Good Minds Suggest
Find book recommendations from your favorite authors! Every month we pick a different writer's brain to plumb.
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Kim Stanley Robinson
Are you looking for a man who "straddles the line between irrepressible rogue and brooding alpha?" Then allow Samantha Young, author of this month's Fight or Flight, to introduce you to the Hot Scot.
Australian writer Kate Morton has made a career out of weaving tales about secrets that haunt the characters in her books, including The Forgotten Garden, The Secret Keeper, and The Lake House. Now in her sixth novel, The Clockmaker's Daughter, she tells a story of murder, mystery, and thievery.
Peace Like a River author Leif Enger's new novel, Virgil Wander, is set in a small Minnesota community. Books set in tiny towns offer "a rich stew of conflict, betrayal, and misunderstanding, not to mention romantic longings and acts of outsized decency," he says, recommending some of his favorite books.
Actress Sally Field has spent more than five decades in front of a camera. Now it's Field's turn to tell her own story, in her own words, in the new memoir. In honor of her book, Field is recommending five more powerful memoirs that have inspired her.
Author T. Greenwood is making her first foray into historical fiction with Rust & Stardust, based on the true story of the 1948 kidnapping of 11-year-old Sally Horner, which reportedly inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel Lolita. Greenwood recommends four novels (and one story) which were also ripped from the headlines.
In Ottessa Moshfegh's disturbing and darkly humorous My Year of Rest and Relaxation, a young woman in pre-9/11 New York City enters into a self-imposed hibernation with the help of a terrible psychiatrist and copious amounts of prescription drugs. Here Moshfegh shares her favorite New York City novels that inspired her.
Swedish author Fredrik Backman first introduced readers to Beartown last year. Now, he's returning to the small, hockey-obsessed village with the second book in the series, Us Against You. "Sports is never just about sports. It's about people. The best and worst in us," he says, recommending his favorite books on the topic.
In The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner takes us into a California women's prison as her protagonist begins serving two consecutive life sentences. Kushner recommends some memorable miscreants, adding, "Here are a few of my favorite despicables, thinly veiled satans that are also full of human depth, or at least, others’ projections of such."
In her new book, Madeline Miller set out to create a new and nuanced voice for Homer's powerful goddess who turned Odysseus' men into pigs. Here she recommends five more novels rooted in these ancient stories.
And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank motherhood story for our times about having a baby and staying exactly yourself. Here the author recommends five more books that keep it real.
Terese Marie Mailhot
Terese Marie Mailhot is a writer from a small Indian reservation in British Columbia, Canada. Her book Heart Berries illustrates her experience as a First Nations woman who grew up in poverty. Here, she shares five powerful memoirs that she says shaped her own work as a nonfiction writer and teacher.
Atlanta native Tayari Jones, the author of this month's An American Marriage, is on a mission to celebrate literature of the new South. "When people hear the term 'Southern literature,' they think about the Civil War, grandmothers, and mules," she says. "But the South is more than our past."
The author of Still Me loves to write about women who seize life. And she's selected some heroines to give you some reading inspiration.
Kathleen Kelly Janus
Stanford lecturer Kathleen Kelly Janus has studied nonprofits around the world to find out how they succeed. Here she picks her books that can make the world a better place.
In the new domestic thriller The Wife Between Us, coauthors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen take readers into some seriously complicated relationships. Here they recommend some more messy marriages.
The author of Future Home of the Living God says, "I would rather measure myself against appalling mothers who make a somewhat adequate mom, like me, look good."
"These are some books that helped me think about whether there are more hoaxes these days on my way to understanding why," says the author of Bunk.
In It's All Relative, A.J. Jacobs explores the transformation of the modern family, including the impact of DNA tests and his own tangled family tree. Here he shares his favorite "ancestor-seeking" books.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Professors Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar have joined forces to compile The Annotated African American Folktales. Tatar recommended some more great fables.
The author who inspired our Alexander Hamilton obsession is now focusing on the misunderstood President Grant with the aptly titled Grant. Here are his nominations for great presidential biographies.
The comedian is back with a look at midlife fatherhood, life in the state of Maine, and the perils of facial hair in Vacationland. Here Hodgman shares his vacation reading list.
Los Angeles-based mortician Caitlin Doughty is out to demystify death. She's back this month with her second book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, and provides some unusual coffee table book suggestions.
The author has hit literary gold by setting his novels in the City by the Bay. Now he's sharing his favorite books that take place in San Francisco.