11 Must-Reads Selected by a Bestselling Author

August 26 2015
Share 11 Must-Reads Selected by a Bestselling Author

When Alice Hoffman, beloved bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers, shared her personal must-reads with the Strand Bookstore, New York City’s legendary emporium that boasts eighteen miles of new and used books, it got our creative energy flowing. We borrowed our favorites from her top picks to create today’s list of recommendations. Each of these eleven books illuminates Hoffman’s sweeping and eclectic style.

Beloved
by Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Filled with bitter poetry, this is a towering achievement from Nobel Prize–winner Toni Morrison.

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Beloved
Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Filled with bitter poetry, Beloved is a towering achievement.

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Olive Kitteridge
by Elizabeth Strout

At times stern, at other times patient, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge is one of literature’s most complex characters in recent years. This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel offers profound insights into the human condition—its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

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Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout

At times stern, at other times patient, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge is one of literature’s most complex characters in recent years. This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel offers profound insights into the human condition—its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

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Time and Again
by Jack Finney

If you've never read Jack Finney's beautiful New York novel, now is the time to fall in love with this much-admired, time-honored classic.

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Time and Again
Jack Finney

When advertising artist Si Morley is recruited to join a covert government operation exploring the possibility of time travel, he jumps at the chance to leave his twentieth-century existence and step into New York City in January 1882. Aside from his thirst for experience, he has good reason to return to the past—his friend Kate has a curious, half-burned letter dated from that year, and he wants to trace the mystery. But when Si begins to fall in love with a woman he meets in the past, he will be forced to choose between two worlds—forever.

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Celestial Navigation
by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler weaves an utterly engrossing meditation on the bravery and sacrifice demanded by love. When shy and agoraphobic Jeremy is forced to open his house to boarders, he encounters a mother who risks everything when she leaves her husband for another man.

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Celestial Navigation
Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler weaves an utterly engrossing meditation on the bravery and sacrifice demanded by love. When shy and agoraphobic Jeremy is forced to open his house to boarders, he encounters a mother who risks everything when she leaves her husband for another man.

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Close
The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin

The very best science fiction creates deeply immersive, textured worlds that at the same time reveal something about the way we live today. More than forty years after its publication, Ursula Le Guin’s novel still challenges our notions of gender and remains a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

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The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin

The very best science fiction creates deeply immersive, textured worlds that at the same time reveal something about the way we live today. More than forty years after its publication, Ursula Le Guin’s novel still challenges our notions of gender and remains a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

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Close
Moon Tiger
by Penelope Lively

Claudia Hampton, a strong, independent woman and bestselling author, recalls her contentious relations with family and friends and the one short-lived love affair that resonated throughout her life in this Man Booker Prize–winning novel.

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Moon Tiger
Penelope Lively

Claudia Hampton, a strong, independent woman and bestselling author, recalls her contentious relations with family and friends and the one short-lived love affair that resonated throughout her life in this Man Booker Prize–winning novel.

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Close
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez

Chronicling the trials and triumphs of one South American family across six generations, this novel is literature at its most epic and ambitious. The mundane and fantastic intertwine to create a sense of magical realism that brims with truth and strikes the soul.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

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Close
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s classic memoir brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris in the 1920s and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized. Also included are irreverent portraits of artistic luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein.

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A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway

A MOVEABLE FEAST is a love letter to La Ville Lumière and a testament to Hemingway’s boundless artistic ambition. Permeating every page is the heartbreaking story of love gained and lost.

Read Peter Golden’s review here.

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Close
Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

The original work of dystopian fiction, Bradbury’s emotionally charged and suspenseful masterpiece continues to set the standard for what the genre can accomplish.

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Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

First published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 is a classic novel set in the future when books forbidden by a totalitarian regime are burned. The hero, a book burner, suddenly discovers that books are flesh and blood ideas that cry out silently when put to the torch.

Read the full review here.

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
by Emily Dickinson

“My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun - / In Corners - till a Day . . .” In Emily Dickinson’s tightly controlled and wonderfully evocative poetry, it’s not the words but the silences between them that speak the loudest. Now readers can read her complete poems and discover for themselves the treasure of her imagination and wit.

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The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson

“My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun - / In Corners - till a Day . . .” In Emily Dickinson’s tightly controlled and wonderfully evocative poetry, it’s not the words but the silences between them that speak the loudest. Now readers can read her complete poems and discover for themselves the treasure of her imagination and wit.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

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By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

Close
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë

Charged with brooding, intense personalities and a gloomy atmosphere, the tragic love story of Heathcliff and Cathy has remained one of English literature’s most popular—and divisive—novels.

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Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë

“Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
The turbulent and tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff spans two generations—from the time Heathcliff, a strange, coarse young boy, is brought to live on the Earnshaws’ windswept estate, through Cathy’s marriage to Edgar Linton and Heathcliff’s plans for revenge, to Cathy’s death years later and the eventual union of the surviving Earnshaw and Linton heirs. A masterpiece of imaginative fiction, Wuthering Heights (the author’s only novel) remains as poignant and compelling today as it was when first published in 1847.

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MENTIONED IN:

Stephen King’s Top Books, According to Stephen King

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 8 Autumnal Picks to Discuss with Cider Nearby

By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

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