Emily St. John Mandel, The Lola Quartet
The Life of Objects by Susanna Moore
I picked up The Life of Objects on tour earlier in the year, when a bookseller (Hans Weyandt at Micawber’s in St. Paul) gave me a galley and said he thought I might like it. He was right. Moore’s novel is the exquisitely written story of a young Irish lacemaker’s experiences in Germany over the course of WWII, and I was struck by the clarity and beauty of the writing.
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Arcadia is the story of a boy growing up in a commune in upstate New York, but it’s also the story of the commune itself, from its earliest beginnings through its inevitable downfall. Groff is a supremely talented writer, and Arcadia is just really a very, very good book.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
In Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil traces the intertwined lives of the workers and patrons of a Bombay opium den over several decades, and in doing so paints a violently beautiful portrait of the city. The book has a strange fever-dream quality about it that haunts me months after I read it.