The best books to open your eyes and bring your imagination to life

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was a writer and wrote, among other things, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I had the genes, but never started tapping into them until my forties. I started writing all sorts of mediocre crap but hadn't yet found my genre. It wasn’t until reading Stephen King’s On Writing that I realized I should stick to my favorite genre of reading. At the same time, I was becoming emotionally distraught over the messy politics leading up to the 2016 presidential election. A tiny LED light went on in my head and an horrific, yet feasible main character came into being. The novel, Luck, became an Amazon bestseller and started me down the road I'm still travelling. 


I wrote...

Liner

By Chris Coppel,

Book cover of Liner

What is my book about?

David Easton believed his life was in complete ruins. He managed to scrape together just enough money for a one-way ticket on the fabulous Oceanis. He planned to revel in all its opulent pleasures until in the middle of the Atlantic crossing – he would leap from the fantail, thus ending his pain and misery. The problem was that he never dreamt he would meet Diana.

Despite her traveling with her overly protective parents who hoped to introduce her to a suitable husband while onboard, they managed to find each other. As their affections grew, strange things began happening on the ship. Together they had to find out what was happening to the Oceanis and how they could find a way to save the great liner and all those aboard.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Shining

Chris Coppel Why did I love this book?

This was the first book of his that I read and it changed my entire perception of horror writing and reading. I read the book when it first came out, mainly because everyone I knew was reading it. King wasn’t that well known yet, but after The Shining…well, you know the rest. Many years later having read just about every one of his books, he wrote a book on writing. To say that my having read every word changed the course of my life would be a gross understatement. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Shining as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern American horror from the undisputed master, Stephen King.

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around…


Book cover of The Black Echo

Chris Coppel Why did I love this book?

This book turned me into a fan of gritty crime novels. This was the first one that, to me, made the environment seem real. There have been hundreds of detectives portrayed as broken or near to it, but Harry Bosch is the first one I could identify with. I have since read every one and can’t wait for the next release.

By Michael Connelly,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Black Echo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


An LAPD homicide detective must choose between justice and vengeance as he teams up with the FBI in this "thrilling" novel filled with mystery and adventure (New York Times Book Review).

For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal . . . because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys…


Book cover of Killing Floor

Chris Coppel Why did I love this book?

The answer is simple. Jack Reacher. The depth of this character is phenomenal. After the first few pages I was hooked and have remained a fan of the series to this day. Since Child retired, the series had continued, but without the same connection that Lee Child had with his prime character. 

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Killing Floor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.


Book cover of Watership Down

Chris Coppel Why did I love this book?

Though I am an animal lover, and when I first heard about this book, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. I had expected something light and fluffy. OMG! The animal characters and the darkness of the tale (Tail?) drew me in like a cold winter's breath. When I wrote my first book my memory of Watership Down, helped me ease my characters down some pretty dark alleys.

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Watership Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

One of the best-loved children's classics of all time, this is the complete, original story of Watership Down.

Something terrible is about to happen to the warren - Fiver feels sure of it. And Fiver's sixth sense is never wrong, according to his brother Hazel. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them.

And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all .…


Book cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Chris Coppel Why did I love this book?

Basically, I have never laughed so much while reading. To this day, when feeling untethered from our crazed world, I revisit this book as well as ‘the fourth book in the trilogy’ So Long and Thanks For All The Fish. The sheer explosion of humor and imagination somehow resets my psyche and allows me to look at the world through a more comedic lens. This is a must-read book. Do not settle for the TV series or movie. Neither captured what ones own imagination sees while reading it.

By Douglas Adams,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This box set contains all five parts of the' trilogy of five' so you can listen to the complete tales of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Bebblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android! Travel through space, time and parallel universes with the only guide you'll ever need, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Read by Stephen Fry, actor, director, author and popular audiobook reader, and Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He is well known as Tim in The Office.

The set also includes a bonus DVD Life, the Universe and…


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The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

Book cover of The Road from Belhaven

Margot Livesey Author Of The Road from Belhaven

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Secret orphan Professor Scottish Novelist

Margot's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Road from Belhaven is set in 1880s Scotland. Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small girl that she can see the future. But she soon realises that she must keep her gift a secret. While she can sometimes glimpse the future, she can never change it.

Nor can Lizzie change the feelings that come when a young man named Louis, visiting Belhaven for the harvest, begins to court her. Why have the adults around her never told her that the touch of a hand can change everything? When she follows Louis to Glasgow, she begins to learn the limits of his devotion and the complexities of her own affections.

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-century Scotland

Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn’t, for instance, see that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her “pictures” foretell various incidents and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but…


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