Share In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

Sarah Jane Abbott is an assistant editor for Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books, imprints of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.  She grew up having NANCY DREW books read to her by her father, and is now an avid reader of mystery, thriller, and horror, along with everything from literary fiction to poetry to personal essays.  She graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in English and a concentration in creative writing.  Sarah Jane is an advocate of quasi-destructive book love—her best-loved volumes are highlighted, scribbled in, dog-eared, and wavy from being dropped in the bath tub.  

As 2018 draws to a close, we remember the literary luminaries we lost this year.  They include novelists, playwrights, and poets who were at the top of their fields and created beloved classics, as well as public figures from a chef to a physicist to a politician, who shared their wisdom and experiences through their written works.  What better way to honor their accomplishments and legacies than to read their enduring works?


The Books of Earthsea
by Ursula K. Le Guin
In 2016, the New York Times described Ursula K. Le Guin as, “America’s greatest living science fiction writer” and writers like Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks site her as a major influence on their work. She authored many beloved novels and short stories and brought literary quality and feminist ideas to her sicence fiction and fantasy works. She is perhaps best known for her Earthsea series, collected here in one volume for the first time, with enchanting new illustrations.

Read a rememberance of Ursula K. Le Guin and her works here.
The Books of Earthsea
Ursula K. Le Guin

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

Books We’d Like to Get: 8 Bookish Gifts We’re Excited to Unwrap This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 17, 2018

Books We Like to Give: 9 Books We’re Sharing with the Readers In Our Lives

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 4, 2018

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American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
Novelist and short story writer Philip Roth was one of the most awarded American writers of his generation. His books received two National Book Awards and National Book Critics Circle Awards, three PEN/Faulkner Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize for this novel. It features Seymour “Swede” Levov, a man who seems to have it all until his daughter commits a savage act of political terrorism. Compulsively readable, propelled by sorrow, rage, and a deep compassion for its characters, AMERICAN PASTORAL is Philip Roth at the height of his powers.
American Pastoral
Philip Roth

In postwar America, Swede Levov watches his seemingly perfect life fall apart when his daughter’s new political affiliation leads to a savage act of political terrorism. Nearly twenty years after its publication, AMERICAN PASTORAL remains extremely relevant and well worth reading. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Dakota Fanning, and Jennifer Connelly. RELEASE DATE: 2016

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

10 Books Coming to a Movie Theater Near You

By Erin Flaaen | February 25, 2016

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The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
by Tom Wolfe
Author and journalist Tom Wolfe was known for his critically acclaimed novel THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, for being a snappy dresser who often wore a crisp white suit, and for helping to develop “New Journalism,” a style of journalism that incorporated literary techniques. This style was exemplified in nonfiction works like this iconic and unflinching portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, LSD, and the 1960s.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe set the standard for modern immersive journalism (called “New Journalism”) with his astonishing, technicolor portrait of Ken Kesey (author of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST) and his Merry Pranksters. As they take psychedelic drugs, encounter infamous figures of the 1960s, and travel across the country in a painted school bus, Wolfe captures not only a moment in time but an entire generation’s feelings of uncertainty, angst, and hope.

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

These 9 Stories of Immersive Journalism Will Broaden Your Perspective

By Julianna Haubner | May 9, 2017

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The Pilot's Wife
by Anita Shreve
Book club favorite Anita Shreve explored themes of romance, grief, and betrayal in her 18 novels, including this bestselling Oprah Book Club selection. It follows Kathryn Lyons, whose life as a teacher, wife, and mother has been peaceful but unextraordinary until she gets the news that her pilot husband has died in a crash. Amidst her grief, media scrutiny into the tragedy and her husband’s life brings an alarming question to light: could he have had a secret life she knew nothing about?
The Pilot's Wife
Anita Shreve

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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Amazing Fantastic Incredible
by Stan Lee
The legendary former editor in chief, publisher, and chariman of Marvel Comics co-created many iconic and beloved characters, from Spider-Man to X-Men to Daredevil, Black Panther, the Hulk, and more. In this funny, moving, honest graphic memoir, Stan Lee tells the story of his life, from an impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his military training films during World War II to the rise of the Marvel empire.
Amazing Fantastic Incredible
Stan Lee

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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You're My Boo
by Kate Dopirak
Kate Dopirak was a picture book writer whose works were full of playfulness, humor, warmth, and genuine kid appeal. YOU’RE MY BOO is a sweet, rhyming ode to unconditional love that humorously explores the ups and downs of sibling relationships and life with a toddler.
You're My Boo
Kate Dopirak

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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Kitchen Confidential
by Anthony Bourdain
Celebrity chef, journalist, food expert, and social activist Anthony Bourdain traveled far and wide highlighting international cuisine on his television shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown. But his career truly took off with the publication of this honest, acerbic, and unflinching memoir about life in the restaurant business, which went on to sell over one million copies.
Kitchen Confidential
Anthony Bourdain

There are food memoirs, and then there is KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL. Anthony Bourdain arguably kicked off the celebrity chef phenomenon with this wickedly funny memoir/expose that revealed the “sex, drugs, and bad behavior of haute cuisine.”

