- March (3 Volumes) by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Ayden and Nate Powell.
A graphic-novel/autobiography of Civil Rights pioneer John Lewis, who was present at the Selma "Bloody Sunday" march in 1965, who worked with Martin Luther King and has served in Congress since 1981. March won both the Eisner Award and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the first graphic novel ever to do so. Illustrated in haunting black and white, told like a great legend from America's past that feels, hauntingly like America's present.
Similar to: Maus, Persepolis.
A hilariously joyous debut novel about a woman deciding to forgo sex and how this lines up in her relationship history. The kind of book you find yourself sneaking 3 pages over breakfast because it's so much fun and you feel you are living a grimmer life without it.
Similar to: Waiting to Exhale if one character manifested the traits of all four friends.
Fella in semi-famous 90s indie rock band finds time travel portal in closet that can take you back to the great concerts of your past. Loses best friend in portal. Enlists physicist to help him retrieve friend. Falls in love with physicist. Somehow manages to be a music book, science fiction and a love story. Another book that seems glued open in your hands because you simply cannot stop reading it.
Similar to: Dr. Who, genders reversed, meets High Fidelity.
2016 began with the death of the great Justin Chin, poet, essayist, a brilliant talent and inspiration to me personally. It had been far too long since I had read any of his seven books so I started over at the beginning: His second collection of poetry Harmless Medicine is my favorite, both political, personal, vulnerable and, as much, just a plain old breathtaking use of the English language. Great for carrying around with you when you need a quick 2 page reminder of just how beautiful words can be.
Similar to: A Keith Haring mural rendered in text.
Dave Holmes was an MTV VJ in the 90s. A gay, catholic kid from St. Louis who found his way professionally by representing mainstream pop culture to kids all over America. You may have read Holmes in Esquire or listened to his podcast and know his snappy warm voice from there.
If you don't, start with this book. You'll be reading about the life of someone you definitely want to be your new smartest best friend, one who is eager to share how much he knows about pop culture which will surely be more than you.And you'll want to hear much more.
Similar to: Dan Savage meets Chuck Klosterman than has lunch with How Stella Got Her Groove Back.