Your Shelf Life
5 books to read
Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories
By Ben Katchor
MacArthur Fellow Ben Katchor is a cartoonist and cult favorite who charts the follies and perils of urban living. Imagine a forest of artificial trees for hay fever sufferers and high-visibility construction vests for lonely people who want to be noticed.
When Women Were Birds
By Terry Tempest Williams
A mother close to death tells her daughter she’s leaving all of her journals to her. The daughter is surprised when she discovers all the journals are empty. Williams’ memoir is packed with contemplation and lyricism.
By Rebecca Miller
Fun fact: Rebecca Miller is the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller. In her second novel, an 18th-century French Jewish peddler is brought back to life as a housefly in 21st-century America. Funny and daring, Miller’s artistic voice is well worth exploring.
We Live in Water
By Jess Walter
The critically acclaimed novelist of The Zero shows off his satirical prowess in a collection of short stories. Protagonists are as diverse as a lawyer, a con man, a newspaper editor, and a homeless man trying to raise enough money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book.
By Owen King
This debut novel—by Stephen King's son—follows a young filmmaker who reckons with his father’s failed B-movie career, his family’s dysfunctions, and his own artistic ambition. King’s protagonist is just one of many loveable but flawed characters in this decade-spanning book.