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Contemporary Literature: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Poetry - a riddle wrapped in an enigma swathed...
Poetry is many things to many people. Homer, John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and of course Shakespeare have each given us enough to fill textbooks. Poems from the Romantic period include Goethe's
What's the Definition of Poetry?
Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.
Exposition, rising action, climax, falling...
Learn more about narrative arcs, also called story arcs, and the four components that make up the chronological construction of the plot.
10 Top Contemporary Authors to Put on Your...
While it is impossible to rank the most important authors in contemporary literature, here is a list of ten important (English language) authors with some biographical notes and links to more information about them and their work.
Dramatic irony is an often-used literary device...
Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge than the characters themselves.
Meet Sherman Alexie: His Biography and His...
Sherman Alexie, the son a Spokane Indian mother and a Coeur d’Alene Indian father, grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA. Alexie is known not only for his novels and short stories, which debunk the notion of the nobly suffering Indian, he is also a songwriter and film-maker, and the recipient of numerous literary awards and honors.
Resolution is the final stage in a story's...
Resolution is the part of the story's plot line in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out. This occurs after the falling action and is typically where the story ends.
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Vintage, 2009 The Collected Works of Billy the Kid was Michael Ondaatje's first novel, originally published
Short Story
A short story is a brief work of fiction. It usually contains one major conflict and often only one major character. Its brevity usually suggests concise narration and limited setting.
The Choice
A review of Nicholas Spark's novel of a life-long bachelor who fears falling in love with a woman who moves in next door.
How to Write a Book Review
The book review falls somewhere between a critical analysis of literature, which tends toward the dry and academic, and the book report, which we associate with the simple book summaries we may have turned in in our younger years. The book review has elements of both of these but is neither. Here are some simple guidelines to crafting a book review.
In books like The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho speaks of following one's own Personal Legend. In Aleph, Coelho - as the protagonist of this novel - takes his own advice, setting out for a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. But the journey is much larger than even Coelho at first perceives.
Ten Little Indians
“Nine is a much funnier number than eleven,” explained Sherman Alexie in a recent book signing for Ten Little Indians, a collection of nine contemporary Native American tales. This much-anticipated work dances the line between banality and classic Alexie brilliance at its best, leaving the reader exuberate at its finish, but almost wishing they hadn’t read those first few.
A critical, analytic, or expository piece of prose that is usually much shorter than a formal dissertation or thesis and is based in the author's point of view, rather than extensive research. Early essayists include Cicero, who wrote on the pleasantness of old age, and Seneca, on anger. More recently celebrated essayists include Joan Didion who lately writes of her native California, and Calvin Trillin, a food-essayist.
The Alchemist is an inspirational parable about...
Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' is a short and inspirational parable about the importance of pursuing one's dreams. Originally published in 1988 in the Brazillian author's native Portugese, it has since been translated in close to 70 languages and has become one of the best-selling books in history.
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
After Toru Okada loses his cat, his job, and his wife, things go from bad to weird. Surreal visitations from beautiful women, gruesome stories from wartime Japan, and an entryway into a different world deep at the bottom of a well combine with the usual lost cats, jazz music and enigmatic characters in Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
Malcolm Gladwell's approach to rapid cognition...
In 'Blink,' Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. 'Blink' is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon's dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debut novels in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
Nick Flynn met his father when he was twenty-seven years old, working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston. Nick, his own life unsettled, was living alternatively in a ramshackle boat and in a warehouse that was once a strip joint. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City tells the story of two lives, the story of Nick's boyhood in Scituate, Massachusetts, with his brother and young mother who struggled to keep the family together and that of his father who refused to play by the rules.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry...
