When you read books for a living, your standout reads are sure to captivate fellow book-lovers. Here, we get the biggest readers we know to share their best books of all time.
By: Jamie Raab
This time, president and co-publisher of Celadon Books Jamie Raab shares her must-read books, including short stories, unforgettable depictions of childhood, and more.
Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature.
The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O’Connor put together in her short lifetime.
Franny came out in The New Yorker in 1955, and was swiftly followed, in 1957 by Zooey. Both stories are early, critical entries in a narrative series Salinger completed about a family of settlers in twentieth-century New York, the Glasses.
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960.
Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. This novel throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene.
Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
At the center of The Magus is Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching position on a remote Greek island, where he befriends a local millionaire. The friendship soon evolves into a deadly game in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated, and Nicholas finds that he must fight not only for his sanity but for his very survival.
Rich with humor and poignancy, Marjorie Morningstar is a classic love story, one that spans two continents and two decades in the life of its heroine. This unforgettable paean to youthful love and the bittersweet sorrow of a first heartbreak endures as one of Herman Wouk’s most beloved creations.