Contemporary Literature: Most Popular Articles
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
: Sometime simply called "arc" or "story arc," narrative arc refers to the chronological construction
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
'Little Bee' is the story of a tenuous friendship that emerges between a Nigerian refuge girl and a white British magazine editor.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7) is more than just the seventh and final installment
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.
Night is Elie Wiesels candid, horrific, and poignant account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elies wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the authors 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 mans capacity for inhumanity to man.
These ten funny books will have you laughing out loud, laughing the milk right through your nose.
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.
Although The Game is subtitled "Penetrating the Society of Pickup Artists," Neil Strauss does far more
Nicholas Sparks brings back two characters from his bestseller, True Believer. New Yorker, Jeremy Marsh is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, married to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the birth of their daughter. But, just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, an unsettling and mysterious message reopens old wounds and sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of this young couple's marriage.
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.
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.
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 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.
2000 bestseller, The Tipping Point , has exhibited such enormous staying power on the bestseller lists
Underneath it’s Kafkaesque plot, the story of Oda Sotatsu’s wrongful incarceration makes powerful statements about narration, oration, and the noisy space between fact and fiction.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind seems born of a different time. An ode to its own genre, a love song to itself, the story of a boy who is shown the power of a book, one so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he loves.
Plume, 2005 In A New Earth , spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle ( The Power of Now ) advocates
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vintage, 2009 The Collected Works of Billy the Kid was Michael Ondaatje's first novel, originally published
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.
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.
Amidst disillusioned saints hiding in wrestling rings, mothers burnt by glowing halos, and a Baby Nostradamus who sees only blackness, a gang of flower pickers heads off to war, led by a lonely man who cannot help but wet his bed in sadness. Part memoir, part lies, The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia is a book about the wounds inflicted by first love and sharp objects.
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.
Audrey Niffenegger's debut novel, 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' is one part science fiction and one part love story. It is the compelling tale of Henry DeTamble, a man afflicted with a genetic disorder which causes him to slip sporadically through time, without warning and naked. It is also the story of Clare Abshire, the woman who loves him. Read the prologue.
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.
: Point of view is the vantage point from which a story is told. In the first-person point of view, the
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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.
In The Good Lord Bird, James McBride follows abolitionist John Brown through the last half of the 1850s, culminating in Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
Hyperion, April 2008 Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less time than you
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.
Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encountersometimes all at once. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finestwhich means his most extreme and his most provocative.
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.
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.
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.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Excerpt
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.
What if America had adopted an isolationist stance during World War II? Or, worse, what if the American
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Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door.
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.
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.
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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.
The Round House, Louise Erdich's fourteenth novel and the winner of the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, is the story of a Native American teenager's investigation of his mother's attack on a North Dakota reservation.
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.
Black Hole , the epic graphic novel by Charles Burns, orbits around the twin teenage mysteries of sex
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.
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. In A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line.
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.
'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.
Anne Garrels is a senior foreign correspondent for National Public Radio. She has covered conflicts in
It is a unique sort of humor that will find as much appeal with me as it does with my mother-in-law,
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.'
Monica Ali is like a magician revealing all her secrets. In a time when every Western country is facing off with its Muslim populations, Brick Lane provides its readers a look at a community that, frankly, frightens them. It is, in short, an education.
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.
Grand Central Publishing, September 2010 Nicholas Sparks is a brand as surely as Kellogg, Chevrolet,
Peter Matthiessen is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including Shadow Country and The Snow Leopard. His fiction includes At Play in the Fields of the Lord, which was nominated for a National Book Award, Far Tortuga, and Shadow Country.
'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.
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.
'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.
When we grin as children, perched upright on Santa's lap, the jolly fat man is always quick to remind
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.
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, and confusing notes --such are the obstacles in the way of the unnamed narrator of The End of the Story as she attempts to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel. With compassion, wit, and what appears to be candor, she seeks to determine what she actually knows about herself and her past, but we begin to suspect, along with her, that given the elusiveness of memory and understanding, any tale retrieved from the past must be fiction.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
John Updike wrote and published over 60 books, including novels and collections of short stories, poetry, and essays. Throughout his career, he won nearly every literary award available. The Early Stories 1953-1975, a large anthology of the author's short stories published in 2003, won him the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and in 2006 he was awarded the Rea Award for the Short Story. John Updike died of lung cancer in January 2009. He was 76
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.
The war against Voldemort is not going well. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. And yet... As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate -- and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon's simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. So begins Book 1 of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón's (The Shadow of the Wind)latest novel, The Angel's Game, is told from the perspective of David Martin, a Barcelona youth who makes his living as a journalist and writer of pulp fiction novels. Martin survives his troubled childhood by taking refuge in stories until — at the age of seventeen — he gets the chance to begin writing his own. Under the patronage of Pedro Vidal, Martin makes a quick rise to fame by telling tales of Barcelona's gritty underworld.
It is one of the central ironies of my career that as soon as I got off heroin things started getting
Chilean Author, Isabelle Allende was born on August 2, 1942 in Peru. In the 1960s and 1970s, Allende
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.
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 hadnt read those first few.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Birth: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born September 15, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria.
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.
