Personally, the best book for me is the one I just read and loved. I confess it’s been a while since I read a book I loved—the last one was Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset 1,146 pages! Books are expensive not to mention heavy, but I got a Kindle Touch for Christmas, so I am back in the reading business! To my surprise, some books are free on Amazon, and there are many for under $5.
Reading is once again affordable.
There are many lists of “best books,” and for the purposes of this article I am using Publisher’s Weekly.
You may or may not agree with their choices, but if you would like some suggestions, well, here they are.
’s The Marriage Plot; Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder (I read Bel Canto a few years ago and loved it!); Tina Fey Bossypants; Robert Massie’s Catherine the Great (there is nothing better than a good historical story); Paul Hendrickson’s Hemingway’s Boat; Christopher Hitchesn, Arguably (Alas, he could argue/debate just about better than anyone!) ; Donald Ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time; Ali Smith and a disconcerting party guest, There but for the; Kenyan Binyayanga Wainaina’s coming of age story, One Day I Will Write About This Place.
Here are some of the best in fiction and non-fiction genre:
Fiction: For description of each book look here
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (Pulitzer Prize Winner); The Devil All The Time, Donald Ray Pollock; State of Wonder, Ann Patchett; There but for the, Ali Smith; The Wandering Falcon, Jamil Ahmal; The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, Alma Bronsky; The Sisters Brothers, Patrick DeWitt; Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman; Volt, Alan Heathcock; The Stranger Child, Alan Hollinghurst; Train Dreams, Denis Johnson; Chango’s Beads and Two Tone shoes, William Kennedy; The Night Circus, Eric Morgentsen; The Call, Yannick Murphy; The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obreht (Huffington Post Book Club Selection for January 2012, sign up here); Cain, Jose Saramago (If this is as riveting as his book Blindness, it is surely a great read); Some Day This Will Be Funny, Lynne Tillman; I Married You for Happiness (Yikes who doesn’t?) , Lily Tuck; Leche, R. Zamora Linmark.
Non-Fiction: for description of each book look here
Bossypants, Tina Fey; Catherine the Great, Robert Massie; Hemingway’s Boat, Paul Hendrickson; One Day I Will Write About this Place, Binyavanga Wainaina; Arguably: Essays, Christopher Hitchens; The Convert: A Parable of Islam in America, Deborah Baker; The Anatomy of A Moment, Javier Cercas; The Beautiful and the Damned, Siddartha Deb; Blue Nights, Joan Didion; Townie: A Memoir, Andre Dubus III; The Swerve: How the world became Modern, Stephen Greenblatt; Life Itself: A Memoir, Roger Ebert; A World On Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in The American Civil War, Amanda Foreman; Tiger, Tiger, Margo Fragoso; Love and Capital:and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution; The Information: The History, The Theory, The Flood, James Gleick; Blood, Bones, and Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton; A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters and Absent Fathers, Michael Holroyd; Rome A Cultural, Visual and Personal History, Robert Hughes; In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Erik Larson; Boomerang: Travels in the Third World, Michael Lewis; Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Manning Marable; Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, Errol Morris; Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend, Susan Orlean; The Long Goodbye, Meghan O’Rourke; The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson; The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity, Jeffrey Sachs; Charles Dickens: A Life, Claire Tomalin; The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, Toby Wilkinson.
Publisher’s Weekly best lists in other genre can be found at the following links
If you have some great books to add to the list, please tell us in the comments!