2. 'This is How You Lose Her,' by Junot Diaz
Anyone who hasn’t read Junot Diaz yet is just annoying. This collection of stories, like everything else he’s written, feels vital in the literal sense of the word. Tough, smart, unflinching, and exposed, "This is How You Lose Her" is the perfect reminder of why Junot Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize and all those other authors that you love did not. Diaz writes better about the rapid heartbeat of urban life than pretty much anyone else I can think of.