1 of 10
Letters to Felice, Franz Kafka
Kafka was a total stalker. His missives here are riveting and inadvertently hilarious.
2 of 10
Happy All the Time, Laurie Colwin
In this Manhattan comedy of manners, Colwin wrings magic from ordinary lives.
3 of 10
The Patrick Melrose Novels, Edward St. Aubyn
Sharply serrated portraits of dysfunction in an aristocratic British family so depraved, they make the Lannisters look like the Brady Bunch.
4 of 10
Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald
An off-the-charts brilliant book that deconstructs the Beatles song by song.
5 of 10
Catherwood, Marly Youmans
A heart-stopping novel about a mother lost in the woods with her 1-year-old. It's insanity that no one's made a movie out of this.
6 of 10
Actual Air, David Berman
He's an indie musician — frontman for the Silver Jews — and an indie poet, too, with offbeat verse that snaps and sparks with life.
7 of 10
Pobby and Dingan, Ben Rice
A seriously moving novel about an Australian girl who can't find her imaginary friends.
8 of 10
Winner of the National Book Award, Jincy Willett
All of Willett's novels are sardonic and bitingly funny, but this one — about twin sisters, relationships, and books — is the best.
9 of 10
The Interrogative Mood, Padgett Powell
Why is every sentence in this odd little book a question? And how did Powell make it a genuinely great read?
10 of 10
Marbles, Ellen Forney
This graphic memoir — a chronicle of Forney's bipolar disorder — vividly explores the line between creativity and mental illness.