For every scandalous, heartrending, on-the-edge-of-your-seat-thrilling television show, there’s a fantastic book that’s sure to please fans while they await a new episode or season. Book lovers and shameless TV bingers can unite with this list of book recommendations inspired by some of the best shows on TV.
Decades before Elena Ferrante gifted us with Lenù and Lila in her Neapolitan novels, Carmen Laforet gave us Andrea in NADA. The works have a great deal in common: in both, passionate young women try to wrench themselves from the poverty and close-mindedness of their society. The specter of World War II looms over both books, along with the reality that for many that war never ended but continued on in broken hearts and crooked streets all across Europe.
Oprah Winfrey started her book club in 1996 and, for the last twenty years, millions of books have been sold and read because of her recommendations and her dedication to promoting brilliant writers. Here are just some of the bestselling, award-winning, and truly life-changing books that she has selected for her book club.
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California summer. A vineyard. A fiancé with a British accent. A wedding dress that’s been somewhat rumpled by a nine-hour drive in the opposite direction from said fiancé . . . there’s a lot to love in the opening pages of Laura Dave’s novel EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES. But before you dive in, you should pause to pour yourself a glass of wine (or maybe order a plate of lasagna!) because Dave stuffs this story of family, love, and secrets with so many delicious descriptions that you’ll want to taste everything yourself.
We all love reading thrillers—from murder mysteries to gripping heists—but sometimes we are even more intrigued by a thriller when it is based on startling true events. Below are several of our favorite examples of fast-paced and suspenseful novels that were inspired by true crimes and shocking incidents throughout history.
These LGBTQ favorites represent just some of the brave and influential events on the cultural barometer of twentieth-century gay literary history. From where we stand now, with marriage equality in the United States, they all seem deeply historical. Some were written in countries when it was illegal for gay people to exist openly, never mind marry.
All of them spell out liberation and relief in some form particular to the time of their publication, but also echo forward to future readers. Who of these authors would have believed at the time they were writing their courageous words that we would come to where we are now in the U.S. with LGBTQ civil rights?
Editor’s Note: We love Jennifer Weiner’s smart, sassy voice. Her bestselling novels, from GOOD IN BED to WHO DO YOU LOVE, are poignant and funny, and her New York Times op-eds are spot-on. That’s why we are so excited that she has just released her first nonfiction book, a collection of personal essays called HUNGRY HEART: ADVENTURES IN LIFE, LOVE, AND WRITING. She’s always inspired us, and in this list, she’s shared eight books that inspire her—and we’re thrilled to share them with you.
Here, in her own words, are Jennifer Weiner’s favorite books.
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I recently revisited Aravind Adiga’s THE WHITE TIGER to discern what about it so riveted and enchanted me when I first read it in college. I figured it had to be the first sentence. This was a book that enraptured me with its utterly distinct and unrelenting voice, and I thought it must have been the first sentence where I got a glimpse of that.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. When done right, it can transport us to another time and teach us about eras that are often overlooked in history books. In the historical novels listed below, the authors bring us back in time to show fascinating events and time periods that, while significant in human history, are rarely seen in other stories. Here are some of my all-time favorites of the genre.
In the 1970s, police departments throughout the United States were forced to admit the first female officers, thanks to the expansion of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited police departments from discriminating against women in hiring, promoting, and working conditions. This step heralded in a new era of policing as women joined departments across the country that were largely unprepared for, and in many instances hostile to, the integration of women into their male-dominated ranks.
In her novel COP TOWN, bestselling author Karin Slaughter takes us directly into the thick of it, introducing us to the first female police officers in the 1974 Atlanta Police Department.