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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
- July 29, 2013
- Vol. 80
- No. 5
Picks and Pans: Books
Reader to Reader Anne Lamott Recommends
by Robert Galbraith |
REVIEWED BY ELLEN SHAPIRO
When this debut mystery was published in April, it won admiring reviews but sold dismally. What a difference a pseudonym makes. Thanks to an anonymous tweet informing Britain's Sunday Times that author "Robert Galbraith" is actually J.K. Rowling, the book has now shot to the top of bestseller lists. So will Harry Potter fans go cuckoo for a crime caper? There's no magic involved this time out, but Rowling switches genres seamlessly, telling a gritty, absorbing tale about a down-on-his-luck London P.I., Cormoran Strike, whose fortunes begin to shift when he's hired to look into the supposed suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. (Those Hogwartsian names should have given us a clue.) Rowling told the Times she wishes she could have kept her secret a little bit longer, but she promises a sequel from "Robert." He will, however, "probably continue to turn down public appearances."
Big Girl Panties
by Stephanie Evanovich |
REVIEWED BY MEREDITH MARAN
This first novel by Janet Evanovich's niece is a fun and fluffy, if somewhat predictable, read. Like her aunt, Evanovich the Younger uses a tried-and-true story line (32-year-old Holly loses husband, gains weight, hires trainer, loses weight, beds trainer) and a perky, accessible writing style that fairly defines the term "beach read." The plot sometimes strains credulity (would hunky Logan really fall for chubby, grieving Holly?), but Big Girl Panties has wit and heart.
by David Gilbert |
REVIEWED BY KYLE SMITH
The shadow of decline hangs over aged literary lion Andrew Dyer, the author of a midcentury prep-school novel called Ampersand (wittily echoed in Gilbert's title) who shares with J.D. Salinger a curmudgeonly distaste for public life and worldwide fame. Dyer's two adult sons have proven to be disappointments and his marriage is a wreck, but renewal beckons in the person of his teenage third son Andy. Conceived under mysterious circumstances and startling in his resemblance to the old man, young Dyer is a lively one, full of the frustrations and embarrassments of youth yet in possession of an old soul that may herald more artistic greatness in the family. This throwback literary novel is slow-paced, but its rueful, poetic vision of faded WASP grandeur is frequently heartbreaking.
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And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini
"It's just so beautifully written, and it's a great story. I loved The Kite Runner too—I've read every book he's ever written."
Integral Life Practice
by Ken Wilber
"Ken Wilber's a philosopher, and it's a philosophy book. I'm pretty far in, and it's very, very interesting. "
Fifty Shades Trilogy
by E.L. James
"By the end of the third book I was like, 'Oh please, no one wants to have sex that much! Enough already!' "
The bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Some Assembly Required shares the books she tells People she's "foisting on everyone this summer."
THE SILENT WIFE
by A.S.A. Harrison
It's this summer's Gone Girl—I gobbled it down in one sitting, and because of the wonderful writing, I did not feel one speck guilty.
STATIONS OF THE HEART
by Richard Lischer
A gorgeous, profound, deeply spiritual nonfiction story about a professor of divinity whose son is expecting his first child while dying of melanoma.
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY, HOLLYWOOD, AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF
by Lawrence Wright
Wright (The Looming Tower) is a brilliant investigator and storyteller. It's totally compelling—airplane heaven.
THE SHINING GIRLS
by Lauren Beukes
Just started this last night, accidentally, and it has already ruined my life. Stayed up for hours—crime thriller with a sci-fi angle, and such good writing. Am hooked, and jealous.
ME BEFORE YOU
by Jojo Moyes
A hilarious, heartbreaking, riveting novel about a young woman taking care of a larger-than-life man in a wheelchair. I will stake my reputation on this book.
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