Contemporary Literature: Most Popular Articles
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
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about narrative arcs, also called story arcs, and the four components that make up the chronological construction of the plot.
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.
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 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.
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.
Scribner, 2002 Emergence is the ability of low-level components to self-organize into a higher-level
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These ten funny books will have you laughing out loud, laughing the milk right through your nose.
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.
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.
'Little Bee' is the story of a tenuous friendship that emerges between a Nigerian refuge girl and a white British magazine editor.
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.
Things That Are is a slim collection of nonfiction essays in which Amy Leach turns a playful and poetic lens on the natural world. Leach's writing and Nate Christopherson's accompanying pen and ink drawings are delightful.
Tsukuru Tazaki must reconcile his differences with four former friends in order to grow out of an emotionally stunted malaise.
'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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being comprises two narratives, that of a 16-year-old Japanese girl who sets out to tell the story of her 104-year-old Buddhist grandmother, and one of a novelist named Ruth, who finds the aforementioned story.
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.
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.
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.
At the Seattle aquarium, an old man reveals a secret that alters 12-year-old Caitlin's life.and relationship with her mother forever.
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.'
Plume, 2005 In A New Earth , spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle ( The Power of Now ) advocates
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.
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.
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.
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.
In cities around the world, men meet in underground
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3rd, 1892 in South Africa. Tolkien was educated and taught Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University. Tolkien's works include The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Simarillion, which are both available on audio from Random House.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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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.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone these words could not be truer. Harry was only an infant when a
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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.
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.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Birth: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born September 15, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria.
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.
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.
British author, Ian McEwan, was born in Aldershot, England in 1948. The son of a military man, McEwan spent his childhood abraod in various locales in Africa, Asian, and Europe. In 1998, McEwan was awarded the Booker Prize for Amsterdam, and his 2001 novel, Atonement, was nominated for the Booker. His 2005 novel is entitled Saturday and recounts a single day in the life of a successful English neurosurgeon.
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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?
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.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Excerpt
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.
Chilean Author, Isabelle Allende was born on August 2, 1942 in Peru. In the 1960s and 1970s, Allende
Marjorie Williams wrote political profiles for The Washington Post and Vanity Fair that came to be considered the final word on the capital's most powerful figures. This splendid collection digs into the psyche of the nation's capital, revealing not only the hidden selves of the people who run it, but the messy lives that the rest of us lead.
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.
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.
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.
What if you could go back in time? Back to a November day in Dallas in 1963 to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy - that's the goal of English teacher Jake Epping, the protagonist in Stephen King's time travel novel, 11/22/63.
: Point of view is the vantage point from which a story is told. In the first-person point of view, the
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 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.
Paul Austin's compelling and transformative memoir about parenting a child with Down syndrome is also a provocative book about parenting any child.
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.'
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.
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.
Michael Crummey's Sweetland is an elegy for a dying way of life, and the haunting, haunted character who fights for it.
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.
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.
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.
Stephen Clarke is an English businessman who was sent to Paris by his company in September 2002. He was
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.
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.
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).
Metropolitan Books 2003 Noam Chomsky's latest book, "Hegemony or Survival," presents a view of American
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
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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.
Certainly "Best" is Subjective, but here they are - the best novels published in This Century! 1. The
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.
When a 14-year-old black girl is found ravaged, beaten and left for dead, she points the finger at the white cops who surround her.
: Literally "god in the machine" (or "ghost in the machine" as The Police put it), deus ex machina is
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.
A widower indie bookseller is at the heart of Gabrielle Zevin's uplifting paean to the power of reading.
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.
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.
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, and confusing notes - such are the obstacles of an unnamed narrator as she tries to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel.
Frog, by 2012 Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan, is a multi-generational novel about childbirth in China in the 20th Century.
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).
A long and highly stylized narrative poem celebrating the heroic achievements of its hero. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are usually regarded as the first important epic poems and are considered to define the form.
On the night of the apocalypse, Arthur Leander suffers a fatal heart attack while performing King Lear. The narrative that emerges is woven from Leander's story and the stories of others he touched.
About.com book reviewers have sorted through the best literary fiction published in 2014 to give you their picks.
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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.
Miranda July's novel is about an odd woman whose search for love is fruitless until an unexpected house-guest is thrust upon her.
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.
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.
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.
The immensely talented book designed Peter Mendelsund has created a whimsical illustrated introduction to the philosophy of reading.
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.
Gordon Bowker delivers a comprehensive and readable biography of James Joyce.
'Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix' (Harry Potter 5) may be the most anticipated after the last cliffhanger ending. The fourth book marked a turning point, as Lord Voldemort (think Darth Vader meets Hitler) returned to human form to rebuild his army and start a second uprise to power, determined to let only pure blood wizards remain. Compared to the first three books, the fourth was much darker, more compelling, and only led to the greatness of book five.
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.
Some see Thomas Cromwell as the devil that did great harm to Henry VIII and England; others see him as the shining light in England's Reformation. Tracy Borman expertly outlines the good and the bad.
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher is a short but potent collection of short stories by two-time Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel.
Hyperion, April 2008 Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less time than you
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.
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.
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.
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.
Viking, 2005 Sue Monk Kidd spoke recently in Raleigh, North Carolina on the penultimate evening of a
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.
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.
A great book if you like music or good writing, discovering how musicians think, or learning how to cook tilapia simmered in coconut-cumin sauce.
A brief narrative that reveals a fictional character's traits or personality.
In 10% Happier, ABC news correspondant and Nightline and Good Morning America co-anchor Dan Harris reveals how meditation saved his life.
In Jim Harrison's 37th novel, lust, fish, murder, and the nature of evil collide on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The Book of Strange New Things is an exceptional novel that, while teetering on the frontiers of science fiction and religion, never indulges in fantasy.
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.
Sometimes it takes an act of God to bring out the humanity in people.
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.
Wolf in White Van, penned by the lead singer of The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle, is a remarkable novel about loneliness, identity, and the world of fantasy role-playing games.
The story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a man of letters and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, an unfortunate outsider unjustly imprisoned. In Arthur and George, Julian Barnes delivers a fictional retelling of a true story in which the lives of two most disparate individuals are surprisingly woven together.
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.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Jack Kerouac Dates: