New Faculty Spotlight: By the Book with Liz Breazeale

Editor's note: Liz Breazeale recently joined Lighthouse to teach fiction and nonfiction (welcome, Liz!). In addition to teaching Spring Session's 8-Week: Writing and Feminism class, publishing a collection of stories, and winning a NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, she generously put together a list of her most memorable reads below.

I keep track of every book I read (even the ones I don’t finish) in a small notebook made from an old copy of Black Beauty, and I’ll always write a short entry about each one. Thoughts, critiques, praise, basically anything that comes to mind. Here are a few of the most memorable books I read in 2019—books I still carry in my mind, even months after reading. Enjoy!

  • Fever Dream—Samantha Schweblin. A lyrical nightmare, a feverish, stunning hallucination of a novel about a cryptic ecological disaster.
  • You and Hidden Bodies—Caroline Kepnes. I’m low-key obsessed with both of these novels, which provide the source material for the Lifetime-turned-Netflix series also called You. These books are wild, hilarious, completely over-the-top, self-aware clown shows, and I love each and every sentence as deeply as Joe, the protagonist, loves the various women he stalks. Not to spoil anything, but these books contain a cage in the basement of a bookstore and a character named Peach Salinger who is a descendant of J.D. Salinger, yes, THAT J.D. Salinger. So I’ll let those details speak for themselves.
  • Bunny—Mona Awad. This novel, set at a fictional MFA program, is a completely bonkers journey that only gets better as it goes along. Also, a character wears a dress decorated with a pattern of tiny beheaded Marie Antoinettes, so come for the gorgeous prose and stay for the fashion tips.
  • No Visible Bruises—Rachel Louise Snyder. A truly devastating exploration of the constant epidemic of domestic violence in this country and the ways in which we constantly, from all sides, fail victims.
  • Republic of Lies—Anna Merlan. This book examines conspiracy theories—their consequences, origins, and the ways in which they are spread—and is both informative and uniquely horrifying.
  • Friday Black—Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenya. “Zimmerland” devastated me. This story collection is deeply strange in the most beautiful, distressing, gutting way.