In 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7) Voldemort's followers have been released from Azkaban as have the Dementors, who now serve the Dark Lord's purposes as well. The Ministry of Magic, now controlled by Death Eaters, has instituted a campaign against muggle-borns that smacks of Nazi Germany, and Harry Potter is dubbed
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The history of Afghanistan is marked by death, loss and unimaginable grief. And, yet, people find a way to survive, to go on. Ultimately, this is more than a story of survival in the face of what seem to be insurmountable odds. It is a story of the unconquerable spirit of a people seen through the eyes of two indomitable women. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, is a must read for those who wish to understand the modern history (1964 - 2003) of Afghanistan.
The best books of 2015 so far, and it's only...
A young girl waits each day for her mother to pick her up at Seattle's aquarium, where she befriends an old man whose appearance will have devastating consequences.
Malcolm Gladwell and the theory of thin slices.
In <i>Blink</i>, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. <i>Blink</i> is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 2.
Top 10 Contemporary Lit Must Reads (first 10)
Twenty contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree. This contemporary literature reading list is comprised largely of titles published since 1970. Please visit my Contemporary Classics Reading List for older and more classic contemporary titles.
Falling Action
The falling action in a work of literature is the sequence of events that follow the climax and end in the resolution. This is in contrast to the rising action which leads up to the plot's climax.
Night is Elie Wiesel’s candid, horrific, and poignant account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
My Name is Red
Everyman's Library, 2010 What does one say about a novel that was published a dozen years ago, a novel
The Ghost Map
A thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London-and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith, well known for her internationally-acclaimed debut, White Teeth, is the author of three novels and numerous essays and short stories. She lives part-time in New York and part-time in London with her husband, writer Nick Laird, and their daughter, Katherine.
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
In Linchpin, Seth Godin traces the evolution of the workplace, discusses how your own brain sometimes conspires against you, and enlightens us as to the nature of art and gifts.
Haruki Murakami's life and work
Haruki Murakami is known for his blending of the fantastic realism in his novels, and it's this magical realism, in combination with his flowing use of language, that gives Murakami's novels an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
A Complicated Kindness - a Novel by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel, A Complicated Kindness, is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of her eccentric family as it falls apart, each member on a collision course with the only community they have ever known. It is a work of fierce humor and tragedy by a Canadian writer poised to take the American market by storm.
Margaret Atwood
Known for sharp social commentary delivered via science fiction or speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.
Ann Lamott is well known and loved for her...
Ann Lamott, the daughter of the writer Kenneth Lamott, wrote her first novel, Hard Laughter, when her father was diagnosed with brain cancer. Lamott's novels tend to be about love and loss and real life struggles that touch us all, and in her nonfiction, she has explored parenthood, faith, and the craft of writing.
The Leftovers
In Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers, it is distinctly Rapture-like when millions of people suddenly disappear from the Earth all at once, and those left behind must account for and deal with their disappearance.
Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson is the author of three highly acclaimed novels, 'Housekeeping,' 'Gilead,' and 'Home,' all of which are written in clear, spare prose about the struggles of life in the Midwest.
Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and What is the What. He is the founder of McSweeney's independent publishing house and the 826 Valencia writing lab, which has since expanded to 826 National, writing workshops for teens around the U.S.
To Live
Anchor Books August 2003 ISBN: 1400031869 Fugui, the prodigal son of a wealthy country Chinese landowner,
Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood (Noruwei no Mori) stands out among Haruki Murakami’s novels not only because it was the novel that launched Murakami into the literary stratosphere, but because it is a straightforward love-story / bildungsroman devoid of the elements of magical realism typical of a Haruki Murakami novel.
Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd is the author of three spiritual memoirs and the modern classic bestseller, 'The Secret Life of Bees,' the coming-of-age spiritual story of a fourteen-year-old girl in the South in 1964 and her black housekeeper.
Little Bee
'Little Bee' is the story of a tenuous friendship that emerges between a Nigerian refuge girl and a white British magazine editor.
Zadie Smith's On Beauty takes a smart look at...
