Tom's 2016 Unread Reading List
The books he wished he had gotten to this year, and still hopes he will.
The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Superbomb
by Neal Bascomb
The book I've recommended without having read it—a great, true story that readers have loved—most enthusiastically this year. Perhaps I should read it myself!
In the Darkroom
by Susan Faludi
Despite fantastic reviews, despite Ann Patchett telling a packed house at Benaroya Hall that it's a masterpiece, and despite being named one of the New York Times's 10 Best of 2016, almost no one (in our store at least) has picked up Faludi's memoir of her discovery that her tyrannical, estranged father had sex-reassignment surgery in his 70s. And neither have I—yet!
How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS
by David France
France's acclaimed, epic account updates, and may even replace, Randy Shilts's classic And the Band Played On as the definitive account of the AIDS crisis.
by Henry Green
Another wave in the perpetual rediscovery of the ambitious and innovative British novelist has arrived. I've loved the only one of his books I read (Living), and I've set this story of wartime Britain aside to be the next.
by Dexter Palmer
I've been intrigued by this "near-future" tale ever since it came out, perhaps because it sounds William Gibson-ish to me, although reviewers compare it to all kinds of other writers, from Franzen to Rowling to Pynchon. Out soon in paperback!
Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America
by Patrick Phillips
Phillips, a National Book Award-nominated poet, looks back at the violent removal, a hundred years ago, of the entire black population from Forsyth County, Georgia, which continued to be enforced for decades after, up to his own childhood there.
Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic
by Sam Quinones
My only holdover from last year's list: my desire to read it has only grown stronger, especially after hearing Quinones's riveting interview on Marc Maron's WFT podcast.
Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White
by Michael Tisserand
Oh, boy. Herriman's cryptic, elemental, hilarious comic Krazy Kat is one of the great achievements of American culture, but Herriman himself has largely been a cipher, so I'm hungry to read this first major biography, just out this month.
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
by Ed Yong
My mind continues to be blown by the recently gained understanding of just how central our microbial symbiosis is to human biology and identity, and Yong's account is said to be marvelous.