2. The Year of Magical Thinking
In 2003, Joan Didion’s daughter Quintana was hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia that turned into septic shock. Days later, while Quintana was comatose in the hospital, her husband of nearly 40 years died suddenly of a heart attack while at the dinner table. This stunning memoir, which won the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction, recounts Didion’s attempts to reconcile her grief in the year following her husband’s death, while caring for her seriously ill daughter at the same time.
Here’s how your brain and body benefit when you crack open a book.