Fall is the perfect time to cozy up with a great book. Looking for a good one? Here’s what we’re reading this season.
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
Egan, a Milwaukee-based journalist, weaves science, history, and personal narrative to tell the story of lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior, where 20 percent of the world’s fresh water comes from. It’s both a love letter to the region and a call to action to save it from ecological disaster.
The Great Believers
A heart-rending novel about the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and early 1990s, and its aftermath many years later. Yale and Fiona, the protagonists, must grapple with the emotional toll of losing their friends, family, and loved ones to HIV and AIDS. Makkai effectively captures the fear and despair many felt, particularly members of the gay community.
One of the biggest standouts of 2018, Orange’s debut novel teems with life, emotion, and energy as it follows a group of “urban Indians,” or Native Americans who don’t live on a reservation. As they converge on a powwow in Oakland, the characters all struggle with identity and hardship in a country that violently suppressed them and their relatives for centuries.
We live in a time of unprecedented health and longevity, and we have never been more obsessed with diet fads and exercises that will supposedly guarantee vitality and slim waistlines. Ehrenreich, who also wrote the excellent “Nickel and Dimed,” examines the medical-industrial complex — are the procedures and exams we subject ourselves to always helpful? — and the diets, exercises, and employee wellness programs that, as she points out, will never prevent what we really fear: death.
This newest essay collection from one of America’s favorite humorists includes several previously unpublished tales. In them, Sedaris reflects on getting older, his family, his successes and his regrets, and his FitBit with equal parts humor and sensitivity.
Special thanks to independent bookshop Sandmeyer’s (714 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, 312-922-2104) for suggesting these books!
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Danielle McLimore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has worked in book publishing since 2009. She lives with her husband, two sons, and a very misbehaved dog. She proudly supports the Center for Reproductive Rights.