Zadie Smith made a literary splash as a twenty-five-year-old with her debut novel White Teeth. Five years and two novels later, Smith has all but solidified herself a spot among the modern literary canon as one of a handful of truly important young novelists at work today. Smith's latest is On Beauty, a modern twist on E. M. Forster's Howard's End, updated to the still-stiff-collared world of twenty-first-century ivy-league academia.
The Game
In cities around the world, men meet in underground
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and the evolution of...
Tsukuru Tazaki must reconcile his differences with four former friends in order to grow out of an emotionally stunted malaise.
The Winner Stands Alone
Internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho's latest novel, The Winner Stands Alone, is like his bestselling The Alchemist, but with a murderer on the loose. In this psychological thriller, the action takes place during twenty-four hours at the Cannes Film Festival, where supermodels, film producers, and fashionistas are all vying for their fifteen minutes of fame. And one man is there to thwart that moment in the spotlight. Read more.
The Last Song
It seems that it took only a moment for 'The Last Song' to reach number one on both the USA Today and New York Times lists of best-selling books. Such is the norm when Nicholas Sparks publishes a new novel. His previous novels, and the films made from them, have created a built-in and extraordinarily loyal audience. And, he is loyal to his audience, always trying to give them what they want.
Unbroken is the powerful story of Olympian and...
When Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner and an American pilot in World War II, crashes his bomber in the Pacific Ocean, he had know idea that he was about to embark on one of the most extraordinary oddyseys ever recounted.
Set in Waynesville, North Carolina during the depression, Ron Rash's novel 'Serena' traces the story of a wealthy lumber baron and his ruthlessly ambitious wife. Think Lady Macbeth in Appalachia.
Anthony Doerr's second novel is a compelling,...
Anthony Doerr's language and characters are gripping and pull you quickly into their world as the build-up to World War II looms on the horizon.
Divine Justice
'Divine Justice' is the fourth in David Baldacci's Camel Club series of novels that have enjoyed immense popularity. Each novel has asked what secrets the federal government is keeping from citizens? It is not paranoia if there really are secrets, and any one of us who has served in certain governmental agencies is very well aware that secrets do exist, some benign, some malignant.
Rising Action
Rising action is tha series of events that lead to the climax of the story, usually the conflicts or struggles of the protagonist.
Climax is the point of greatest tension in a work of literature and the turning point in the action. In a plot line, the climax occurs after the rising action and before the falling action.
Man Booker Prize Winners
The Man Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. It is not only one of literature's highest honors but quite lucrative as the winner takes home £50,000. Here are the past ten years' Booker Prize Winners.
Philip Roth turns his attention to one man's confrontation with mortality. Roth's Everyman is a hero whose youthful sense of independence and confidence begins to be challenged when illness commences its attack in middle age. A successful commercial advertising artist, he is the father of two sons who despise him and a daughter who adores him. He is the lonely ex-husband of three very different women. Inevitably, he discovers that he has become what he does not want to be.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry...
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone these words could not be truer. Harry was only an infant when a
Top 10 Contemporary Classics
Ten books that have withstood the test of time, yet are recent enough to be called Contemporary Literature, these Contemporary Classics are a bare-bones reading list, essentials or must-reads. Any such list is purely subjective, of course, and one must soon choose for him or herself what makes the top ten, but this list would start you on your way to a solid background in Contemporary Literature.
Infinite Jest is a labyrinthine masterpiece...
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel of addiction and recovery, popular entertainment, and tennis has been hailed as a work of genius, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. It is a long and complex work bearing the labyrinthine threads of plot and stylistic intricacies for which Wallace was famous, and certainly one of the most engrossing novel I have ever read.
He's Just Not That Into You
'He's Just Not That Into You' is not a guide to dating. Aimed at women of a certain class and lifestyle and filling a slim 165 pages, the book serves merely as a calling card for its authors, five-years-out-of-the-dating-pool Sex and the City consultant Greg Behrendt and 41-years-old-and-single SatC] executive story editor Liz Tuccillo.
