A mix of some of my favorite books — all are worth reading to expand your mind.
by Nicole Krauss
A beautifully written book that must be read back-to-back with her husband’s book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (by Jonathan Safran Foer) — the writing has similarities. The two of them must have been discussing their stories daily.
by Michael Chabon
Chabon's best book — it won a Pulitzer Prize. The tale of 2 cousins who meet after WWII and enter into the world of comic book writing. The comic industry of the 1930s was predominantly Jewish. There was an exhibit at the Jewish Museum a few years back showing work from that time period. I had no idea that the majority of comic book heroes that have become lore were a Jewish industry.
by John Irving
I'm a huge fan of John Irving books and have read them all. "A Prayer for Owen Meany" is his best. From the first sentence, you're pulled into a classic, strange, bizarre story that is completely endearing.
by Mark Kurzem
I generally prefer novels but this true story is an extraordinary read. I couldn’t put it down — it's historically fascinating and not only a story of survival, but how faded blocked memories can surface when you aren’t expecting it.
by Nell Gordon
A well-written book with twists and turns about the choices people made who were involved with the underground of the 1960s. It's one thing to be 20 years old — and another thing to be 50 and still living with those old decisions.
by Dalton Trumbo
One of the best anti-war books ever written.
by Paul Auster
Paul Auster is one of the most prolific writers. I've read almost all his books. This isn’t typical of an Auster book but I found it very relevant to the times we live in. It's about how people find themselves at 60 years old having to start a fresh.
by Donna Tartt
College students who keep a secret that, over time, unravels their relationships and lives. It's like something out of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment." Considering Tartt was 24 when she wrote the novel, it's truly impressive.
by Jose Saramago
Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature. This is a brilliantly conceived story that's like no other. Human spirit pushed to the edge. Frightening, disturbing and real — all at the same time. Genius.
by Tobias Wolff
A memoir of his life with the Vietnam War as the backdrop. His writing is incredible and his story marks a time in history that should be read by all.
by Junot Diaz
Another Pulitzer Prize winner. An intricate family history that goes from the present to the past and from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic while weaving historical facts in between.
by Jenny Downham
A teen book about a 16-year-old girl dying of cancer and she makes a list of the things she needs to do before she dies. Things that most people experience at one point during their years from 15-25... but she does not have that time. Really staying with me.
by James Frey
I've read all of Frey’s books. Regardless of the controversy surrounding his first two, the guy can write. We follow the present lives of different characters in Los Angeles. The characters are not related except for the fact they all live in Los Angeles. Their lives unfold throughout the book and in between each chapter, Frey writes about the history of Los Angeles.
by Markus Zusak
Once I read the first page, I could have just continued reading without stopping until the book ended. Twists and turns. A famous author (like a J.K. Rowling-type) chooses someone, for a reason, to tell the secret story of her life. Dickens meets Austen.
by Diane Setterfield
Anna Claire Vollers from The South says:
Famous author and recluse Vida Winter has finally chosen to tell her life story to biographer Margaret Lea. Winter lives at the crumbling, haunted estate at Angelfield, where Margaret must do some investigating of her own in order to unspool the truth from a woman guarding dark family secrets that span generations. As Winter spins her tale of other-worldly twins, an abandoned baby and an unsettled ghost, Margaret comes to realize the living inhabitants at Angelfield are just as frightening as the dead.
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. more...
About Gotham Gal
Gotham Gal wears many, many hats. Mother of 3. Philanthropist. Terrific cook and avid restaurant-goer. Entreprenuer and investor. Fashion fan. Art connoisseur. And voracious reader. She writes about all this, and more, at her blog: Gotham Gal.
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