2. 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,' by Nathan Englander
My feeling about book blurbs is that they should generally be ignored. The only thing they tell me is (at worst) who’s friends with whom in the book world, or (at best) what someone I don’t know personally thought of a book. But even I have to admit, an impressive cast of characters have weighed in on Nathan Englander’s newest, including Jennifer Egan, Michael Chabon, Tea Obreht, Jonathan Franzen, Colum McCann, Geraldine Brooks, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and Richard Russo. Englander has been great pretty much since he started publishing, but this latest collection of short stories is revelatory, immediate, and at times, uncomfortably close; you can practically hear the muscle tearing. When we are all dead and gone, this should be one of the books our successors should reach for if they want to know how we lived and who we were.