist’s autobiographical search for his life’s meaning, the titles on this year’s bookshelves were both diverse and enlightened in their language and narrative poignancy. There simply are never enough days in the year to read all today’s literary world has to offer, so herewith, the select few we think you’d be most sorry to miss.
‘Here I Am’ by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer continues in his tradition of kaleidoscopic fiction—his two previous novels, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close both explored the many layers of large-scale human tragedy through multifaceted lenses—with a sprawling account of several generations of a single Jewish family navigating its identity in a changing landscape in America and the Middle East. Set primarily in Washington, D.C., Here I Am makes use of multiple narrative media—from digital communication and theater to government documents, Biblical riffs and intimate scenes of private life—to create a quilted, compelling and unmissable portrait of the modern Jewish American experience.
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer, $28, indiebound.org.
At the young age of 36—on the cusp of completing the rigorous cross-disciplinary training that tried his emotional stability, marriage, and physical health—Stanford neurosurgical resident Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with lung cancer. Inspired by his “ticking clock,” the gifted and determined young doctor set out to write this reflection on not just his own experience of striving for professional and personal fulfillment, but also on the general truths of human morality and the inseparability of the science of the brain from the immense, unknowable miracle of the human mind. Writing from the perspective of one who in his short life viewed the life/death boundary from both sides of the operating room—first as a doctor and then as a patient—Kalanithi harnesses his natural genius and lifelong passion for the written word to deliver his parting address. At once a breathtakingly honest and alternatingly harrowing and uplifting memoir, this book is also a powerful treatise on how each of us can find true meaning in life from a man whose own was cut devastatingly short. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, $25, penguinrandomhouse.com.
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