The best books about authors

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196 authors created a book list connected to authors, and here are their favorite author books.
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From Two to Five

By Kornei Chukovsky,

Book cover of From Two to Five

Ann Lewin-Benham Author Of Parsley: A Love Story of a Child for Puppy and Plants

From the list on how infants and toddlers develop literacy.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by children’s language development and am a word hound. For over five decades I’ve been a teacher, teacher trainer, school founder/director, mentor, founder/executive director of a large children’s museum; author of 6 classic textbooks on how children think and learn, and author/self-publisher of one of my many story-poems. My passions are writing, studying new findings in brain development, and launching top-quality schools in underserved urban areas. Between 1969 and 1990, I founded six schools, five still running, three as private non-profit schools and two as essential entities (one called the “safety-net") in their public school systems. The MELC is the only U.S. school accredited by Reggio's founders.

Ann's book list on how infants and toddlers develop literacy

Discover why each book is one of Ann's favorite books.

Why did Ann love this book?

Kornei Chukovsky, leading Russian children’s poet, in his book From Two to Five, describes children’s “whimsical, elusive thinking—original, picturesque, amusing speech.” "Children two to five are earth’s most inquisitive creatures with questions evoked by the mind’s tireless need to comprehend its surroundings.” I know of no other author who so brilliantly captures children’s own words. I read this book over and over for inspiration.

By Kornei Chukovsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Two to Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press's mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1963.

Book cover of The Great and Secret Show

Paul Stuart Kemp Author Of Pharaoh

From the list on horror that doesn’t have obvious plots and endings.

Who am I?

I have always been interested in and captivated by horror and the darker genres, drawing and painting initially and later on as a writer. I am a full-time tattooist now but I still enjoy writing, and I produced several short stories as well as finished my vampire/Egyptian mythology novel Pharaoh during the coronavirus lockdown when I was unable to work in the tattoo studio. I still draw and paint, and it can be fun illustrating and producing artwork for my fiction, where sometimes one feeds off another.

Paul's book list on horror that doesn’t have obvious plots and endings

Discover why each book is one of Paul's favorite books.

Why did Paul love this book?

A monstrous book in every sense and the one that first got me interested in writing. Metaphysical and repulsive in equal measure, it is an epic tale spanning many lives in midtown America, with the sequel Everville even better. Absolutely mind-bending from the master of beautiful and fantastical horror.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great and Secret Show as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


From master storyteller Clive Barker, comes this intricately woven and meticulously constructed epic where past and future meet.

In the little town of Palomo Grove, two great armies are amassing; forces shaped from the hearts and souls of America. In this New York Times bestseller, Barker unveils one of the most ambitious imaginative landscapes in modern fiction, creating a new vocabulary for the age-old battle between good and evil. 

The Art, the greatest power known to humankind, is the focus of struggle between the evil spirit, Jaff, and a force for light, Fletcher. Jaffe hopes to…

Unfuck Your Boundaries

By Faith G. Harper,

Book cover of Unfuck Your Boundaries: Build Better Relationships Through Consent, Communication, and Expressing Your Needs

Treva Brandon Scharf Author Of Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer's Guide to Love

From the list on dating and relationship advice.

Who am I?

I am a late bloomer, born and raised in Beverly Hills by two Hollywood talent agents. I am the product of divorce, an admitted commitment-phobe, serial dater, marriage first-timer at 51, and badass with a heart of gold. I am an ICF-certified life coach, dating and relationship coach, and long-time fitness professional passionate about politics, policy, and people of all ages and abilities. I co-host the podcast Done Being Single with my husband Robby Scharf, a fellow late bloomer. Together, we deliver dating intervention and relationship advice to listeners all over the world.

Treva's book list on dating and relationship advice

Discover why each book is one of Treva's favorite books.

Why did Treva love this book?

Dr. Faith G. Harper does not hold back in this short and sweet guide to boundaries.

What I love about this is how straightforward she is: If you’re mad about someone crossing your boundaries, she is too. If it’s an upsetting subject, then her writing style reflects that.

It’s validating as well as educational!

