Have I told you to run right out and get the highly anticipated first novel of acclaimed short story writer George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo, yet? Well, consider yourself told. Do yourself a favor though and get both the text and the audiobook versions. There is something very special about both works and you’ll enjoy them each on their own merits. The audio, read by a huge all-star cast–something like 166 voices, including Nick Offerman and Susan Sarandon–is narrated through epistolary snippets that put together tell the story of one night in 1862 when a grief-stricken Abraham Lincoln spends the night in the cemetery mourning his son Willie. Lincoln in the Bardo, a melancholy chorus of ghosts, is instantly possessing and a touching exploration of grief and death.
And, yeah, you’re going to thank me for this one too: Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato. I might not have picked this one up at first glance without orders from a trusted adviser to “drop everything and read it immediately or suffer an empty existence of never knowing true beauty” or something like that (thanks Tonya!). This book is one of those rare finds that keep you in suspense for the full journey, an unpredictable and original story that doesn’t fall apart under it’s own weight–and it is kind of heavy. It is a peculiar love story, an offbeat adventure, a beautiful and tragic family saga, and a captivating mystery.