Shirley Jackson is probably best known for her short story The Lottery, an unsettling tale of life in a small east coast town. Her signature blend of darkness laced with pieces of humor shows too in We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House.
But not as many people know her laugh-out-loud stories of raising four children, multiple cats and one husband in Vermont. Life Among the Savages is a paean to family life that shows with an unblinking eye the crazy world we all exist in as we try to survive. Pair it with Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin, the best biographical study of Jackson I’ve ever read, and you’ll have a few amazing weeks of reading.