Peter Steinberg's Favorite Novels

shelved under Personal Favorites and Fiction


Crossing to Safety

by Wallace Stegner

I first read this book in the Summer of 1990 ó it was recommended by the owner of the bookstore where I worked. I think I went back and re-read one more time but ever since, I've been afraid to re-read it... what happens if it doesn't live up to my memories how amazing it was??


Run with the Horsemen

by Ferrol Sams

This book, and the second in the trilogy, tell the story of a very, very bright boy growing up on a family farm in rural Georgia during the Great Depression.

While it started a little slow — I recall questioning the book for about 50 pages — it soon picked up and then held my attention straight through for all 1,000+ pages of the trilogy. As an added bonus, it's not only one of my favorite books of all time, it's also one of the funniest books I've ever read.


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

by Michael Chabon

Three of the major sub-currents running through this book are New York City, the comic book industry of the 1940s and Judaism. Being a Jewish life-long fan of comic books who lives in New York City... well the book was more or less written just for me. It would be selfish of me not to share it with you though — it's an excellent, Pulitzer-prize winning book. Extremely well-developed characters, a great love story, a pretty big surprise a good way through... and I don't know how Chabon does it, but somehow he gives the entire tone of the book that sort of broad-shouldered, thugs and dames, Tracy/Hepburn movie feel.


The Cider House Rules

by John Irving

Jessi W. from Michigan says:

Despite the somewhat controversial subject (abortion vs. adoption), this book shows the deep love and affection people can have for one another, and the lengths they will go to prove that love. It's a charming story that everyone should read. I've read all of Irving's books after reading "...Owen Meany" in high school and falling in love with it, but I think "The Cider House Rules" is my favorite. P.S. I've been know to quote "Goodnight my Princes of Maine, my Kings of New England" — to which I usually get strange looks!

This book also appears on John Irving's Best Books


Youngblood Hawke

by Herman Wouk

I recently described this book as "a big hot mess of a novel". Set in New York City during the glamorous post-war mid 20th century, it's the story of a wildly popular young new author. Sort of a Hemingway meets... Wouk? Regardless of plot, it's a page-turner that will keep you up until the wee hours.


Ender's Game

by Orson Scott Card

Tristan Colson says:

A great book, and also wonderful that it has a new and different plot (I love science fiction, but there is a distressing similarity between a lot of the plot elements).


Winter's Tale

by Mark Helprin

Rise Keller from Boulder says:

Fiction writers depend on their ability to create believable worlds and plunge you into them. Mark Helprin masters this in Winter's Tale. This is a book I have loaned out and recommended many times, but I always keep one copy for the shelf at home.