Ah, the holidays.

No time like the season to make you question your genetic makeup while you settle down with your family.

Everyone has a sprinkling of embarrassing or difficult relatives. If you don’t, then really, what’s the fun in that? As your parents would say, that’s what gives you character!

(Yeah, yeah.)

Retreat from your bombastic uncle’s latest discourse—grab a plate of leftovers first—and decompress with this reading list, stuffed with clans guaranteed to be more combative than your own. Break as needed for tryptophan-induced micro-naps, then get back to it. You’ll need to conserve your energies for the drama ahead.

It’s all here: southern calamities, performance art, high-strung mothers, terrifying memories.

Read up!

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