Paul Auster
American author Paul Auster was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He graduated from Columbia University in 1970 and moved to Paris, where he made his living translating the works of French authors. He returned to the states in 1974 to begin writing essays, poems, and novels of his own.
In Americanah, a young Nigerian woman finds...
In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth novel, a young Nigerian woman finds reinvention in America, where she learns what it means to be a Nigerian immigrant.
Pigeon English
Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English tells the coming-of-age story of a boy from Ghana who has recently emigrated to London's housing projects.
Helprin plumbs the depths of language as he...
Mark Helprins Winter's Tale is the story of love, larceny and flying horses during New York’s Belle Epoque,a tale of criminal gangs, indigenous marsh-dwelling tribes and immortal architects delivered inimitably by one of the best storytellers of our time.
Hassan Blasim's short fiction is a sobering...
A brutal and sobering collection of short fiction from the literarily under-explored world of contemporary Iraq.
Bringing Down the House
Backed by anonymous investors and armed only with their audacity and their intellect, a team of MIT math students cleaned Vegas out of more than $3 million in a couple of years. They used published card-counting techniques and worked in teams like secret agents. They ate statistics for breakfast, and they raked in millions of dollars before getting caught. They were a dream team. So why did they get caught?
Isabel Allende
Chilean Author, Isabelle Allende was born on August 2, 1942 in Peru. In the 1960s and 1970s, Allende
Need a Laugh? See 10 of the Funniest Books on...
These ten funny books will have you laughing out loud, laughing the milk right through your nose.
Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell's phenomenal bestseller 'The Tipping Point' (2000) captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effect; 'Blink' (2005) is about how we think without thinking; and 'Outliers' (2008) considers the role of environment and cultural heritage in the success of high achievers.
No One Belongs Here More Than You
As an artist, Miranda July defines eclectic. In 2005 she won the Camera d'Or prize at Cannes for her
Conflict is the struggle between the opposing forces on which the action in a work of literature depends. There are five basic forms of conflict: person versus person, person versus self, person versus nature, person versus society, and person versus God.
The Christmas Train
Tom Langdon, a weary and cash-strapped journalist, is banned from flying when a particularly thorough airport security search causes him to lose his cool. Now, he must take the train if he has any chance of arriving in Los Angeles in time for Christmas. To finance the trip, he sells a story about a train ride taken during the Christmas season. Along the way, Tom encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone's Christmas plans.
Salman Rushdie
Born in Bombay in 1947, Salman Rushdie is the author of numerous novels, including 'Midnight's Children,' 'The Satanic Verses,' 'The Moor's Last Sigh,' and 'The Enchantress of Florence.' His numerous literary prizes include the Booker Prize for 'Midnight's Children' and the Whitbread Prize for 'The Satanic Verses.'
Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri is the author most recently of 'Unaccustomed Earth,' a collection of short stories addressing the universal themes of love, loss, and family, as well as the specifics of the Indian-American immigrant experience. Her first collection of short stories, 'Interpreter of Maladies,' won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
A quest is an adventurous journey undergone by the main character or protagonist of a story. The protagonist usually meets with and overcomes a series of obstacles, returning in the end with the benefits of knowledge and experience.
The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, 'The Tipping Point,' has exhibited such enormous staying power on the bestseller lists that one supposes that Gladwell harnessed the very principles of social epidemics that he outlines therein. 'The Tipping Point' purports to answer two questions,
Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen's recent novels have been hailed as literary masterpieces. Both The Corrections and Freedom are sprawling, realist novels about the deterioration of the family in suburban, middle class America, as was his 1988 debut novel, The Twenty-Seventh City.
Review of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner is Afghanistani-American novelist, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling debut novel, a tale of betrayal and redemption that rises above time and place while simultaneously remaining firmly anchored against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.
