6 Must-Reads

Isaac Babel was executed in a Stalinist purge and consigned to oblivion, but his sacrifice and stories guaranteed his immortality. “Guy de Maupassant” is one of the finest stories ever written—start there and move on to Ann Beattie’s hilarious recounting of an epic marital squabble, then to an intimate photo portrait of gentle dignity and beauty in old age, and then in succession to one of the best dog stories ever, a poetic cry of the heart from American Indian lives, and, finally, a brilliantly amusing send-up of Ayn Rand’s ego and pretensions. Enduring tales all. Enjoy!