8. Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (hardcover, $19.15)
Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings is the Caribbean novel of the year, and maybe of the decade. Perhaps a bit weighty for most people on your list, but anyone with an interest in Jamaican culture, reggae, and post-colonial society in general will find much to think about in James’ third book. Set against the 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley (known in the book only as “The Singer”), it has been compared to a Tarantino movie and The Wire for its wide-ranging, so-real-its-basically-real look at Jamaica’s societal ills. As James told our Sherman Escoffery: “A novel is like the lie that tells the truth. By taking away any obligation to real people, I can really go into what’s going on.” Cop the e-book on Kindle ($11.99) and the hardcover ($19.24) via Amazon here, read our interview with James here.