A Year in the Merde
Stephen Clarke is an English businessman who was sent to Paris by his company in September 2002. He was
Don't Miss These Ten Great Literary Reads for...
A little r and r in the UP is just what the doctor ordered, but it's not to be for Detective Sunderson in Jim Harrison's sequel to The Great Leader.
Giller Prize Winners
The Giller Prize is Canada's largest literary prize for fiction, awarding excellence in Candian fiction - long format or short stories - with a purse of $70,000 to the winner and $5,000 to each of the four finalists.
What Leif Enger does here is not about plot,...
Peace Like a River is the kind of book that reaffirms the notion that reading can sweep you away.
Top 10 Contemporary Lit Must Reads (next 10)
Twenty contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree. This contemporary literature reading list is comprised largely of titles published since 1970. Please visit my Contemporary Classics Reading List for older and more classic contemporary titles.
Bio of author Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr is an award-winning American writer whose short stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. His second story collection, Memory Wall, was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Story Prize.
True Notebooks
When Mark Salzman is invited to visit a writing class at Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for Los Angeles’s most violent teenage offenders, he scrambles for a polite reason to decline. He goes—expecting the worst—and is so astonished by what he finds that he becomes a teacher there himself. True Notebooks is an account of Salzman’s first years teaching at Central. Through it, we come to know his students as he did: in their own words.
Brief bio of J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling (born Joanne Rowling on July 31, 1965) is the famous author of the Harry Potter series, which has sold hundreds of millions of copies around the world. She was estimated to be a billionare by Forbes magazine in 2004.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid...
A young Pakistani's rise to success in America is violently interrupted on September 11. Mohsin Hamid delivers this young man's story as a sustained monologue describing how everything in his life turns upside down from 9/11 forward. Read the excerpt.
The Golden Compass
In Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, readers meet for the first time 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own - nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.
A Hologram For the King
In A Hologram For the King, Dave Eggers latest novel, Alan Clay, a middle-aged American businessman, shows up in Saudi Arabia to pitch a large IT deal to the king of the country.
Top 10 Young Adult Books
Young adult literature is usually characterized by having a young protagonist, a limited number of characters, few subplots, a compressed timespan, and a positive resolution. The YA audience is typically thought to be between the ages of 12 to 19 years, but much YA literature written today, including the Harry Potter books, and Philip Pullman's and Cornelia Funke's work has had crossover appeal to an adult audience.
The Secret Life of Bees
In 'The Secret Life of Bees,' Sue Monk Kidd wraps a coming-of-age tale around a search for one's mother, plunks it down into the racially-charged South Carolina of the 1960s and sets it all alight with a dose of feminine spirituality. . It is an inspirational feminist tale with strong female characters.
Winter's Tale is a story of time, love and...
Mark Helprin's epic story of time, love and justice is chock full of quote-worthy passages. Here are a few that I pulled out during my second reading of this masterpiece.
Excerpt from The Secret Life of Bees by Sue...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Viking Press October
American novelist Joshua Ferris is best known...
Joshua Ferris' work in an advertising agency was the inspiration for his hilariously satirical debut novel, Then We Came to the End. In January 2010, he follows with The Unnamed, a powerful story of one man's struggle with an anomalous disease that threatens to tear his life apart.
A sexy assassin steps out of a traffic jam and into an alternative world which is seemingly being crafted by a young ghost writer in love with this shadowy heroine. Dual moons fille the sky, little people emerge from the mouth of a goat, and time and space bend altogether in Haruki Murakami's opus 1Q84.
Kafka on the Shore
In Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami delivers a tour de force of metaphysical reality, powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.
The Almost Moon
In The Almost Moon , Alice Sebold has created a memorable but wholly unlikable character. Helen Knightly
Travels with Epicurus
Daniel Klein (Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates) examines the possibilities of old age in this short meditation.
