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This time of year, we’re all about family togetherness (seriously, bring on the matching pajamas). But all merriment has a limit, and after a few days, we’re inevitably craving some solo time. Our solution? A closed door and a pile of books. Here are ten of our favorite reads from 2016.
It’s 2008 and the economy is about to crash, when Jende Jonga, an illegal immigrant from West Africa, starts a new job as a driver for an executive at Lehman Brothers. The result is an enormously big-hearted novel. Buy the book
The latest novel from best-seller Ann Patchett follows the six children of what becomes a complicated blended family over five tumultuous decades. We promise: they’ll make your relatives seem sane, even at Christmas. Buy the book
A private plane crashes over Martha’s Vineyard, leaving two survivors: a loner artist and the four-year-old heir to a conservative media empire. Hawley (the creator of the TV show Fargo) sure knows how to write suspense. Buy the book
It's not exactly standard holiday fare, but Desmond’s book—which follows eight Wisconsin families in the midst of housing crises—is unparalleled. Buy the book
Antoinette Conway is the newest detective on the Murder Squad, and her latest case seems like a routine lover’s quarrel gone bad—except that Antoinette swears she’s seen the victim before. Buy the book
If anyone’s aging father were to write from Budapest that he had gotten surprise gender reassignment surgery, we’re glad it was this Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Buy the book
If you’ve spent the holidays dodging nosy aunts who want to know when you’ll get married, this is an empowering look at the social, economic and political forces that have led to women marrying later, or not at all. Buy the book
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