4 of 6
4. George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

"The Bluest Eye had a very strange and wonderful effect on me when I read it for the first time at 33. It reenlivened a feeling I used to get as a young and enthusiastic Catholic—basically, that, yes, it was possible to see the world through the eyes of someone else, and that the effect of this would be a suffusion of love and compassion that would make a person, like Jesus, fearless. And that getting and sustaining that feeling was the ultimate goal of being alive. I'd forgotten that, or had forgotten to believe in it, and the book reminded me to have that aspiration."