The Gate House
'The Gate House,' a sequel to Nelson DeMille's successful 'The Gold Coast,' has all the elements of a 2009 beach read. There is a lot of sex; he does wait until the second page for the first episode. There are mafia dons, murder, divorce, reconciliation, alcohol, in-law troubles, and rich families down on their luck, or not.
Excerpt: "The Virgin Suicides"
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Time Warner Books
The Year of the Flood
Margaret Atwood is famous for dystopic novels, including the Booker Prize-Winning 'The Handmaid's Tale.' Fans of Atwood's won't be disappointed by 'The Year of the Flood,' which explores environmental and Biblical themes. The plot follows a religious group called the Gardeners who are waiting for what their scripture calls the Waterless Flood.
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller delivers her memory of an African childhood fraught with hardship, loss, and danger. She became accustomed to armed guerrillas and landmine-littered roads; hunger, drought, and malaria were never far off; and her family was both guilty of and victim to the racism that consumed colonial Africa in the late 20th century.
House Rules
House Rules may be the most painful, yet rewarding and educational novel you will read this year. Jodi Picoult places us squarely in the life of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome so that we can see the painful effects this condition has on him, his family, and those around them.
Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is the author of the bestselling novels High Fidelity and About a Boy, as well as the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the editor of the short story collection Speaking with the Angel. In 1999, he was the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award. He lives in North London.
Biography of David Mitchell, author of Cloud...
British novelist David Mitchell is known for his non-linear, structurally experimental novels such as Cloud Atlas and number9dream , both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His 2010 novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an historical novel set at a Dutch East Indies Company trading post in early nineteenth century Japan.
Something about Mike Engleby is not quite right. When he becomes fixated on a classmate and she goes missing, we are left with the looming question: Is Mike Engleby involved? Mike becomes more and more detached from those around him in an almost anti-coming-of-age. His inability to relate to others and his undependable memory lead the reader down an unclear and often darkly humorous path where one is never completely comfortable or confident about what is true.
Jeffrey Kluger introduces us to the new scientific discipline of 'Simplexity' - the notion that seemingly complex things can be more simple than they appear and that, alternately, seemingly simple things can be more complex than they appear. Kluger draws on research in fields including economics, biology, cosmology, chemistry, psychology, politics, and the arts to see patterns that make our world both full of complexity and reducible — with the right point of view — to simplicity.
'Testimony' opens with a shocking description of child pornography that may leave Anita Shreve's regular audience gasping for air, and perhaps even reaching for one of her previous novels to make sure she is the same author that they remember. As the story progresses, however, it becomes clear that this was in fact the author's intention, and not merely an unfortunate miscalculation by a normally perceptive writer.
Dialogue is the conversation of characters within a work of literature. It is also a literary form which dates back to the 5th century BC in Greece and was improved upon by Plato by 400 BC.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky tells the story of a single year in the life of Charlie, a 15-year-old boy, through the poignant letters that he writes to an anonymous friend.
Long Division
A fusion of magical realism, Southern literature and time-travel, Kiese Laymon's Long Division is a novel like no other and one of the best you'll read this year.
Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx is the author of the short-story collection Heart Songs and Other Stories, and the novels Postcards, The Shipping News, Accordion Crimes, and That Old Ace in the Hole. Her books have been translated into twenty languages. She lives and writes in Wyoming.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Birth: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born September 15, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria.
Symbols are people, places, or things used to represent somehing else in literature.
The Book Thief
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Once in a Promised Land
Once in a Promised Land is the story of a couple, Jassim and Salwa, who left the deserts of their native Jordan for those of Arizona, each chasing their own dreams of opportunity and freedom. Although the two live far from Ground Zero, they cannot escape the nationwide fallout from 9/11. Jassim, a hydrologist, believes passionately in his mission to keep the water tables from dropping and make water accessible to all people, his work threatened by an FBI witch hunt for domestic terrorists...
