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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Top Ten contributor Ron Rash has received many glowing reviews. But it would be hard to top the mash note he received from Janet Maslin last week for Something Rich and Strange, “a major short-story anthology that can introduce new readers to this author’s haunting talents and reaffirm what his established following already knows.”
Putting aside small matters such as remembering to eat or pick-up their dry cleaning, great writers never forget anything. Experience to them is pieces of string they gather and save, some of which proves useful someday. So it is with Ha Jin, who already has a National Book Award, two PEN/Faulkners and a Pulitzer nomination under his belt.
Among Stephen King’s gifts is the ability to see horror in the everyday; to imagine unimaginable terrors that could happen tomorrow. Or today (already in Africa), in the ongoing Ebola scare.
Top Ten contributor Francine Prose is not only a wonderful fiction writer, she is also a superb critic and essayist. All of her skills are on display in her review of Paul Theroux’s new story collection, Mr Bones, in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review.
A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence; a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq; a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list; a teenage runaway who is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena; a cabal of dangerous mystics and their enemies – these are some of the characters in David Mitchell’s acclaimed new novel, The Bone Clocks.