By Faith G. Harper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unfuck Your Boundaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boundaries are the ways we communicate our needs. They are what allow us to feel safe among strangers, in everyday interactions, and in our closest relationships. When we have healthy boundaries, we have a strong foundation in an uncertain world. And when someone crosses your boundaries, or you cross someone else's, the results range from unsettling to catastrophic. In this book, bestselling author Dr. Faith Harper offers a full understanding of issues of boundaries and consent, how we can communicate and listen more effectively, and how to survive and move on from situations where our boundaries are violated. Along the…

The Trope Thesaurus

By Jennifer Hilt,

Book cover of The Trope Thesaurus

Cara Bristol Author Of Naughty Words for Nice Writers: A Romance Novel Thesaurus

From the list on reference and writing for romance authors.

Who am I?

After writing more than sixty romance novels, I can sometimes find myself at a loss for words, unable to think of the right word or find myself using the same ones. Having a good thesaurus is invaluable. I use my own thesaurus, Naughty Words for Nice Writers, all the time. I wrote it as a survival guide—it was the book I needed that didn’t exist when I started writing romance. Besides Naughty Words, the thesauri/reference books I’m recommending are tools I couldn’t live without. 

Cara's book list on reference and writing for romance authors

Discover why each book is one of Cara's favorite books.

Why did Cara love this book?

A trope is a common plot device used in fiction, such as the billionaire hero, fated mates, secret baby, fake relationship. Even before I knew what a trope was, I was using them.

The Trope Thesaurus is more than a listing of common tropes, it also explains how to creatively and effectively use them to create conflict and to plot your fiction. The author gives examples in romance, mystery, suspense, thriller, science fiction, and fantasy. If you’re ever stuck for a plot idea, check out this book.

By Jennifer Hilt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Trope Thesaurus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Dynamic Full Ring Poker

By James Sweeney,

Book cover of Dynamic Full Ring Poker: Beyond The Basics

Alton Hardin Author Of Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition: Fundamental No Limit Hold'em Mathematics You Need To Know

From the list on poker every serious poker play should read.

Who am I?

I’m the founder and lead instructor at MicroGrinder Poker School, arguably, the most prominent micro stakes poker school, and I’m fascinated by poker. I started playing poker as a hobby, and it soon became an obsession. I delved into poker theory, seeking to understand the game’s nuances. And as my game improved, I wanted to share my success with others. I’ve always been passionate about teaching, so I started MicroGrinder Poker School. Between my best-selling poker books and 35+ courses, I’ve helped over 80,000 poker players improve their poker game drastically.

Alton's book list on poker every serious poker play should read

Discover why each book is one of Alton's favorite books.

Why did Alton love this book?

James Splitsuit Sweeney is a household name for serious poker players and a prolific poker author. His first book, Dynamic Full Ring Poker is a must-read. This book goes into great depth, covering all of the fundamental concepts any serious poker player should master, discussing essential pre-flop and post-flop strategies and scenarios in detail.

By James Sweeney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dynamic Full Ring Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than anything else, the hallmark of a great poker player is his ability to read hands and to adapt his play accordingly.

From Dynamic Full Ring Poker, YOU WILL LEARN:

• How to hand read better by following CardRunners coach James “SplitSuit” Sweeney’s hand reading tactics

• How to estimate your opponents’ hand ranges

• How to exploit your opponents and their likely holdings

• How to profitably c-bet, lead, raise, float, double-barrel, check-raise

• How to profile your opponent in a few seconds

• How to calculate the expected value of your play

• How to correctly 3-bet…

Faces in the Water

By Janet Frame,

Book cover of Faces in the Water

Mikita Brottman Author Of Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder

From the list on psychiatric hospital by women who spent time there.

Who am I?

In addition to being an author, I’m a literature professor and a psychoanalyst; I have worked in prisons and psychiatric hospitals. I have also been a psychiatric patient. I’m fascinated by narrative, and by the way we use language to make sense of our own experiences and to connect with other people.

Mikita's book list on psychiatric hospital by women who spent time there

Discover why each book is one of Mikita's favorite books.

Why did Mikita love this book?