When the Killing's Done
T.C. Boyle is a dynamic writer with an expansive vocabulary. He chooses controversial topics and then weaves chatty novels around them; his characters are modern and the language in his writing feels instantly familiar. When the Killing's Done is no exception: the topic is how humans interact with the environment, and while the scenarios feel a bit stale, they do represent both sides of this divisive issue.
A New Earth
Plume, 2005 In A New Earth , spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle ( The Power of Now ) advocates
Before, During & After: Poems
Hal Sirowitz is the author of six books of poetry, although probably best known for the volumes Mother Said (Crown), & My Therapist Said (Crown). He has had work in numerous anothologies and periodicals, such as Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe (Henry Holt), Verses That Hurt (St. Martin's Press), Chelsea and Hanging Loose. He's a 1994 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, & reads regularly in New York, as well as internationally.
T.C. Boyle
T.C. Boyle is known for his humor and his biting satire. Over the course of his career as a novelist, he has shown a propensity for writing about famous and fascinating American eccentrics such as sexual-behavior scientist Alfred Kinsey in 'The Inner Circle' (2004), cereal inventor John Harvey Kellogg in 'The Road to Wellville,' and most recently, Frank Lloyd Wright in 'The Women.'
Review of At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
At First Sight needs two grades. The first, 2.5 stars, is for its literary merit. The second, 4.0 for it's appeal to Sparks' legion of fans.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
John Green's YA novel tells the stories of two teenagers battling cancer. It is at once an intensely sad and unexpectedly humorous novel about love, truth and fearlessness in the face of death.
Joan Didion
Joan Didion, born in California in 1934 and a graduate from Berkeley in 1956, wrote her first novel in the early 1960's and has written four since then. Her most highly esteemed work - that which made her famous as a chronicler of American culture and politics - is her narrative nonfiction.
Ken Follett's Century Trilogy is epic in scope.
Ken Follett has created another blockbuster in the vein of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, both of which anchored the bestsellers lists in their time. Fall of Giants is the first book in what Follett has described as
In 'The Tipping Point,' Malcolm Gladwell dissected the phenomena of social epidemics; and in 'Blink,' he discussed the nature of split-second decision-making. In 'Outliers,' Gladwell, the founding father of pop-sociology, examines high-achieving individuals and questions what makes them different from everyone else.
Jonathan Safran Foer's Tree of Codes is a novel...
Jonathan Safran Foer's latest effort, Tree of Codes, is simultaneously a paean to his favorite book, Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz and a bold artistic experiment with the form of the physical book. What it delivers from a literary perspective is less obvious.
Safe Haven is darker and more complex than...
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Hold Tight
If there was ever a novel that called for a sociological flow chart, 'Hold Tight,' a community murder mystery, is it. Harlan Coben has constructed a yarn with multiple points of view - a patchwork of tragically affected people connected to an incident of callousness and bad taste that festers into murder and suicide. And no one participant has any way of knowing how it all connects.
Cornelia Funke
Sometimes regarded as the German J.K. Rowling, Cornelia Funke is the author of numerous works of fiction. She is most widely known for her fantasy novels Drangonrider, The Thief Lord, and Inkheart, all of which have become international bestsellers.
David Mitchell's profoundly moving story...
David Mitchell's gloriously ambitious novel follows 60 years of Holly Sykes's life, from 1980 to the 2040, and tells a larger story about mortality and controlling one's destiny.
Excerpt from The Five People You Meet In Heaven
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Now Eddie just
Step On a Crack
In his bestselling novel, Step on a Crack, James Patterson introduces Detective Michael Bennett, an NYPD homicide detective thrust into the middle of a mass kidnapping. Patterson is the well-known author of 39 books(The Fifth Horseman and Mary, Mary are both reviewed on this site). Step on a Crack is James Patterson's first book with mystery-suspense author, Michael Ledwidge (The Narrowback, Bad Connection, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead).
