So many books, so little time! Amazon has released yet another great top 10 list, but this time it’s light on fiction and heavy on real-life stories including celebrity memoirs and fascinating events from American history.
Which titles will you add to your reading list?
Dear Mr. You by Mary-Loise Parker
An extraordinary literary work, Dear Mr. You renders the singular arc of a woman’s life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today. Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers to an homage to a firefighter she encountered to a heartfelt communication with the uncle of the infant daughter she adopted. Readers will be amazed by the depth and style of these letters, which reveal the complexity and power to be found in relationships both loving and fraught.
The Witches: Salem, 1962 by Stacy Schiff
It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, The Witches is Pulitzer Prize-winner Stacy Schiff’s account of this fantastical story – the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is an intimate and revealing narrative of music-icon Carrie Brownstein’s escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.
Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel
In this tour de force of investigative reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared. With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.
The Grownup: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Grownup, which originally appeared as What Do You Do? in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles
In this magisterial biography, award winning author T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Gen. George Armstrong Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer’s legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer’s historical caricature revealing a volatile, contradictory, intense person – capable yet insecure, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive.
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem – writer, activist, organizer, and inspiring leader – now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of her life as a traveler, a listener, and a catalyst for change.
Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving
Juan Diego – a fourteen-year-old boy, who was born and grew up in Mexico – has a thirteen-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she thinks she sees what’s coming – specifically, her own future and her brother’s. Lupe is a mind reader; she doesn’t know what everyone is thinking, but she knows what most people are thinking. Regarding what has happened, as opposed to what will, Lupe is usually right about the past; without your telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you.
St. Marks is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street by Ada Calhoun
In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants’ haven, a mafia warzone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids―but it has always been a place that outsiders call home.
The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
In this poignant, hilarious, and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life – and how it can change yours too.
Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living by Jason Gay
The Wall Street Journal’s popular columnist Jason Gay delivers a hilarious and heartfelt guide to modern living.