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

14 Favorite Books on Bestselling Author Jenna Blum’s Bookshelf

By Jenna Blum | June 27, 2018

Ear Candy: 14 Favorite Podcasts, 14 Terrific Reads

By Julianna Haubner | August 28, 2017

The Baker’s Dozen: 13 Mouthwatering Food Memoirs to Devour

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | May 5, 2015

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A Brief History of Time
by Stephen Hawking
Brilliant theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking made many groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the universe. This landmark work explores profound questions about the nature of time, the beginning of the universe, and the possibility of other dimensions, in language that is as accessible as it is fascinating.
A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking

Told in language we all can understand, A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME explores such questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Are there other dimensions in space? With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the secrets at the heart of creation.

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

10 Books on Astrophysics That Will Make You Neil deGrasse Tyson-Smart

By Sarah Jane Abbott | April 14, 2017

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The Princess Bride
by William Goldman
Oscar-winning Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman penned the scripts for iconic movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men, but is perhaps most beloved for this novel (which he also adapted into a movie). THE PRINCESS BRIDE is an ingenious and hilarious send-up of the fantasy genre featuring madcap antics, quests, revenge, true love, and “Rodents of Unusual Size.”

Read the full review of THE PRINCESS BRIDE.
The Princess Bride
William Goldman

If Your Favorite Character is Dustin Henderson

In the mind of “Toothless,” his best friend didn’t almost die. His comrade was captured by a monster, thus his band of merry adventurers went on a quest to rescue him. For more eccentric goofballs in perilous situations, try the book that preceded the classic movie “The Princess Bride.”

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

11 Books You Should Read Based On Your Favorite “Stranger Things” Character

By Glommable | May 29, 2017

Story Time!: 9 Books That Feature a Story Within a Story

By Kerry Fiallo | December 28, 2016

13 Smart Books from @HotDudesReading’s Instagram

By Erica Nelson | August 23, 2016

Famous Last Words: Parting Lines From Our Favorite Characters

By Sarah Jane Abbott | May 21, 2015

The Princess Bride You Didn’t Meet In The Movie

By Leslie Kendall Dye | August 18, 2014

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The Restless Wave
by John McCain and Mark Salter
John McCain was a senator, Vietnam War veteran, and author of half a dozen books, including this inspiring, frank, and deeply personal memoir that looks back on his years in the Senate, his 2008 campaign for the presidency against Barack Obama, and his crusades on behalf of democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The Restless Wave
John McCain and Mark Salter

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
by Harlan Ellison
Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as “the 20th-century Lewis Carroll,” Harlan Ellison was incredibly prolific, penning 70 books, 400 short stories, dozens of screenplays, and over 1000 essays. This collection of seven inventive, groundbreaking short stories is an important and memorable work of speculative fiction.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
Harlan Ellison

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
by Ntozake Shange
A lauded playwright, poet, and feminist, Ntozake Shange is best remembered for this revolutionary, award-winning work that combines poetry, drama, and music in its exploration of the experiences of women on color in the twentieth century. It is a dramatic prose poem written in vivid and powerful language that resonates with unusual beauty in its fierce message to the world.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Ntozake Shange

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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Unpacking the Boxes
by Donald Hall
Appointed US Poet Laureate in 2006, Donald Hall is the author of over 50 books, including 22 volumes of poetry and this richly detailed, intimate memoir about this life. It takes readers from his childhood in Depression-era suburban Connecticut through his painful formative days at Exeter and his career in poetry. He also details his encounters with figures like Edward Gorey, Frank O’Hara, and Adrienne Rich.
Unpacking the Boxes
Donald Hall

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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Hear My Heart
by Billy Graham
Billy Graham was an evangelist and minister who served as a spiritual advisor to US presidents from the 33rd, Harry S. Truman, to the 44th, Barack Obama, and spent six decades preaching on television and radio. This compilation of articles spans his minstry and shares his wisdom and legacy.
Hear My Heart
Billy Graham

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

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All the Best, George Bush
by George H.W. Bush
George H. W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States, as well as a veteran and former vice president and Director of Central Intelligence. Though reticent in public, George Bush openly shared his private thoughts in correspondence throughout his life. This collection of letters, diary entries, and memos gives insight into his life from his service as the youngest commissioned pilot in the Navy during WWII, his terms in Congress, and the presidency, as well as personal correspondence with his family.
All the Best, George Bush
George H.W. Bush

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

I Once Was President, Here Is My Story. 5 Presidential Memoirs

By Allison Tyler | February 17, 2014

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Barbara Bush: A Memoir
by Barbara Bush
First Lady, presidential mother, and champion of literacy Barbara Bush penned this heartfelt and wise memoir telling of everything from growing up in Rye, NY, to her fateful union with George H.W. Bush, to the world of Washington politics and the famous figures she’s met.
Barbara Bush: A Memoir
Barbara Bush

Filled with entertaining anecdotes, dozens of personal photos, and a healthy dose of humor, this memoir is as compelling and honest as the former First Lady herself.

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 16 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2018

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 28, 2018

First Ladies First: Women in the White House

By Allison Tyler | March 25, 2014

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