Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven is easily the most beautiful book I've read this year. After a pandemic decimates the human race, a troupe of actors travels the empty landscape, performing Shakespeare for the few survivors. There's been no shortage of post-apocalyptic books recently, but Station Eleven is unique in its focus on art. Not only does the novel succeed in its well-rendered, desolate future, but it surprises with its poignant understanding of today's society. Reading this apocalyptic book filled me with gratitude (even nostalgia) for all the scary, stupid, mundane elements of our present world.