Faces in the Water was first published in 1961, though it received far less attention and acclaim. The “story,” such as it is, is narrated by Istina Mavet, a shy, introverted young woman (again, based closely on the author) who, like the author, spends ten years in a New Zealand psychiatric hospital. Faces in the Water recounts long, dull years of cruelty and suffering. But don’t let this put you off—Frame’s style is marvelously poetic. The narrative is abstract in places and was at first difficult for me to get into, but once I began to see things from Istina’s perspective, the story came to life, and I found it brutally beautiful. 

By Janet Frame,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Faces in the Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I was now an established citizen with little hope of returning across the frontier; I was in the crazy world, separated now by more than locked doors and barred windows from the people who called themselves sane.'

When Janet Frame's doctor suggested that she write about her traumatic experiences in mental institutions in order to free herself from them, the result was Faces in the Water, a powerful and poignant novel.

Istina Mavet descends through increasingly desolate wards, with the threat of leucotomy ever present. As she observes her fellow patients, long dismissed by hospital staff, with humour and compassion,…

Ham on Rye

By Charles Bukowski,

Book cover of Ham on Rye

James Tyler Ball Author Of Matita: The Tragic Tale of a Writer's Pencil

From the list on the outrageous but still have serious meaning.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by absurdist comedy and ideas for as long as I can remember. At sixteen, I wrote my first book, Mr A, which followed a man who would turn into a superhero after taking LSD and his talking dog. As an adult, I continue to revel in these types of stories. I brought this passion to my chart-topping debut non-fiction book, where I interviewed several people who believe McDonald’s has interdimensional properties. Now, I hold no bars in fiction writing, having authored a ‘genius of a book’ that follows a talking pencil.

James' book list on the outrageous but still have serious meaning

Discover why each book is one of James' favorite books.

Why did James love this book?

Many of us writers are subject to the terrible cliché of substance abuse, none so much as Charles Bukowski. Having dabbled in the debauched myself, Ham on Rye sadly reflects what life could be like if the idiocy of adolescence continues into adulthood. This book is hilarious, vulgar, shocking, and oddly insightful. Not only is this my favourite Bukowski book, but it’s the book that introduced me to his work and changed my writing forever.

By Charles Bukowski,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ham on Rye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'He brought everyone down to earth, even the angels' LEONARD COHEN

Charles Bukowski is one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. The autobiographical Ham on Rye is widely considered his finest novel. A classic of American literature, it offers powerful insight into his youth through the prism of his alter-ego Henry Chinaski, who grew up to be the legendary Hank Chinaski of Post Office and Factotum.

The Master

By Colm Toίbίn,

Book cover of The Master

Benjamin Markovits Author Of Imposture

From the list on historical fiction about famous writers.

Who am I?

When I was fourteen years old, my family moved from Texas to London for a year, and I started going to a little second-hand book shop around the corner. It was run by a long-haired Canadian, who always smoked a pipe. There were only three or four aisles, plus a cluttered backroom. You could pick up a 19th-century edition of the complete works of Shelley, with uncut pages, for two pounds. One volume led to another, in the same way that one friendship can lead to another, or introduce you to a new circle of people. Twenty-odd years later, I decided to write a novel about some of these writers.  

Benjamin's book list on historical fiction about famous writers

Discover why each book is one of Benjamin's favorite books.

Why did Benjamin love this book?

How much would you be willing to give up for fame and greatness?

By 1895, Henry James had written a number of all-time classics, including Daisy Miller and The Portrait of a Lady, but had never achieved the kind of commercial or popular success he thought he deserved. So in his fifties, he started writing for the theater, hoping to break through.

The Master begins with the London opening of his play Guy Domville, which turns out to be a flop, and follows James as he comes to terms with this failure, and all the other sacrifices he has to make – in his personal and sexual life, too – in order to become the writer he wants to be. 

By Colm Toίbίn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nineteenth-century writer Henry James is heartbroken when his first play performs poorly in contrast to Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" and struggles with subsequent doubts about his sexual identity.

Rise Up Singing

By Cecelie Berry,

Book cover of Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood

Anna Malaika Tubbs Author Of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

From the list on Black motherhood.

Who am I?

