10 Beloved Writers Share One Book They Couldn’t Put Down

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Bookworms are always in the mood to learn about new books to read, right? As it turns out, authors have some great recommendations for the rest of us.

Independent bookstore and institution Powell’s Books asked several writers to recommend some books for voracious readers. Let’s check out some of these suggestions.

10. Mystwick School of Musicraft

Author Jessica Brody told Powell’s Books that really enjoyed Jessica Khoury’s Mystwick School of Musicraft. Brody says about the book,

“A wonderful escape into a world (not too dissimilar from our own), where music creates magic and musicians are the heroes of the day.”

9. One Long River Song

Author of The Keeper of Wild WordsBrooke Smith, recommends One Long River Song by Brian Doyle. Smith elaborates,

“Brian Doyle had a way of seeing through everything. It’s as if he had X-ray vision and could get right to the essence of all that we are.”

8. Family Lexicon

Writer Meng Jin, and author of Little Gods, loved Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg. She praised the book’s author.

“Ginzburg’s gift is her ability to observe without judgment, and with great delight, the richness of life through its boredom and sorrow, reminding us that in the face of chaos and unknowing, plagued by the desire to master and to understand, it may be enough, simply, to look.”

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7. Life After Life

Author of Funny WeatherOlivia Laing thinks we should all read Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. Why?

“This is such an extraordinary book.

It’s about living the same life over and over, trying to make it right. But it’s also about war and family and what makes life worth living.”

6. Dear Committee Members

Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members got some praise from Jeffrey Cranor, one of the authors of The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home.

“It’s a quick, tightly packed read, full of humor, wit, as well as true moments of gravity and grace.

I devoured it in a single sitting.”

5. I Love Myself When I Am Laughing

Mark Kurlansky is the author of Salmon, and he recommended that we read Zora Neale Hurston’s I Love Myself When I Am Laughing. Here’s why:

“A new collection of the always thought-provoking writings of Zora Neale Hurston, a Harlem Renaissance writer destroyed for being too far ahead of her time.”

4. The Brothers K

Author of Trees in Trouble, Daniel Mathews, suggests that we read The Brothers K by David James Duncan.

“It’s an everything sort of tome, full — no, not full, overflowing its banks — with word wizardry, hilarity, pitch darkness, family dynamics with religious paths parting, and pitched balls and strikes.”

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3. The Rituals of Dinner

Danny M. Lavery (Daniel Mallory Ortberg) is the author of Something That May Shock and Discredit You, and thinks we should all read The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser.

“I found this book because Hilary Mantel blurbed it over 20 years ago and I’m such a sucker for books about table manners — I’m finding it wry, winsome, thoughtful, and peculiar, and an absolute delight to get to read. It’s not quite escapist reading, being very engaged with all manner of human problems, but there’s a lightness and a joy to the writing that makes me feel like I’m in capable, reassuring hands.”

2. The Light Years

Ottessa Moshfegh authored the amazing My Year of Rest and Relaxation, and believes we should all read The Light Years by Chris Rush.

“This memoir has been described as ‘a queering of the wild,’ which is an expression I could never forget.

A gay child in a prosperous, Roman Catholic family in New Jersey during the ’60s is violently abused by his father, finds respite in a community of spiritual seekers, and embarks on an enlightenment journey that few humans could survive.”

1. Witch Grass

Spirit Run author Noé Álvarez recommends that people pick up Witch Grass by Raymond Queneau. He told Powell’s Books,

“‘The moment you look at things disinterestedly, everything changes.’ Witch Grass is an exercise in observation, a metaphysical journey of a man in pursuit of a silhouette, and a series of accidental encounters inviting readers to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.”

It’s always great to see writers and authors praise each other’s work. This looks like a formidable list of books to read this summer. Are there any others you’d recommend?

We’d love to read your suggestions in the comments.