The Frisky

Here are the shining gems pulled out of the constantly-flowing river of garbage that culture can be. Treat this as your reading list for the quiet weeks before and after the holidays, or buy any and all of these for anyone you forgot about this year.

A notable chunk of 2015 was spent binge-reading the works of Elena Ferrante, particularlyThe Neapolitan Novels, so it’s no shocker that the Neapolitan finale The Story of The Lost Child was one of my favorite reads of 2015. Seamlessly marrying meticulous prose with the ability to show a bird’s eye view of a city and its people, Ferrante portrays the paths of the two best friends with an honest complexity that forces you to nod and admit your ugliest flaws as you’re reading along. The Neapolitan novels in general, and especially the melancholic conclusion of The Story of The Lost Child forced me to reflect on the occasional jealousies, enduring loyalties and necessary hypocrisy present in my closest friendships. She’s basically a doctor that tears your guts out with her unrelenting-yet-compassionate prose and leaves them piled there in front of you, as you feel like a confused and yet grateful goddamn idiot. Also, she does an amazing job addressing the complex relationships between women and their bodies.

Read her shit, I guarantee even if you don’t enjoy it, you’ll have some sort of uncomfortable and necessary internal dialogues spark up. – Bronwyn Isaac