Anna Malaika Tubbs is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of MLK Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation. She is also a Cambridge Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and a Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge Scholar. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a BA in Anthropology, Anna received a Master’s from the University of Cambridge in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies. Outside of the academy, she is an educator and DEI consultant. She lives with her husband, Michael Tubbs, and their son Michael Malakai.

Anna's book list on Black motherhood

Discover why each book is one of Anna's favorite books.

Why did Anna love this book?

This anthology brings together diverse Black women’s voices to discuss motherhood, they range from mothers who celebrate their role to women who ask why motherhood is cast upon all of us as a necessary step, they explore the joys as well as some of the painful realities of loss and postpartum depression. Reading these stories from varied perspectives in short essay formats makes it approachable and allows you to move through it at a pace that is comfortable for any reader.

By Cecelie Berry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rise Up Singing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From a dazzling array of well-known African American women, short fiction, poems, and personal essays that describe with warmth and humor their experiences as mothers and as daughters.

A sparkling anthology devoted to exploring the lives of African American mothers, Rise Up Singing presents the stories and reflections of such beloved and respected artists, journalists, and authors as Alice Walker, Faith Ringgold, Marita Golden, Martha Southgate, Tananarive Due, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Deborah Roberts, Rita Dove, and others. It features original and previously published writings, organized by editor Cecelie Berry by themes—mothering, work, family, children, community, and love—that illuminate the…

The Almost Sisters

By Joshilyn Jackson,

Book cover of The Almost Sisters

Deb Richardson-Moore Author Of Murder, Forgotten

From the list on deviously twisted endings.

Who am I?

I am a lifelong Southerner and former journalist who believes that the region holds a unique place in American literature. I have a passion for the ultra-twisty ending because I try to incorporate it into each of my own mysteries. I want a reader to stay up late reading one of my books, then finish it in astonishment, thinking, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” (And then mention it to her friend over coffee the next morning.) I have read mysteries since I was 12 years old and always appreciate an author who can fool me.  

Deb's book list on deviously twisted endings

Discover why each book is one of Deb's favorite books.

Why did Deb love this book?

Southern writer Joshilyn Jackson is one of my all-time favorites, with her unerring sense of place. In her last few books, she has turned to mystery plots. The results are mysteries of high literary quality. In The Almost Sisters, unflinching questions about race and privilege reside next to questions of guilt and innocence. I was close to the end before I picked up on a twist she’d embedded. 

By Joshilyn Jackson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Almost Sisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality---the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby…

The Cry of the Lake

By Charlie Tyler,

Book cover of The Cry of the Lake

Karen E. Stokes Author Of The Healing

From the list on inspiring reads as both a writer and a reader.

Who am I?

My literary interest began in childhood when my love for rhyme encouraged me to write limericks and poems. In 2009, my first novel, An Ordinary Life was published, which I considered to be a therapeutic exercise to see where it would lead, and here I am, much wiser, but still learning. Becoming an author has greatly enhanced my appreciation of the written word and how powerful it can be, hence, my book choices – a personal literary journey.  

Karen's book list on inspiring reads as both a writer and a reader

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

The Cry of the Lake was published in 2020, the same year as my book, and around that time, I had gotten to know many authors, including Charlie.

From the first line, I was drawn into the story which is told with impeccable detail, its characters clearly defined to create the dark and mysterious tale.  

By Charlie Tyler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cry of the Lake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

The World of Null-A

By A. E. van Vogt,

Book cover of The World of Null-A

Jason R. Richter Author Of LIFE in the 23rd Century

From the list on authors you probably haven’t heard of.

Who am I?

As a not well-known writer of science fiction, that grew up reading speculative fiction novels by not very well-known authors, I want to shine a light on the more obscure corners of my bookshelf. Neil Gaiman and Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Jordan get plenty of press. They don’t need any help. This is a list of authors that I don’t think enough people are talking about. And it’s a shame, because all of them have a lot of really interesting worlds to explore. Enjoy.   

Jason's book list on authors you probably haven’t heard of

Discover why each book is one of Jason's favorite books.

Why did Jason love this book?

