Next week I will fly to California to spend the High Holidays with my family. It’s a time of reflection and often a time to set an intention for the year ahead. Whether or not you’re Jewish, if your intention is to read more books by contemporary Jewish writers, here are 9 novels that are smart, funny, imaginative, thoughtful, compelling, and heartbreaking for your reading list.
Have you ever been mistaken for someone else and considered just going along with it? The titular character in Chris Belden’s rollicking academic farce, SHRIVER, takes that impulse to a new level when he is mistaken for a famous, misanthropic author who shares his name.
Merry is eight years old and her teenage sister is acting out in frightening, disturbing ways. Is she mentally ill? Demonically possessed? The adult Merry thinks she knows the answer after tragedy has consumed her family in Paul Tremblay’s engrossingly scary novel A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. But as readers we’re not so sure, a testament to Tremblay’s skillful legerdemain which keeps us guessing until the end (and afterward).
US and global politics are no laughing matter. That is, unless you’ve tuned in to the 2016 presidential election and witnessed the many cringe-worthy moments that have bordered on absurdity. To help make sense of it all (or at least find some humor in it), we’ve collected this list of books to help us look at politics from a more humorous perspective.
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There are few writers with the depth and range to give us historical fiction about a presidential assassination; a dystopian novel about a reality TV competition; a moving and magical serial novel about death row inmates; a thousand-plus-page epic about an evil shape-shifting clown; an inspiring and enlightening memoir on the writing life; an eight-volume fantasy Western saga; numerous award-winning short-story collections—the list goes on and on. The writer I am talking about, of course, is the one and only Stephen King. He never ceases to delight and chill us with the power of his imagination. His writing holds a mirror up to his readers and asks: Who are we? What do we desire most and what are we willing to do to get it? What do we truly fear?
As someone who aspires to be the crazy pigeon lady in Central Park from “Home Alone 2,” I can’t help but pick up a book with a bird reference in the title. These 13 books are perfect for exploring the connection we have to our avian friends, whether it’s through self-discovery, love, loss, or adventure. Look for me with a bike basket full of these books, on my way to the park to read, with my one-eyed parrot Jack on my handlebars.
“The Queen of Katwe” will hit the silver screen in Disney’s highly anticipated adaptation this month and stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. Like “The Blind Side,” the film brings to life the story of an underdog whose drive and commitment allows them to overcome incredible odds in life and in sports. The new film is based on THE QUEEN OF KATWE: ONE GIRL’S TRIUMPHANT PATH TO BECOMING A CHESS CHAMPION by Tim Crothers—a true, moving, and triumphant account of a young girl who rises out of unlikely circumstances to become an international chess star.
I know there are some snobby über-literary types out there who scoff when they’re told that one of the best—if not the best—writer about writing is Stephen King. I know, because I probably used to be one of them. Sure, back in the day I might have granted that his memoir ON WRITING is really useful and brilliant when it comes to learning the craft of writing. But what about the art of it? What can a super-commercial novelist like that teach me about my creative demons?
We’ve seen a recent rise in novels with multiple authors, so much so that it’s clearly not just a flash-in-the-pan trend. In fact, novels with two or even more authors have become both bestsellers and classics. We’ve collected some our favorite unique and intriguing tales written by pairings of talented authors.
I have an affinity for writing that’s darkly luminescent—prose that has an epiphany or a realization roiling in its depths, biding its time until it’s time to emerge. And that’s exactly what I found in Robert Levy’s debut novel THE GLITTERING WORLD.