'Tis the season for book lists. What are the books that stuck with you this year? What was your favorite read — new or old?
"There's so much you get from a book that you can't get from anyplace else," Lucas said.
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"The Brother" by Rein Raud
Keliher calls this novel, translated from Estonian, "a Spaghetti Western that would make Clint Eastwood proud."
"Swing Time" by Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith's latest follows two young girls growing up in London in the 1980s, dreaming of becoming dancers — but their lives take them in very different, unexpected directions. "Fantastic," Lucas said.
"The Sport of Kings" by C.E. Morgan
An epic family saga tied up in horse racing and the shadow of slavery in the American south.
"The Queen of the Night" by Alexander Chee
This sumptuous novel about a 19th century opera singer with an incredible past is begging for a movie adaptation Lucas said. Read the novel first.
"Grief is the Thing with Feathers" by Max Porter
Max Porter's utterly original spin on grief and loss is suffused with mythological elements.
"The Wangs vs. the World" by Jade Chang
A family road trip novel with depth, cutting humor and insight into life as an American immigrant.
"Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life" by Ruth Franklin
Jackson is an unsung legend in American literature: Her short story, "The Lottery," is still a syllabus staple. Get lost in her fascinating life with Ruth Franklin's new biography, one of Lucas's favorites of the year.
"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi
Paul Kalanithi's memoir, written while facing down his own death from cancer, is a startling, honest, raw and beautiful meditation on what it means to live.
"Age of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy" by Lewis Lapham
Many books have been recommended for helping to better understand the country after a contentious election — "Strangers in Their Own Land," "White Trash" and others — but Keliher's pick for the topic is Lewis Lapham's look at the fate of democracy.
"Stamped from the Beginning" by Ibram X. Kendi
This National Book Award-winning look at the history of racism in America is a must-read, Lucas said.
"Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" by Jane Mayer
Lucas recommends this look at how "the money pumping into how we vote has changed over time."
"The Return" by Hisham Matar
Twenty year after his father was abducted off the streets of Egypt, Hisham Matar returns to his home country of Libya to uncover what happened to him.
"My Life on the Road" by Gloria Steinem
Interviewing legendary activist Gloria Steinem was the only Talking Volumes interview that made Kerri Miller tremble, she confessed.
"Evicted" by Matthew Desmond
An astoundingly in-depth examination of what life as a low-income renter is like.
"Look" by Solmaz Sharif
Keliher doesn't think of himself as a big poetry reader, but several poetry collections ended up on his best-of-the-year list. He called this collection "mind-bending and spooky and wonderful."
"The Sun is Also a Star" by Nicola Yoon
For those in need of a beautiful young adult read, Nicola Yoon's novel follows a young girl who falls in love on the day her family is scheduled to be deported.
"The Girl Who Drank the Moon" by Kelly Barnhill
Here's another crowd favorite at Subtext: This young adult fantasy novel explores the uneasy relationship between a remote town and the witch who lives in the neighboring woods.