I’m a huge Philip K. Dick fan. I read an article where PKD said that A.E. van Vogt was his favorite author, but I’d never even heard the name before. Then, everywhere I went for about a month – barbershops, thrift stores, coffee shops – there was an A.E. van Vogt book laying around. Which is something that would happen in a PKD novel, but more sinister. If you like the otherwordly, discombobulating feeling of reading Flow My Tears the Policeman Said or A Scanner Darkly, you’ll enjoy The World of Null-A.

By A. E. van Vogt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of Null-A as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grandmaster A.E. Van Vogt was one of the giants of the Gold Age of classic SF, the 1940's. Of his masterpieces, THE WORLD OF NULL-A is most famous and most influential. It was the first major trade SF hardcover ever, published in 1949, and has been in print in various editions ever since. The careers of Philip K Dick, Keith Laumer, Alfred Bester, Charles Harness and Philip Jose Farmer were created or influenced by THE WORLD OF NULL-A. It is required reading for anyone who wishes to know the canon of SF classics.

In Conquest Born

By C. S. Friedman,

Book cover of In Conquest Born

Arthur A. McMahon Author Of Frostarc

From the list on showing you how to write scary sci-fi and fantasy.

Who am I?

When writing science fiction horror, it's important to know that the genre should not dictate where your story goes, or how your characters behave. The characters, the people whose story is being told, are what matter. They're the hook. They're the meat and potatoes. The science fiction is the background—the shiny dinner plate that holds the meal. The horror? Well, that's the itch in the back of your mind wondering whether the meat was undercooked and exposed to pathogens that will be obliterating your insides over the course of the forthcoming night. That's how I like my stories, at any rate.

Arthur's book list on showing you how to write scary sci-fi and fantasy

Discover why each book is one of Arthur's favorite books.

Why did Arthur love this book?

This complex sci-fi epic taught me the importance of forming my characters as people rather than puppets. Amid the setting of an endless war and the intricacies of its opposing factions it is the individuals who stand out in this novel. The war is a backdrop. The people are the story. Whatever chaos and calamity the author concocts—none of it matters unless it is felt by the characters, and the feelings of the characters don't matter unless the characters feel real to the reader.

By C. S. Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Conquest Born as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Conquest Born is the monumental science fiction epic that received unprecedented acclaim - and launched C.S. Friedman's phenomenal career. A sweeping story of two interstellar civilizations locked in endless war, it was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award.

The 13-Story Treehouse

By Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton (illustrator),

Book cover of The 13-Story Treehouse

Karen McMillan Author Of Rainbow Cove

From the list on encouraging the 'theater of the mind'.

Who am I?

I'm an author from New Zealand, who writes fiction and non-fiction for adults, but I'm also an accidental children's book writer. Accidental? I never thought I would write books for children, but the then 10-year-old in our family demanded a children's book, and the popular Elastic Island Adventures series was born. I always remember how much joy I got from discovering books as a child, so I'm interested in books that are fun for children but encourage creativity and literacy. I love when books are so enjoyable that children don't realize how much they are learning, where they can enjoy exploring the 'theater of the mind'.

Karen's book list on encouraging the 'theater of the mind'

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

The Treehouse series of books have got thousands of reluctant readers hooked on books, so all the books in this series are winners, in my view. With the fun premise of characters living in a multi-layered treehouse, making books and having fun adventures, who wouldn't love these stories? The books are a perfect blend of a page-turning story and fantastic illustrations that will keep children turning the pages. 

By Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 13-Story Treehouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it's not just any old treehouse, it's the most amazing treehouse in the world!

This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.

Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn't for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters…

The Return

By Hisham Matar,

Book cover of The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

Georgina Banks Author Of Back to Bangka: Searching For The Truth About A Wartime Massacre

From the list on truth-seeking post WWII.

Who am I?

I have always been interested in what makes people tick – in their unseen inner world. In my twenties, I literally embodied others in my work as an actor. In my thirties, I studied applied psychology and sat alongside others and talked. In my forties, I started my consulting business Changeable, working with group and organizational dynamics. Now in my fifties, I am accessing inner worlds through writing, placing myself imaginatively into other people and places. I have merely scratched the surface. These post-WWII books give a gripping, personal, and scorching window into truth-seeking. 

Georgina's book list on truth-seeking post WWII

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Why did Georgina love this book?

