Intriguing cover of "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders, a unique blend of history and speculative fiction, top pick on

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Discover the Haunting Elegance of Sorrow in "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders

"Lincoln in the Bardo" is a book that refuses to be confined by genre; it is a supernatural historical fiction, a profound exploration of grief, and an inventive literary masterpiece. It is a tale that transports you to the precipice of the living and the dead, where President Abraham Lincoln grapples with grief so palpable you'll feel it in your bones. This narrative blends history with a touch of eerie fantasy, inviting readers into an otherworldly experience like no other.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience a groundbreaking narrative format, blending history, and fiction with spectral voices.
  • Explore the depths of a father's love in the throes of an unbearable loss.
  • Discover the rich tapestry of characters caught between life and death.

The Story Unveils:

It's 1862, and America is in the throes of the Civil War. But in the midst of this national upheaval, President Lincoln faces a heart-wrenching personal tragedy: the death of his beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie. Overcome with grief, Lincoln visits the crypt to hold his son's body—a moment of searing human sorrow. But as night falls, something extraordinary happens. The cemetery comes to life with ghosts and spirits in the "bardo"—a Tibetan term for a transition period between death and rebirth.

The narrative unfolds across a single night, drawing upon a symphony of voices—spirits unwilling to move on to the next life, each driven by their own desires and regrets. They share their tales, and the world they inhabit is as intricate and spellbinding as it is unsettling. This is a community unseen, a testament to the fact that every soul harbors its own immense, unfinished story.

The Author's Craft:

George Saunders, a master of the short story and a literary genius, turns his eye to a longer form with "Lincoln in the Bardo." His writing is sharp and sensitive; the novel is meticulously researched yet brimming with innovation. Saunders takes us on a journey that defies historical account and infuses it with deep emotional truths and a haunting, imaginative landscape. Known for his acutely observant prose, Saunders once again proves his ability to make us reconsider what we think we know about life, death, and the boundaries between them.

Intriguing Facts:

  • George Saunders collected and studied countless historical accounts to weave this tale, ensuring authenticity amidst spectral fiction.
  • "Lincoln in the Bardo" won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2017.
  • The novel's unique format, consisting of fragments and testimonials from various voices, breaks the traditional mold of storytelling.

Genre & Categories:

  • Literary Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Supernatural / Paranormal
  • Philosophical Novels

Broadening the Scope:

The novel has resonated with readers worldwide, selling hundreds of thousands of copies and garnering high praise. It is lauded not only for its imaginative prowess but also for how it confronts the universal experience of loss. Renowned authors and critics have hailed it as a profound work of art, transformative in both style and substance.

At, we meticulously curate book recommendations from some of the most interesting and influential figures in the world. "Lincoln in the Bardo" stands out as a novel endorsed by literary connoisseurs who appreciate the blend of historical depth with a fresh narrative approach.

Who Should Read It:

This novel will captivate those who appreciate innovative narrative structures and who seek a profound understanding of human emotion. It's a book for lovers of history who are open to experiencing it through a lens that brilliantly intertwines fact with fiction.

Comparison and Distinction:

While "Lincoln in the Bardo" draws inevitable comparisons to other historical fiction, it sets itself apart through its unique storytelling technique and emotional depth. If you enjoyed "Beloved" by Toni Morrison for its ghostly elements or "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson for its exploration of life and death, you’ll find "Lincoln in the Bardo" equally compelling.

Folk Wisdom:

Much like the Chinese proverb that says, "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet," this book connects the threads of history, imagination, and emotion. Or as the English saying goes, "Death is the great leveller," this story illustrates that in death, we find the true essence of life's struggles and connections.

Takeaways to Apply:

Within its pages, Saunders offers pearls of wisdom, one of which is the idea that "The dead cannot bear to be forgotten." Another poignant lesson is the realization that life goes on, a message carried home by Lincoln himself as he leaves the cemetery to face his country's tribulations.

Memorable Quotes:

"All we can do is the best we can do." - George Saunders
"His mind was freshly inclined toward sorrow; toward the fact that the world was full of sorrow; that all were suffering; that whatever way one took in this world, one must try to remember that all were suffering." - An excerpt from the book.

Imagine settling down in a quiet corner, perhaps as the dusk fades into night, the perfect backdrop for a book like "Lincoln in the Bardo." As you turn each page, let the voices guide you through their tales and through Lincoln's own journey of loss and redemption. There's an urgency in the way this story beckons you to explore its spectral depths—a lure towards understanding the tenderness of a heart grieving in the silence of history.

Experience this poignant tour de force for yourself, share it with a loved one who understands the profound paradoxes of life, or gift it to a history buff eager for a novel that stands out from the rest. Click the link and secure your copy today—immerse in an award-winning narrative that promises to be both a comfort and an awakening.

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— I believe that everyone should find books that they enjoy. You don’t have to read only classics or only contemporary books. Read what interests you and makes you feel good.

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— I make sure to leave enough time in my schedule to think about what to work on. The best ways for me to do this are reading books, hanging out with interesting people, and spending time in nature.

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— Having a good set of principles is like having a good collection of recipes for success.

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— His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind.

— At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.

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— Read a lot and discover a skill you enjoy.

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— You get more from reading 1 great book 5 times rather than reading 5 mediocre books.

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— The most meaningful way to succeed is to help others succeed.

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— Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.

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— The genuine love for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower.

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— Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.

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— Read 500 pages... every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.

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— I read books and talked to people. I mean that’s kind of how one learns anything. There’s lots of great books out there & lots of smart people.

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