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Recommended Reading

Wondering what to read? Or what to read next? Curious where to start with contemporary literature? Or just want to compare notes? This is the place.
  1. Literary Awards/Prizes (5)
  2. New Book Releases (25)

Best Books of 2013
It's never easy to cull the top ten from the many books we read and liked in a year's time, but here once again is the list of books that we really really liked in 2013. We hope you like them too.

Holiday Gift Books 2012
A cornucopia of books to give as gifts for friends, family or for yourself. Avoid the mall - give a book from this eclectic selection!

June 2012 Books
Let the summer reading begin! New novels from Jess Walter, Mark Haddon, and Dave Eggers will headline in June along with nonfiction from Siri Hustvedt and Colm Toibin. Lots here to stuff in your beach bags.

May 2012 Books
May 2012 books include new novels from Toni Morrison, Hilary Mantel, and Richard Ford, a fantastic Melville-infused YA novel from China Mieville, a self-published author's postmodern epic, and more.

April 2012 Book Releases
This month, Christopher Moore is back to take on the Great French Masters, Jonathan Franzen delivers a collection of essays, and Ron Rash and Anne Tyler both emerge with new novels.

March 2012 Book Releases
Some heady stuff in March. A collection of essays from Marilynne Robinson on politics, faith, and more, Jonah Lehrer's book about the nature of creativity, fantastic fiction from Adam Levin, Hari Kunzru, and Etgar Keret, and more.

February 2012 Book Releases
Lone wolves and werewolves, a Presidential scandal and a Presidential tryst, and narrative nonfiction that reaches into the heart of Mumbai's impoverished underbelly. No lack for reading choices in February 2012.

January 2012 Book Releases
January 2012 is the month of the post-apocalyptic, dystopic novel as evidenced by Ben Marcus' The Flame Alphabet, Rod Rees' The Demi-Monde Winter, and Ryan Boudinot's Blueprints of the Afterlife. Also this month, new work from William Gass, Michel Houellebecq, and Pico Iyer.

The Best Books of 2011
We read a lot of books in 2011. Some we liked, some we didn't. These are the ones we loved.

2012 New Books
2012 starts off with a bang, not a whimper, with new work from Ben Marcus, William Gibson, Geoff Dyer, and Katherine Boo. And then it just gets better. Alain de Botton's Religion for Atheists promises to be an interesting read as does Believer editor Heidi Julavits' The Vanishers. The absurd is well represented in March by Mark Leyner, Etgar...

Holiday Gift Books 2011
The best of 2011 gift books for everyone on your holiday gift list.

January 2011 Book Releases
January brings us new short fiction collections from Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Baxter, Colm Toibin, and even a brand new collection of previously unpublished work from Kurt Vonnegut.

February 2011 Book Releases
New novels from T.C. Boyle and Kevin Brockmeier and memoirs from Joyce Carol Oates and Andre Dubus III are highlights in February, as is the hotly anticipated debut novel from Karen Russell, Swamplandia!

March 2011 Book Releases
In March we see new work from Jodi Picoult and Jean M. Auel as well as Tea Obreht's debut novel, The Tiger's Wife.

April 2011 Book Releases

May 2011 Book Releases
Short stories from Julian Barnes, a new novel by Lisa See, and travel writing from the master of the genre, Paul Theroux, are just a few of the joys that take us into Summer reading.

June 2011 Book Releases
Summer literature? Take your pick: an extraordinary and bizarre debut from Norwegian author Johan Harstad, Afrikaans author Ingrid Winterbach's meditation on love and loss, and new work from Ann Patchett, Adam Ross, and Kate Christensen are just a few new releases we're looking forward to in June.

July 2011 Book Releases
In July, we're looking forward to new novels from Clyde Edgerton and Bonnie Jo Campbell, new nonfiction from Ben Mezrich, the fifth book in George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire saga, and more.

August 2011 Book Releases
In August we see new novels from Tom Perrotta, Julie Otsuka, Nicholson Baker, Robert Olen Butler and DBC Pierre plus a sequel to Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight.

September 2011 Book Releases
Booker Prize-winning author Aravind Adiga and Whitbread Novel of the Year author Ali Smith are both back with new novels this month as is National Book Award author Lily Tuck. Plus new work from Neal Stephenson and a collection of Calvin Trillin's funniest stuff.