García Márquez is often considered the most famous of writers of magic realism. He got his start as a reporter for the Colombian daily El Espectador, and later worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York City. His most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, has sold more than ten million copies.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? How well do you recall Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts?
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.
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.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone these words could not be truer. Harry was only an infant when a
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man - also named Jonathan Safran Foer - sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war, an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior, and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.
Love, love, love. All together now. "All you need is love." "Love hurts." "Love is a many splendored
In The Year of Magical Thinking , Joan Didion's eighth book to make it to The New York Times best-seller
In a remote mountain village, the beautiful Dikosha lives for dancing and for song. Her twin brother, Radisene, works in the lowland capital of Maseru, struggling amid political upheaval to find a life for himself away from the hills. As the years pass, Radisene's fortunes rise and fall in the city, while Dikosha remains in the village, never leaving and never aging. And through it all, the community watches, comments, and passes judgment.
Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than fifty novels and hundreds of short stories. Her work is often violent, and her topics often include rural poverty, sexual abuse, and female childhood and adolescence.
With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt proceeds by exploring how bullshit and the related concept of humbug are distinct from lying. He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all.
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.
: Literally "god in the machine" (or "ghost in the machine" as The Police put it), deus ex machina is
There are three common things that every true New Yorker knows: The subways never run regular on the
People make enemies easily in Hollywood. To track down a merciless killer, Alex must navigate a world where the stars and players sip San Pellegrino at the Ivy as hopefuls hover around studio gates armed with 8 x 10 glossies. Everyone is desperate for a close-up, but this is one fan Hollywood could do without. Members of the A-list fear they're next on Mary's list, and the case catapults into blockbuster proportions as Cross and the LAPD scramble to find a pattern.
For Twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school.
Geoff Dyer is, arguably, one of the whiniest people on the planet. He begins this memoir by describing the endless vacillation he experienced in setting out to write a sober, academic study of D.H. Lawrence - the writer who had inspired Dyer to write - and then proceeds to hedge about where he should live in order to write the study.
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.
Stephen Clarke is an English businessman who was sent to Paris by his company in September 2002. He was
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.
Lamb is Christopher Moore's irreverent, iconoclastic, and hilarious tale of the early life of Jesus Christ as witnessed by his boyhood pal Levi bar Alphaeus (a.k.a. Biff).
Anchor Books August 2003 ISBN: 1400031869 Fugui, the prodigal son of a wealthy country Chinese landowner,
Spearheaded by Dave Eggers, the selections within The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013 are as always an eclectic assortment chosen for inclusion in the book by the annual crop of San Francisco area high schoolers from Eggers' 826 Valencia writing and tutoring center.
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.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >, the inventive and unconventionally rendered
Certainly "Best" is Subjective, but here they are - the best novels published in This Century! 1. The
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.
Oskar Schell, the precocious nine year old narrator from Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, is an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Little, Brown and Company, 2013 Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is centered around Theodore (Theo) Decker.
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.
Toni Morrison made her debut as a novelist in 1970, soon gaining the attention of both critics and a wider audience for her epic power, unerring ear for dialogue, and her poetically-charged and richly-expressive depictions of Black America. A member since 1981 of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has been awarded a number of literary distinctions, among them the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
In The Almost Moon , Alice Sebold has created a memorable but wholly unlikable character. Helen Knightly
If Alan Hollinghursts new novel The Line of Beauty wasnt so well written and smart, it might feel like
When Cecil Valance visits the country home of his Cambridge boyfriend George, he pens a poem in George's younger sister's diary, a simple act that becomes the subject of much speculation by the family over the course of the ensuing decades.
In his outstanding debut story collection, 'Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,' Wells Tower captures a variety of experience that is as far-ranging as it is close to home. These stories of Viking marauders, teenage girls, and fractured families are violent and tender. They're stories told with the kind of honesty that makes us see our worst selves in the best possible light.
Margaret Atwoods new novel, Oryx and Crake, is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it. With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter.
Lee Smith's Guests on Earth revisits the infamous 1948 fire at Asheville's Highland Hospital which took the lives of seven female patients, including Zelda Fitzgerald.
A quintessentially Southern novel, A Death at White Camellia Orphanage follows a boy on a journey across America as he seeks resolution to the unsolved mystery of his brother's death.
Stream of consciousness is a narrative technique in which the the writer renders a flow of associated thoughts and feelings giving the impression of one's consciousness as it streams through ideas visual, auditory, and physical.
A military science fiction about intergalactic war and military strategy, Ender's Game is Orson Scott Card's most widely read novel and masterwork.
Dutton, September 2010 The prospect of beginning to read a book that tips the scales at 2.5 pounds and
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.
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.
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.
In this wickedly entertaining and thoroughly informed homage to one of rock music's towering pinnacles, Erik Davis investigates the magic black or otherwise that surrounds this album. Carefully peeling the layers from each song, Davis reveals their dark and often mystical roots and leaves the reader to decide whether Led Zeppelin IV is some form of occult induction or just an inspired, brilliantly played rock album.
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.
Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of several novels, including The Remains of the Day, an international bestseller that won the Booker Prize and was adapted into an award-winning film, and Never Let Me Go, a dystopian science fiction novel set in England during the late 1990s.