Author Kerry ZukusMy Favorites, Month Two. Here’s a question I’ve been getting a lot lately: “What are some other books that I can get through the book clubs (Book of the Month, Doubleday, or Literary Guild) that are worth having? Here are some books I highly recommend. If you click on the Book of the Month Club banner next to each selection, you will be taken right to where you can order it.

(And check out some other links here)

MyFavoriteS Archives: June 2007

The NamesakeA great book dealing with generations and the culture shock of assimilation into a new country while maintaining the desire to still hold on to cultural identity. Beautifully and movingly written.

Buy Here: Book of The Month

WickedI love Broadway composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and even studied with him. But when this book was adapted to the stage and became a world-wide hit, it revealed that the strongest part of the production was not the music but the book. And the BOOK book is even better than the book for the play. Maguire is massively creative and weaves an intricate and irreverent tale around the well-worn Wizard of Oz story.

Buy Here: 

The Five People You Meet In HeavenI’ve loved this guy as a sports reporter for years and years. Then he comes out with a novel and I expect some sports-thingy. Instead, he does the touchingly autobiographical Tuesdays with Morrie, then follows it up with the even more sentimental The Five People You Meet In Heaven. If you are looking for a 5-hankey read that will take you less than a day to consume, look no further.

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America’s greatest living wordsmith (my hyperbole) shows he can stay current with his unique insight into the Jihadist mind. I was amazed at how someone who seemed to have totally figured out the 20th century American male could also stretch his art of perception into other cultures, but he can and he does.

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The March

Doctorow is a genius and has carved out his own personal literary style that few have chosen to try to emulate. The March stands aside Gone With the Wind in following a plethora of characters during the latter days of the Civil War, with Doctorow, as always, weaving their stories together and apart, bringing the famous and the imagined together in never-ending combinations, always keeping the reader wanting for more.

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FreakonomicsOkay, one non-fiction book. Read this and never look at anything the same way again. Levitt is a mad man of the social sciences. If you are looking for stock tips from this economist, look elsewhere. Levitt instead attempts to use his art (for economics is, to him, as much art as science) to explain just about every crazy thing you could imagine and some that you can’t. A very entertaining read.

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A Long Way Down

Britain’s snarkiest humorist. A disparate group of people decide to commit suicide all on the same night, at the same time, and in the same place. Mayhem ensues. Lives that have no logical connection form a community of the damaged and try to understand each other as much as they try to be understood. And in the end, they might all still be better off killing themselves anyway. A very interesting narrative style that never gets boring.

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A Dirty Job

I’ve been hearing about this guy for a while and he’s become prolific as hell and now I know why. Funny, funny, funny. Moore creates his own reality as he gives us Everyman, waking up one day and discovering that he is Death. Or at least he’s become a major part of the death process – he’s still trying to figure it all out. And you know what they say about death; it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. I laughed out loud at least once per page.

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