The Overlooked Books of 2015

Slate Book Review critics recommend 27 books you’d probably love if only you knew about them.

Nov. 16 2015 11:40 AMInto the WoodsA memoir of two years as a hermit plumbs the modern fantasy of escape.
Nov. 6 2015 5:16 PMWhen He Was CruelElvis Costello’s memoir is most potent when it wrestles with the sins of the past—and his relationship with his bandleader father.
Nov. 5 2015 4:22 PMBeautiful and Surprising Maps of the Worlds Within BooksAndrew DeGraff’s remarkable “literary atlas” Plotted.
Nov. 4 2015 11:29 AMOh, the HumanityA mind-bending, award-winning science fiction trilogy that expertly investigates the way we live now.
Nov. 3 2015 2:51 PMKing Michael of Times SquareThe glorious, entertaining, phony, doomed reign of Broadway reporter Michael Riedel.
Nov. 3 2015 9:30 AMMaternal InstinctsMary Gaitskill’s novel uses the story of a young girl and a horse to ask: Does motherhood make you a “normal” woman?
Nov. 2 2015 9:06 AMFounding Father FailsSarah Vowell on embracing the inconsistencies and personal shortcomings of great men.
Oct. 23 2015 9:34 AMA Whole Different Order of NothingPaul Murray’s new novel is the funniest book ever written about the international banking system.
Oct. 9 2015 11:53 AMPortrait of an English VillageRonald Blythe’s Akenfield demonstrates that the strongest link between past and future is the living memories of our neighbors.
Oct. 8 2015 12:25 PMConnection and ReleaseSloane Crosley’s sparkling novel The Clasp.
Oct. 7 2015 2:38 PMCharm MachineHow Elizabeth Gilbert evolved from magazine writer to self-help guru.
Oct. 6 2015 12:01 PMThe Elegant Bigotry of Michel HouellebecqHis new novel treats Islam, and women, so badly that it’s hard not to wonder where the character’s views end and the author’s begin.
Oct. 4 2015 7:59 PMWhy Do-Gooders Make the Rest of Us UncomfortableLarissa MacFarquhar explores unchecked idealism in Strangers Drowning.
Sept. 23 2015 12:11 PMThe MaskMary Karr, master of memoir.
Sept. 11 2015 12:56 PM“I Still Have Secrets”The collected stories of Joy Williams.
Nov. 12 2015 3:31 PMThe Reading ListStories we liked from around the Web for the week of Nov. 9.
Nov. 6 2015 10:15 AMAlice in UnderlandGregory Maguire’s latest fairy tale sends her into the afterlife.
Nov. 5 2015 9:15 AMA Conversation With Philip PullmanThe Golden Compass author on loneliness, Romanticism, the meaning of the “young adult” label, and why we all want daemons. 
Nov. 4 2015 9:30 AMTruth or Beauty—Pick OneThe harder Carl Phillips’ poems look for beauty, the further they go from home.
Nov. 3 2015 11:57 AMA Suburb of HellStacy Schiff’s history of the Salem witch trials.
Nov. 3 2015 7:00 AMYou May Say I’m a DreamerJohn Lennon visits his tiny, private Irish island in Kevin Barry’s riotous Beatlebone.
Nov. 2 2015 5:52 AMThe Unmaking of AmericaA new history asks: Has all the progress of the past 100 years come undone?
Oct. 9 2015 12:09 PMThe Girl, the Psycho, and the Nice GuyA comic about teenagers that understands just how frustrating they can be.
Oct. 8 2015 1:29 PMThe Redemption of Neil StraussThe journalist-turned–pickup artist tries to reclaim his soul.
Oct. 7 2015 3:48 PMSad RomanceJojo Moyes’ best-sellers make happy ever after a bit more complicated.
Oct. 6 2015 3:41 PMThe Odd Case of the Nazi JudgeKonrad Morgen claimed he worked to undermine the Nazi regime by rigorously enforcing its own laws.
Oct. 5 2015 10:08 AMThe Death of the California DreamClaire Vaye Watkins’ debut novel takes place in a Golden State turned endless desert.
Oct. 2 2015 7:26 AMNo Life on MarsAndy Weir’s The Martian gets the science right but leaves out what matters most.
Sept. 16 2015 5:45 AMStrange BedfellowsHow Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies brings two very different people—and novels—together.
Sept. 11 2015 11:47 AMUnlearning to WriteUrsula Le Guin’s guide to the impossible craft of storytelling.