his is the best of times and the worst of times for passionate readers. We are living in a Golden Age, as online retailers make millions of books just a click away. Never before have so many works been within such easy reach. But when anything is possible, choice becomes torture. What to pick? Where to start? This one? That one? How about this—and that? What will I like? What's worth my time?
To answer these questions, we turned to the experts, asking 125 top American and British authors to list their 10 favorite works of fiction of all time. The results were published in "The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books." Edited by J. Peder Zane, "The Top Ten" is the ultimate guide to the world's greatest books. As Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, Margaret Drabble, Michael Chabon, Peter Carey and others celebrate the books that have meant the most to them, you'll be reminded of books you love and introduced to works awaiting your discovery.
This Website is expanding the book. In addition to posting annotated versions of all 125 lists from "The Top Ten," we are gathering new lists from prominent authors. We are highlighting lists submitted by our readers — maybe even yours! And our blog will include updates on the wrld of classic books. Through it all we will help you answer that most pressing literary question: What should I read next?
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Ayelet Waldman’s imaginative and clever new novel, Love & Treasure, hinges on a fraught historical event: the Hungarian Gold train which carried a horde of Jewish treasure stolen by the Nazis. It was, Ron Charles writes in his Washington Post Review, “a train of more than 40 boxcars filled with household goods — carpets, linens, cameras, dishes, paintings, vases, radios, watches, purses, teapots, candlesticks and much more.”
It can take a long time to write a short story. Just ask Lorrie Moore, a modern master of the form who has just delivered her first collection of stories in 16-years. The eight stories in Bark once again display her arch insight into contemporary mores and a wit that is often mordantly laugh-out-loud funny.
Top Ten contributor Walter Kirn is receiving strong reviews for his transfixing new work of memoir and reportage, Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade. As he explains in a sensational interview with himself in the New York Times (read it right now, then come back), the book concerns “his bizarre 15-year relationship with the infamous impostor and murderer who went by the alias Clark Rockefeller.
Congratulations to Top Ten contributor Roxana Robinson, who has been elected President of the Authors Guild. She replaces another contributor, Scott Turow.
“American writing is alive and well. There is no question about the vitality of our literary community or the vitality of the literary impulse in the United States. There will always be authors, there will always books,” Mr. Turow said at the meeting. “We need to continue the struggle in order to protect writing as a livelihood.”
Alice Hoffman is receiving warm reviews for her The Museum of Extraordinary Things.
Reviewing the novel in the Boston Globe, Jan Stewart observes: “Alice Hoffman specializes in fairy tales for impressionable grown-ups and cautionary tales for precocious adolescents. Not infrequently, the two overlap.”