Michelle Cohen’s Best Reads of 2016

December 19, 2016

book coverMy name is Michelle Cohen. I live in Evanston with my husband and two children. When I’m not designing lush gardens and landscapes for my clients, I can usually be found reading a book, or at the very least, talking about them.

1) Notes From No Man’s Land by Eula Biss (2009)

Intimate and nuanced essays about living in a racist society. Essential reading.

2) The Door by Magda Szabo (1987)

This novel about female friendship, secrets, and living and writing in Communist Hungary deserves a wide readership. It is smart, emotional and difficult to put down.

3) A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr (2000)

book coverA quietly lush book about reintegrating into British society after war WWI. A beautiful exploration of the powers of art and the work of memory.

4) At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell (2016)

A serious but playful engagement with early twentieth century European philosophy and the rise of Existentialism. Wonderful portraits of Simone De Beauvior, Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, and Albert Camus, among others. Fun and fascinating!

5) A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)

This much-talked-about book deserves a read. You may struggle with the considerable pain in the story, but the example of love and friendship it offers is redemptive (almost). A story that is truly hard to forget.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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