What We’re Reading: Lincoln in the Bardo (Coming Soon!)

lincoln in the bardo by george saunders

(Coming soon to the Durham Tech Main Campus and OCC Libraries)

This book was read by Meredith Lewis, [mostly] the Orange County Campus Librarian.

Title of book: Lincoln in the Bardo
Author: George Saunders
Genre: Literary Fiction
#ReadGreatThings2018 Categor(ies): A fictionalized account of a real person’s life & A book that contains a supernatural creature, occurrence, or event

Why did you choose to read this book?

The press surrounding this book was weird– I kept hearing about a huge number of people involved in the audiobook and wasn’t quite sure why that was a thing. (The book is made up of various accounts of different events, both real and supernatural, so each narrator gets a new voice– if you were wondering.) Aside from that, I like supernatural stories and the premise– Willie Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s young son dies and is stuck between moving on to the world of the dead and staying behind on earth in the bardo (to greatly oversimplify: an in-between state in Tibetan Buddhism)– was really interesting.

What did you like about it?

Lincoln in the Bardo was unlike anything I’ve read before– the way the actual history backdrop of the story unfolded and how it was written was really interesting. It was kind of like reading a play, where it takes you a second to get used to the style and then you forget it’s there.  

Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?

When I was younger, I read Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters and loved how weird and wonderful it was. One part of the storyline reminded me strongly of that book. 

Was there anything noteworthy about the book?

I mean, it an award and stuff (if you’re into that). 

Who would you recommend the book to?

People who like supernatural fiction and historical fiction and are looking for a well-written blend of both. It really was a great book about love and loss and regret and bravery and so much more. 

About Meredith Lewis

Meredith is a reference librarian at Durham Tech on both the Main and Orange County Campuses. She likes fantasy, science-fiction, and historical fiction and is trying to be a better reader of non-fiction (just after she finishes that stack of novels on her bedside table...)