Philip Roth
Philip Roth is a prolific and award-winning American author of novels and novellas centered thematically around the modern Jewish-American experience. From his National Book Award winning debut 'Goodbye Columbus' in 1959 to his alternate American history, 'The Plot Against America' (2004), Roth's oftentimes self-referential work has made him one of the most important contemporary American authors today.
The author's account of his or her life. Autobiography can be in the form of diary, letters, memoirs, or many other forms.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Mars astronaut Mark Watney awakens to find that he has been left for dead by his crew. Now he must find a way to survive on Mars until the arrival of Ares 4 in four years.
Review of The Accidental by Ali Smith
Ali Smith's Booker-nominated novel, The Accidental, is in fact about a girl. The seemingly harmless stranger named Amber turns up at the door of an English country house and turns out, to crib a line from a Hollywood film, to be the rock that they broke themselves against. The book, about how people break down and the terrifying possibilities of who they might become, is inevitably fractured by the astonishing, dizzying talent of its writing.
Jonathan Kellerman joins forces with son Jesse...
Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman meld folklore with suspense in layered stories of murder and Jewish mysticism which, unfortunately, fall short of the sum of their parts
The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin's experiment in happiness is eclectic and illuminating. As she makes clear from the start, each person's happiness project is a unique adventure. However, Rubinx adheres to hers so methodically and documents it so meticulously, that there is much that we can all take away from The Happiness Project.
One night Meggie's father, Mo, reads aloud from a book called 'Inkheart,' and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.
'The Last Lecture'
Hyperion, April 2008 Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less time than you
Edouard Leve's pseudo-memoir is a numbered list...
Composed as a numbered list, Edouard Leve’s Works is comprised of 533 conceptual art projects to be executed in a range of artistic techniques.
In Cloud Atlas David Mitchell has woven an epic...
From the Chatham Isles in 1850 to 1931 Belgium, from the West Coast in the 1970s to present-day England, and from a Korean superstate of the near future to a post-apocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas ricochets it's way through time, space, and literary genres.
The Carolina Way Book Review
The Carolina Way is an excellent, easily read examination of leadership based on the lessons Smith learned and taught in 36 years of coaching basketball at the University of Kansas (under the legendary Phog Allen), the Air Force Academy and the University of North Carolina. The format is deceptively simple. Coach Smith writes (with the able assistance of John Kilgo) about a particular aspect of leadership as it relates to his coaching philosophy.
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
These short pieces incorporate the stylistic pyrotechnics for which David Foster Wallace is famous - a usage lexicon from 100 years in the future that sheds light on the deterioration of male-female sexual relations, a series of pop quizzes that degrades into a meta-fiction in which the author debates the utility of such a form, and the brief interviews of the title in which a variety of self-absorbed male figures speak candidly with a female interviewer.
The Postmistress
Sarah Blake's debut novel is composed of intertwined stories of three woman during World War II - a Cape Cod postmistress, a radio gal in London, and a young bride who awaits her husband's return from the war.
Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At...
Love, love, love. All together now. "All you need is love." "Love hurts." "Love is a many splendored
World without End
Ken Follett is a master of the engaging tale, and in 'World Without End' there is plenty going on. If you liked 'The Pillars of the Earth,' you'll love this sequel. Follett is terrific at drawing characters who are compelling, funny, sexy, dramatic, and very human. Although the book is set in the fourteenth century, modern readers will immediately identify with the emotions and goals of its characters.
Momo by Michael Ende
Momo is a young-adult novel about an orphaned girl who must save her town from The Grey Men, an organization of time-stealing businessmen who adamantly sap away any extra hours that could be spent enjoying a daydream, small talk or a story.
Joshua Ferris nails the boredom, cynicism and...
What The Office brought to television, what Office Space brought to the movies, and what Dilbert brought to comics, Then We Came to the End brings to literature.
National Book Award Winners in Fiction
The National Book Awards are presented each year to American authors for work published the previous year in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature. These are the past ten years' winners in the fiction category.

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