December 26, 2011 We're often told that our teenage years are for forging our identities — even if it doesn't feel so great at the time. Author Jennifer Hubbard recommends a book that charts the complexities of growing up.
September 28, 2011 Is there life beyond high school? Better yet, is there life beyond Earth? Author Stefan Block recommends Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, a guilty pleasure that has the power to transcend the terrestrial mediocrity of everyday life.
August 24, 2011 Being a teenager is hard. You're misunderstood, your hormones are surging, and you just know that the girl down the street is the one. Author Ben Dolnick recommends revisiting this time with Scott Spencer's romance, Endless Love — a novel that brings you back to that amorous teenage angst.
July 27, 2011 Can a graphic novel written for children, about children be worthy of the time and critique of an intellectual writer? Though he keeps it a bit of a secret, author Darin Strauss believes the Amulet series is so thrilling, you won't be able to put it down.
June 29, 2011 What could be more embarrassing than an obsession with a star? For author Jon Reiner, it's not the glamorous Elizabeth Taylor who occupies his thoughts — it's her sometimes husband, Richard Burton. In Hellraisers, Reiner finds his boundless hunger for the leading man satisfied — almost.
May 10, 2011 Based on The Count of Monte Cristo, Alfred Bester's saga The Stars My Destination will transport you off the couch and into a roiling world of futuristic teleportation. Author John Baxter says the book injects new life and energy into a classic tale.
March 14, 2011 Literary theorist Stanley Fish is obsessed with Frank Sinatra — and he's not afraid to admit it. For his Ol' Blue Eyes fix, Fish reads James Kaplan's lengthy biography Frank: The Voice. The story isn't new, but he can't resist imagining himself in the high-flying world of the legendary crooner.
February 4, 2011 Destiny Times Six: An Astrologer's Casebook is a melodramatic memoir full of soap opera intrigue by astrologist Katherine de Jersey. Writer Karen Abbott says the book helps her understand her own personality — even if she's too embarrassed to tell anyone what she learns.
December 10, 2010 Crosley says the novel by Irvine Welsh — also the author of Trainspotting — aces every category of "dirty" we have. Reading it, she explains, is like watching "a rusty car careen into a garbage dump of filthy phonetics and explode into a strangely beautiful ball of flames."
December 9, 2010 Neurologist Oliver Sacks' earliest and fondest memories are of fire — the coal fires of his childhood home, Hanukkah candles. Today he deals more with the firing of neurons, but he still gets his fix through flame-inspired literature like Hazel Rossotti's Fire, about the culture and science of fire.
November 22, 2010 School teacher Maria McCann did her homework when writing this erotic, historical novel about the English Civil War. Lionel Shriver says she couldn't stop reading about this torrid romance between two 17th century soldiers.
October 27, 2010 In 1975, the Lutz family moved into their dream home on Long Island — and barely lasted a year. Jay Anson chronicles their paranormal experiences in a 1977 pulp horror classic. Josh Kilmer-Purcell says Amityville's hyperbole and hackneyed plotlines keep his mind off of his own anxieties.
September 21, 2010 For some, travel is a relaxing break, but not for writer Benjamin Percy. For our books series "My Guilty Pleasure," where authors talk about a book they are embarrassed to love, Percy discusses how he spends his vacations — armed with a travel guide, seeking out the spooky, the scary and the supernatural.
September 15, 2010 David Lipsky says that his favorite comic, Runaways, is both a brilliant reading experience — and an embarrassment festival. The tiny digests by Brian K. Vaughan have been a fount of guilt, awkwardness and grave personal doubts, but he still pulls them out on the subway, because they are just that good.
September 6, 2010 Writer Gary Shteyngart may have no idea what Zardoz is about, but that doesn't stop him from knowing the science-fiction novel by heart. For a nerd like him, nothing compares to the post-apocalyptic world full of floating heads and immortal beings.