7. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
If you don't know Marina Keegan's story, get a tissue box handy. This hopeful, moving, and powerful collection of short stories was written by a young and promising Yale graduate whose star was on the rise at the time of her death in May 2012. After graduating cum laude (and giving one of the most inspiring graduation speeches ever), the valedictorian got into a fatal car accident. The Opposite of Loneliness is incredible, inspiring, and has certainly immortalized Keegan as a great artist who was taken from us too soon.