It’s been said that readers make the best writers, so it’s no surprise that many authors are themselves voracious readers. We have gathered some solid recommendations from a variety of writers, sourced from articles on the following sites The Guardian, The New York Times, Bookbub and Bookish.
Hanif Kureishi recommends To Sir, With Love by E. R. Braithwaite. Kureishi says, “(It’s) the moving story of an educated, ex-air force Guyanese man unable to find work because of racism. He ends up teaching in a new-style “free” school in the East End. There he is racially insulted continually, and we soon understand how abuse works to keep a man in his place for fear he will become a human being who might demand the same pleasures and rights as his white masters. We see the everyday violence that conservatism requires to preserve itself, as well as his struggle to remain sane and decent in horrific conditions.”
John Green says he is “loving Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Maybe my favorite novel I’ve read this year.” The story “intertwines stories of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the mother and daughter who upend their lives. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.”
Matt Bellassai recommends Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello. Publisher Simon and Shuster calls this a “memoir reminiscent of Rob Sheffield’s Love Is a Mixtape and George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Michael Ausiello—a respected TV columnist and founder and editor-in-chief of TVLine.com—remembers his late husband, and the lessons, love, and laughter that they shared throughout their fourteen years together.” Matt Bellassai says he, “just finished crying through all of @MichaelAusiello’s book and if I have to suffer then so should you.”
Kamila Shamsie recommends Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. She says “(it) is a great novel: great in its structure, its language, its characters, its intelligence, its engagement with history, its evocation of place, its sensuality, its humanity. How much of this is connected to the Asianness of its Sri Lankan-Canadian writer? Well, you could answer that question by pointing to the character of Kirpal “Kip” Singh, the Indian sapper who has defused bombs for the allied forces through the war only to feel betrayed, broken-hearted, by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – this is the crescendo of the novel, its moral core.”
Ann Patchett recommends Tom Hanks‘ collection of short stories Uncommon Type. She says “Reading Tom Hanks’s Uncommon Type is like finding out that Alice Munro is also the greatest actress of our time.” Publisher Penguin Random House describes it as, “A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game–and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN’s newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales…”
Paula Hawkins recommends Hannah Kent’s The Good People, saying it is, “a literary novel with the pace and tension of a thriller that takes us on a frightening journey towards an unspeakable tragedy.” Taking place in Ireland, the story follows Nóra, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheál, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nóra just as rumors begin to spread that Micheál is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Nóra and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.