The Return taught me that it is an act of homage to go to any ends to find out what really happened to a family member lost or killed in a conflict: in Matar’s case, his father, Jaballa, missing in Libya during Gaddafi’s brutal regime. His storytelling is both an act of desperation and unstinting hope. Though his father is lost, in these pages he is resurrected. 

By Hisham Matar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


The Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale. It is an exquisite meditation on how history and politics can bear down on an individual life. And yet Hisham Matar's memoir isn't just about the burden of the past, but the consolation of love, literature and art. It is the story of what…

The Magic of Recluce

By L.E. Modesitt, Jr.,

Book cover of The Magic of Recluce

Jason Lancour Author Of Rise of the Red Hand

From the list on fantasy featuring a well-structured magic system.

Who am I?

In today’s world we have unprecedented access to knowledge and science. We are increasingly unsatisfied with seemingly impossible things that have no plausible explanation. Speculative fiction is known for asking one simple question “What If?” Science fiction leans toward scenarios that might be possible, whereas fantasy dwells in the world of the impossible. In early fantasy writing we would read about impossible things, and the author would wave it away with a simple “It’s just magic – don’t think about it.” Modern audiences want more. Hard fantasy (where magic systems have a logical and rules-based premise) dares not only to ask “what if” but also suggests “here’s how.”

Jason's book list on fantasy featuring a well-structured magic system

Discover why each book is one of Jason's favorite books.

Why did Jason love this book?

The Saga of Recluse by L.E. Modesitt Jr. is a massive series of twenty interconnected novels that span centuries of its world’s history. The author recommends reading the series in order of publication, so we begin with The Magic of Recluse. In this novel we see a world in which the use of the two opposing disciplines of magic, known as Order and Chaos, are woven into the very fabric of society. As the story unfolds we see how Modesitt has carefully crafted each system, pausing to flesh out the societal implications of such. In the world of Recluse, we see magic integrated into society in a way that shows careful world building beside detailed rules of magic. Superb storytelling makes the world a joy to explore.

By L.E. Modesitt, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Magic of Recluce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Magic of Recluce launched a bestselling epic fantasy world that now spans multiple volumes.

Young Lerris yearns to find a place in the world better suited to his skills and temperament. In Recluce this means taking one of two options: permanent exile from Recluce or the dangergeld, a complex, rule-laden wanderjahr in the lands beyond. Many do not survive.

Lerris chooses dangergeld.

Lerris will need magic in the lands beyond, where the power of the Chaos Wizards reigns unchecked, and he must learn to use his powers in an orderly way before his wanderjahr, or fall prey to Chaos.


By Sharon Francis,

Book cover of Bloodline

Elizabeth Revill Author Of Killing Me Softly

From the list on thrillers and mysteries from new and great authors.

Who am I?

As a child I would invent stories to entertain my cousins but at school I developed a passion for thrillers, devouring every Agatha Christie novel I could get my hands on and delighted in discovering new authors to satisfy my appetite. However, after my encounter with a man on a train, who went on to become a serial killer and after suffering a few other attacks, I crafted a novel using my experiences and melded fact with fiction to create my first psychological thriller, Killing Me Softly. It was extremely cathartic and now is a series of six, with another on the way. I’ve written eighteen books and even my historical novels are thrillers.

Elizabeth's book list on thrillers and mysteries from new and great authors

Discover why each book is one of Elizabeth's favorite books.

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Well written and intriguing from the first word. Ms. Francis has created questions to be solved by the protagonist and audience. It is a slow burn that draws you in. Just as I got comfortable with a blossoming romance something happens to upset things and although we can guess at where the plot is going, we are not always right. Like a fish on a hook, we are teased and played with until we discover the truth, which leads us to an action-packed dramatic ending.

By Sharon Francis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bloodline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tony Viscount is a widower, a father and a restaurateur but has no idea where he came from, so helping his young son, Jamie, complete a family tree could be fun for both of them. But Tony doesn’t expect the tale of terror he uncovers, or that it could have followed him into the present.

What he discovers will change his life forever.

Assuming he gets to live it...

