Author Craig Nova recommends three books that take a fresh approach to the age-old bildungsroman. The experience of growing up is both universal and unique — and, in these books, timeless.
March 30, 2014 Author Roy Peter Clark recommends three books that are hardly the work of your average agony aunt: a WWII-era cookbook, an zoological sex guide and a compilation of 60 years of no-nonsense advice.
March 2, 2014 For the middle phase of life, a new canon is often required, one that is equal parts funny, insightful and comforting. Actress and author Annabelle Gurwitch recommends three books up to the task.
February 15, 2014 Author's partners often serve as sources of inspiration — but sometimes their influence is even more direct. In honor of Valentine's Day, Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon recommend three books that would not exist without their writers' significant others.
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February 5, 2014 Southern Russia, the venue for the coming Winter Olympics, is a wild land known for its breathtaking beauty and centuries of conflict. It has long inspired Russian writers; here are three classic books on the region.
January 26, 2014 Novelists are famously prone to self-imposed exile and introspection; sometimes, they invent characters who are similarly solitary. Author Rachel Louise Snyder recommends three compelling books starring such loners. She says their isolation isn't what's compelling, but it's riveting to watch these recluses step back into the world of others.
January 5, 2014 Author Kim Stanley Robinson knows that most science fiction fans think the best books were written in their youth — whenever that was. But in his case, he says, it's more than nostalgia: the late '60s and early '70s were a spectacular time for science fiction. He recommends three classics from that fruitful era.
December 22, 2013 Juan Vidal recommends three Latin American masterpieces that were translated this year: a boundary-pushing novella, a noir tale of an assassination plot and a complex exploration of identity and history. There are no noble heroes in these pages — instead, they feature hapless, struggling souls in search of meaning.
November 24, 2013 Boredom in the immobility of a quadriplegic. Ennui in a Manhattan high-rise cubicle. Monotony in the slow-moving life of a writer. Said Sayrafiezadeh takes a look at everyday drudgery, highlighting three great memoirs that found inspiration in dullness. Life can be boring, he says, but books offer a way out — whether we're reading or writing them.
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October 20, 2013 Stay-at-home fathers, missionaries who love their charges, women who make the first move: characters who would have been controversial in previous generations came to the forefront in the Jazz era. Author Ursula DeYoung recommends three books that, after 90 years, still seem fresh in their revolutionary treatment of all kinds of love.
September 29, 2013 As autumn kicks in, Swedish novelist Anne Swärd reflects on the magical, short-lived summers near the Arctic circle. In places where the sun doesn't set, she says, "light insomnia" makes the world dream-like. And in the Nordic novels she recommends, Arctic sunshine makes betrayals sharper, friendships more intoxicating and love more enthralling.
September 7, 2013 Media outlets are full of stories about whether women can "have it all." After becoming a mother, Curtis Sittenfeld came to appreciate novels and memoirs that look beyond those headlines to celebrate the difficult, messy, delightful juggling act of parenthood. She shares three of her favorites.
August 18, 2013 Every new generation of immigrants must meet the age-old challenges of building a new home — assimilation and conformity, old habits and new cultures, adjustment and isolation. Author Helene Wecker shares with us three books that explore the complexities of life on foreign shores.
June 30, 2013 Novels dealing in privacy-free futures aren't new. But they're rapidly becoming more relevant. Author Max Barry chooses three dystopian novels that are both thought-provoking and chillingly plausible. What's your favorite futuristic novel? Tell us in the comments.
December 6, 2013 Nelson Mandela is the former president of South Africa and famed leader of the anti-apartheid movement. Blogger and professor Sean Jacobs recommends three books that explore the leader's life and legacy in great detail.