1 of 10
1. The Girls, Emma Cline
The summer of 1969 comes electrically alive in Cline's tale of an impressionable California teen drawn into a Manson-like cult—though the setting is ultimately secondary to her story's searing emotional intelligence.
2 of 10
2. LaRose, Louise Erdrich
A single terrible moment blows two families apart in Erdrich's latest, a fiercely resonant exploration of love, loss, and the tangled ties that bind.
3 of 10
3. The Vegetarian, Han Kang
Kang's slender fable, an unexpected but utterly deserving winner of this year's Man Booker International Prize, traces a young Korean housewife's descent into something like madness (or is it?) with haunting, almost hallucinatory beauty.
4 of 10
4. Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
Spanning two continents and three centuries, the Ghana-born, Alabama-raised Gyasi's sweeping narrative of slavery and the black experience is an epic achievement ingeniously condensed into 300 gripping, gorgeously wrought pages.
5 of 10
5. Mothering Sunday, Graham Swift
The master of a certain kind of very British, very literary fiction fits an astonishing amount of feeling into this slim, sunlit reverie, set on a single spring day in the Berkshire countryside circa 1924 and centered on a clandestine romance.
6 of 10
6. This Too Shall Pass, Milena Busquets
Busquets' sleek novella, set in her native Spain, feels like the book equivalent of a European art-house film: frankly existential, full of ravishing imagery, and wreathed in a Continental haze of sex and cigarette smoke.
7 of 10
7. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
The Vacationers author produces yet another breezy gem for the thinking person's beach tote, this time turning her weapons-grade wit on a contemporary Brooklyn mad for reconditioned brownstones and home-brewed kombucha.
8 of 10
8. Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
Anyone who's ever worked in the service industry—or eaten a meal in a restaurant—will find revelations in Danler's intoxicating account of high-end waitressing in New York City; her (semi-) fictional debut is both a seductive coming-of-age and a lush feast for the senses.
9 of 10
9. Smoke, Dan Vyleta
What if sin manifested itself as a dense, oily smoke? Vyleta's Gothic YA fantasy is part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive: a book as eerie and atmospheric as its sooty muse.
10 of 10
10. The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
When a long-promised inheritance—the well-feathered Nest of the title—falls away, the Plumb siblings are forced to face various midlife truths and consequences in Sweeney's wry, irresistible debut.