The Small Pleasures Of Life

By Philippe Delerm,

Book cover of The Small Pleasures Of Life

Richard Hernaman Allen Author Of The Waterguard

From the list on which you may have never heard anything.

Who am I?

I’ve gone to France often during my life. I always buy books that look interesting while I’m there, mainly to keep my French in good shape. I tend to pick authors and subjects which catch my eye. Some get discarded, but most give a fascinating and often very different perspective on life than I find in English novels and essays. 

Richard's book list on which you may have never heard anything

Discover why each book is one of Richard's favorite books.

Why did Richard love this book?

This is an excellent series of essays on the small things in life which please the author. Some are more obvious than others, but all are described stylishly and with typical French humour and elegance. I confess that after reading it, I did my own—inevitably inferiorversion. But it was an enjoyment just going through the process.

By Philippe Delerm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Small Pleasures Of Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enchanting celebration of life's small pleasures, this little book captures the French imagination and art of living a good life.

Each chapter features a small pleasure that is both uniquely Gallic and universal. From the smell of apples maturing in a cellar to the gentle whir of a bicycle dynamo at dusk to turning the pages of a newspaper over breakfast, to the joy of a snowstorm inside a paperweight . . .

Recounted with a lively, innocent curiosity about the little things that make life worthwhile, this is an unforgettable, absorbing read to be savoured at length by…


By Heather Critchlow,

Book cover of Unsolved

Kitty Murphy Author Of Death in Heels

From the list on murder mysteries to brighten your day.

Who am I?

I adore crime fiction, especially mysteries. They make sense. In the real world, crime rarely has the resolution of fiction, and almost never has Belgian detectives with very neat moustaches, or old ladies solving a who-dunnit… I grew up reading these books, mentally inhaling everything from Christie to Rankin to McDermid, and now I spend my days writing brutal but quite silly murders solved by a woman who would really rather wear an old grey fleece and jeans than a sparkly dress, and her friends, the fictional TRASH drag family. Murder mysteries are fun – perfect escapism. In a world so messed up as ours is right now, don’t we need to escape into fiction?

Kitty's book list on murder mysteries to brighten your day

Discover why each book is one of Kitty's favorite books.

Why did Kitty love this book?

Darker than the others on my list, this is a dip into the world of true crime podcasts and a really twisty, edgy read.

The main character, Cal Lovett, is passionate about justice, and about getting to the root of a crime – not just for the family and the people involved, but for doing the right thing.

This book kept me awake until I’d finished it, and blew me away by the end.

The word ‘gripping’ is massively overused in crime fiction reviews but Unsolved is as gripping as a gripping thing that grips the reader. Hard.

By Heather Critchlow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unsolved as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A remarkable suspense debut... exciting and unsettling.' A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

He won't rest until he finds out the truth...

Cal Lovett is obsessed with finding justice for the families of missing people. His true crime podcast is his way of helping others, even if he can't help himself.

His sister, Margot, disappeared when he was a child. Only one man seems to know something. But he's behind bars and can't be trusted.

So when the family of a missing Scottish woman begs for his help, he heads to Aberdeenshire in search of the truth.…

Book cover of Follow Up Sales Strategies

Debra Eckerling Author Of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals

From the list on to read before attending a conference.

Who am I?

I am a goal-setting expert with a specialty in Event Outcome Optimization. Through speaking, workshops, and consulting, I help individuals and teams get the most value from the events they attend. Conferences are essential for professional development, whether in-person or virtual. And they can be more than just fun. When you set goals and approach them properly, conferences can be a bounty of new connections, education, and information!

Debra's book list on to read before attending a conference

Discover why each book is one of Debra's favorite books.

Why did Debra love this book?

Meeting new people at an event is one thing. Being able to follow up and follow through consistently gives you a huge edge for turning prospects into clients. Yet, most people, including entrepreneurs, consultants, and employees, struggle with this.  

In Follow Up Sales Strategies, author Wanda Allen simplifies the process. She shares how to develop a proper mindset and effective habits, as well as her proven follow-up systems, designed to increase sales pipelines, improve performance, and strengthen relationships.

Get organized, so you can get the most out of the relationships you develop through conferences.

By Wanda Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Follow Up Sales Strategies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.