The Remarkable Story of an Ordinary Man

As evidenced by my reviews of/obsession with EMPIRE FALLS and & SONS, stories about small towns and big families just hook me. I can’t really explain it—there’s just something about people and drama stuck in a contained space that’s guaranteed to please every single time.

Which is why, when I first heard of Annie Proulx’s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning novel THE SHIPPING NEWS, I knew it was probably for me.

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13 Smart Books from @HotDudesReading’s Instagram

For any person who appreciates looking at beautiful people reading smart books—this list is for you. @HotDudesReading is an Instagram sensation and they recently published HOT DUDES READING—a book full of their famous Instagrams of good-looking men reading. We’ve collected some of the best books the hot dudes are reading in their glamour shots here, and we are very pleased to find that they read really good books!

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A Miserable Childhood, A Transcendent Tale

One day in the spring of 1995, when Frank McCourt was sixty-four years old, I received a box from literary agent Molly Friedrich, containing the first 159 pages of the memoir ANGELA’S ASHES. Several of us read the pages, as Frank would say, with alacrity. And loved them, swiftly seduced by the opening sentences: “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived it all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood; the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.”

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14 Books Worth Revisiting From Today’s Best Writers

Your favorite author has a brand-new book out. You rush to your local bookstore to buy it, experience the intense pleasure of being reunited with an old friend, and gobble it up in a few sittings. But then comes the crash. You finish the novel and give it a place of honor on your bookshelf, but then you’re bereft because it can take years for that writer to publish her next novel. We feel your pain.

So many writers who we admire have new books out this year: Richard Russo, Ann Patchett, Jane Hamilton, and Amor Towles, just to name a few. But the good news doesn’t stop there. To help you combat the dreaded waiting-for-the-next-book syndrome, here are some of our favorite older books from writers with new ones out this year.

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13 Books to Read After A MAN CALLED OVE

So you’ve finished reading A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman and fallen in love with the (secretly wonderful) Swedish curmudgeon known as Ove (in case your Swedish is as good as mine, it’s pronounced “Oo-veh”). And now you’re bereft. We understand. What do you read after falling under the spell of such an unexpected, surprising, charming book? Here are thirteen suggestions. (As with OVE, it might serve you to keep tissues close at hand.)

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A Tale of Two Soul Mates

Sixty pages in, you’ll have witnessed troubling violence and tragedy; sixty pages more and you’ll bear witness to darker deeds. By story’s end, you’ll have explored the lowest reaches of human nature, traveled countless miles, and watched a nation grow out of its ancient imperial origins into a modern industrial power, all through the eyes of the same tortured souls. This is the thread of Susan Barker’s THE INCARNATIONS, a gorgeous, sweeping work that carries you across the history of China as experienced by two soul mates.

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A Quirky Novel Where All Love Is Considered

The first time I held a copy of Miranda July’s THE FIRST BAD MAN was six months after its buzzworthy release. It was summer; I was in McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan with a friend. The book, with its clean black backing and sans serif lettering in all-white caps, lay confidently on a table of staff recommendations.

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Pass the Popcorn: 10 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen

From children’s classics to fairytale backstories, dramatic thrillers to inspiring biographies, books have always been source material for some of our greatest and most cherished films. Stories can live on the page and in our minds, but there’s nothing quite like seeing them come to life before your eyes. Here are some of the titles we can’t wait to see in theaters this year and beyond.

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