3. ‘Less’ // Andrew Sean Greer
Don’t let that “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize” sticker on the cover put you off; Less is a wildly enjoyable romantic comedy that is perfect for devouring on a plane or at the beach. The title character, Arthur Less, is a washed-up novelist nursing a broken heart. When he is invited to his ex’s wedding, he desperately looks for an excuse not to attend, and he ends up agreeing to a series of literary engagements all over the world. This lends the novel a serialized structure, which keeps the story moving at a good pace. Each section is set in a different country, where Less continues to find himself in increasingly embarrassing or surreal circumstances.
4. ‘Becoming’ // Michelle Obama
One of the most hotly anticipated books of 2018, Becoming isn’t another fusty book about modern politics, nor is it a self-aggrandizing work of autobiography. In her memoir, Michelle Obama delights the reader with her talent for writing. Whether you’re reading about her early life in Chicago or her time as the first black first lady of the United States, you can rest assured you’re in the hands of a highly capable storyteller.
5. ‘In Cold Blood’ // Truman Capote
Long before Serial helped light the fuse that would lead to the explosion of true-crime books, podcasts and TV shows, author Truman Capote wrote this compelling account of the murder of a family on a farm in Kansas. Described as a “nonfiction novel,” In Cold Blood re-creates the killings, based on meticulous examination of the case, and interviews that Capote conducted with the perpetrators, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. If your only exposure to Capote so far has been through the movie adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, this will take you down a much darker path.