Catch-22, a political satire of epic proportions set against the backdrop of World War II, was published in 1961 and serves as a poignant commentary on the futility of war throughout history. You’ll laugh out loud while you sob through this book. Make sure you read the book before you watch the Hulu series if you haven’t already. Also, if you’ve already read it, you might enjoy these books, which share its sense of humor, wit, and intelligence.
When You Read This by Mary Adkins
When You Read This is an epistolary novel that tells the final chapter of Iris Massey’s life through emails, texts, blogs, and other correspondence. For Smith, Iris leaves a note in which she asks that he publish the online journal she wrote in her final days before her death from cancer. This book is a profound yet irreverent look at death and life, with deep messages about grief, relationships, and facing mortality.
Chronicles of a Radical Hag by Lorna Landvik
Haze Evans, a beloved small-town newspaper columnist, suffers a stroke, and her publisher, Susan McGrath, decides to run some of her old columns and the responses of her readers in her place. Throughout the course of half a century, the columns reflect the current issues, the people and stories of a small town in Minnesota, and the life of Haze, who is an experienced writer whose wise thoughts (with recipes) help bridge the generational gap.
The Wall by John Lanchester
Joseph Kavanaugh is tasked with protecting his section of The Wall, a barrier erected around his island nation in the wake of the “Change” (a nation much like our own). Outsiders who are desperate to get in because of rising seas must be kept out of his territory. The Wall is a story about a community in the grips of fear and the struggle to survive in the face of loneliness, isolation, and division.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Her twin sister, Amy, on the other hand, has everything she could ever want in life and more. Olive and Ethan, the best man at her sister Amy’s wedding, are the only ones who don’t get food poisoning and end up on the all-expense paid honeymoon to Hawaii with the bride and groom. Olive’s plight in this witty and at times amusing romantic comedy shows us that being unlucky can only make us appreciate life more when things go our way.
The Cassandra by Sharma Shields
Mildred Groves, the protagonist in this reimagining of the Cassandra myth, has the ability to see into the future. But is this a gift or a curse? When Mildred was hired as a secretary at The Hanford Research Center in Washington, D.C., in 1940, she was thrilled to be a part of something so important. That is, until her visions reveal the long-term consequences of the Center’s development of atomic plutonium. Is she willing to put her life on the line to stand up to the established order, or is she content to be a passive participant in its demise?
Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga by Todd Alexander
An entertaining and heartfelt memoir about two corporate city slickers who decide to take a risk and try their hand at wine-grape growing and property management in Australia’s Hunter Valley is the subject of this book. Following your dreams even if the learning curve is hilariously daunting is the theme of this story, which features hilarious depictions of city dwellers’ misadventures in rural areas and their encounters with farm animals.
Vacuum in the Dark by Jen Beagin
After the death of her junkie boyfriend, “Mr. Disgusting,” Mona flees her life in Taos, New Mexico, and works as a housecleaner for a living. Although they’re dating, her new boyfriend (who she calls “Dark”) is married to one of her current cleaning clients. Mona, who is trying to start over in a new life, has a lot on her plate right now, what with dealing with her other difficult clients and working through some difficult issues from her past. Although it is not for the faint of heart, Mona’s everyday life is an edgy and darkly humorous journey of self-discovery that demonstrates that strange and wonderful do, in fact, go together.
The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
There’s a twist at the end of this novella, which begins with an immigrant taking a citizenship test and ends with him facing death. This gripping page-turner will have you rethinking your views on society and where it is headed as it explores themes of immigration and race.
Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
Bowling alley owners and operators are the focus of this wild and crazy family saga. It’s laced with McCracken’s trademark sarcasm, and the characters’ connections to each other continue even after they’ve passed away.
Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder
Until Sue Ellen discovers that her loving husband is actually cheating, and that her model student son is making a mess of his life, her life appears to be picture-perfect Sue Ellen takes her family on a month-long work trip to Greece, where she once fell in love, in an effort to save them from the brink of despair. This much-anticipated new release shows the comedic side of family drama and takes a humorous and sad look at family life and how we all need a fresh start from time to time.
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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man was published by Random House. Black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and Booker T. Washington’s reformist racial policies are among the topics covered in this book, which also touches on issues of individuality and personal identity.