Columbine by Dave Cullen
This was the original school shooting in my personal history. It was the first big tragedy I could (somewhat) comprehend, but I didn't know the least of it or so this book taught me. These shootings and the suspects are many layered, multi-faceted, and important to talk through; Cullen sheds light in every dark corner and crevice while remaining neutral and engaging.
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
I pray this is read in schools one day. The depiction of race relations and social pressures on a black-white romance nearly split my heart in two. You owe it to yourself to grapple with the devastating aches and beautiful moments contained within this novel.
The Martian by Andy Weir
If science fiction isn't your thing, listen to this on audiobook because the narrator is amazing and the life of the novel is done all the kinds of justice you wish for when picking out a good listen. Mark Watney, the main character, is dry and wonderful, the plot is engaging, and somehow the two work to bring you through every ounce of dry science necessary to understand Watney's plight on Mars.
P.S. The movie is SO GOOD too.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Ooph. I have not enough kind things to say about this novel. The poignancy of the words and events within these pages grows deeper and greater with each passing day and each added refugee on the world stage.
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
This is a zombie novel -I did not know that-, but not in the way you would expect. In fact, you'll find yourself loving, caring, and dreaming on behalf of said zombie while simultaneously wondering if you -a living, healthy human- would risk your life to save the very being that could kill you.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Prepare to be enlightened on part of America's history that is dark and secret. The world needs more historical fiction like this: honest, heart-wrenching, hurting and yet, hopeful.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Morality and legality are at a crossroads here. Do you honor the woman you love with her misguided, but good intentions or admit she's illegally harboring a child? The answers aren't clear, the ending isn't as you expect, and you certainly will not be able to close this book before you finish it.
Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay
A tale of two sisters that remind me so much of my own relationship with my own, Reay explores how sickness and desperation bring us together. Like all of her novels, Reay peppers the piece with Jane Austen references; again tempting me to pick up the classics for one final try.
I'm still pulling together books that I want to read in 2016.
Hit me with your recommendations!