October 2011 Book Releases
High on my list of to-reads for October 2011 is the long-awaited translation of Haruki Murakami's homage to George Orwell, 1Q84. This month we also see promising biographies of Van Gogh, Charles Dickens, and the city of Jerusalem. Check it out.

2011 New Books
Expect some great new book releases in 2011. I will update this page as more is revealed throughout the year.

Best Books of 2010

Don't have time for the top 100 books of 2010? Here are the top 10 books.

Your favorite book of 2010?
What is your pick for the best book of 2010?

Best Books of 2009
2009 gave us much in the way of contemporary literature. Here are reviews of the ten best books of the year.

Best Books of 2008
Once again, we look back on the Books of 2008 and pull out the best of what we've read this year.

Best Books of the Decade
Our end of the decade special lists the 25 best books of the decade (2000-2009).

Funny Books
Ten books to laugh the soda right through your nose.

Books for Writers
Reading good books will help your writing, but here are some books that go straight to the heart of the matter - books specifically for writers.

Words for Wanderers
Words for the wayfarer, pages for those prone to peregrination, perambulation, or pilgrimage, tracts guaranteed to transport your traveling soul.

Books for Tree-Huggers
Books for environmentalists, naturalists, wildlife lovers, for the green-living, Earth-lover in us all.

Books for Music Lovers
For the musicophiles - books about music and musicians (read with accompanying background sounds).

Books about Work
What we do to make a living, and that which truly ignites us from the inside out are often different and disparate things, and a number of books have been written of late to guide us through the process of bringing these closer together.

Books on Spirituality
Books that address spirituality from various angles. Find inspiration here!

Historical Fiction Greats
The Historical Fiction genre may take its setting from varied times and locales. From the ancient world to the 20th century and around the world, here is the best in recently published historical fiction.

Notable Stories of Women in History
Both real and imagined, these ten titles are excellent works each in their own way relating notable stories of women in history.

Books for Sports Fans
Winning picks for both the athlete and the spectator sports fan in your life.

Nonfiction Essentials
Ten nonfiction must-reads: memoirs of person and place, personal essay, creative nonfiction, and biography.

Best Books of 2007
Tis the season of the list. Here's ours for the top ten books of the year!

Best Books of 2006
Looking for some good reading? The Ten Best works of Literature from 2006 will not fail you. Learn more about each book and each author by clicking on the review links.

Best Books of 2005
Find a great book while learning more about 2005's best books and authors.

Books by David Foster Wallace
David Wallace contributed to numerous anthologies and periodicals over the course of his writing life. This is a list of his books.

Best Novels of The Century (so far)
That's right, we are certain that these ten are indeed the best literary novels published since the year 2000.

Important Contemporary Authors Alive Today
Ten authors whose work you should read immediately, if you haven't yet.

Contemporary Lit ( first 10 )
First 10 of 20 contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree.

Contemporary Lit ( next 10 )
Second 10 of 20 contemporary literature must-reads, essentials.

Contemporary Classics
Ten books that have withstood the test of time, yet are recent enough to be called Contemporary Literature.

Banned Books Picks - from Book Sense
Independent booksellers with Book Sense have created this list of ten banned books in support of Banned Books Week, September 25 to October 2, 2004. Read a banned book!

Books about Love
Love classics and gifts for your lover, both.

Books for Moms
Books for Mom, books about Mom, books for new Moms... you get the idea.

New Book Releases - September 2009
There are some very interesting titles coming out in September from visionaries such as Margaret Atwood, E.L. Doctorow, and David Byrne as well as eagerly awaited follow-ups from Dan Brown and Audrey Niffenegger... and more!

The Best American Series 2008
Each year, The Best American Series editors handpick the previous year's finest writing in short stories, comics, mysteries, essays, travel, science and nature, sports, spirituality, and nonrequired reading.

Books for Dads
Dad wants a sea kayak, a gas grill, or one of those Segway personal transport devices. But you're too cheap to get him any of those gifts...

Books Coming in July 2010
...

The Best American Series 2009
Every year, The Best American Series editors handpick the previous year's finest writing in short stories, comics, mysteries, essays, travel, science and nature, sports, spirituality, and nonrequired reading. Here are selected picks from The Best American 2009.?

Holiday Gift Books 2008
The Holiday shopping season is upon us. And so I bring you 10 Days of Giftmas: ten books published in 2008 to add to your gift-giving list.

2008 Presidential Election - Books for Voters
Prepare yourself to vote in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Here are ten books from which to educate yourself on the candidates and issues.

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