Author Picks


Josh Kendall's

Pay It Forward Book List


Joshua Kendall, editorial director of Mulholland Books, recommends five books that were recommended to him that are sure to keep you turning the pages. Continue the tradition and send this list on to another reader in your life. read




Marcus Sakey's

Favorite Made-Up Genre


The author of the new thriller Afterlife has selected six novels that present our recognizable world... but with a twist. read





Hala Alyan

Transporting Fiction


Hala Alyan, author of the debut novel Salt Houses, recommends five books sure to take you to another place. read





Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Looking West


In this list of recommendations, L.A. transplant and author of the massive hit novel The Nest, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney writes about some of her favorite books that explore The Golden State. read





Dawn Tripp

Fictional Reinventions


The bestselling author of GeorgiaDawn Tripp, recommends five novels that reassemble and illuminate the lives of their subjects. Each of these books takes a figure—either from history or literature—and gives them new life on the page. READ





Ed Park and Richard Polt 

Getting to Know Harry Stephen Keeler


January 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of prolific mystery and sci-fi writer Harry Stephen Keeler's death. We asked writer and editor (and Keeler fan) Ed Park and Richard Polt, professor of philosophy at Xavier University and head of the Harry Stephen Keeler Society to choose some of their favorite Keeler novels. READ MORE






Peter Straub

In Poe's Shadow


In honor of Edgar Allan Poe's birthday on January 19th we asked master horror writer Peter Straub (and editor of the anthology Poe's Children: The New Horror) to share five authors who he sees as the heirs to Poe's writing. READ MORE 







Richard Cohen

The Write Stuff 


We are all too familiar with the difficulties of writing, whether it's writer's block, problems with character development, or finding the right ending. When in doubt, turn to an expert for advice! How To Write Like Tolstoy author Richard Cohen presents this list of books on writing by some of his favorite authors, including Edith Wharton, Stephen King, Norman Mailer, and more. READ MORE





Matt Bell

Five Deeply Strange Reads


Shifts in time, changelings, organic buildings, levitating grandmothers, and all things odd inhabit this list from Matt Bell, author of A Tree or a Person or a Wall. Matt has selected five books from small presses that investigate the strange and challenge our notions of reality. READ MORE





Andrew Gross

Writing the Holocaust


"In Andrew Gross's new book, the historical thriller The One Man, physicist Alfred Mendl is imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. Thousands of miles away, intelligence officer Nathan Blum is given the assignment to try to break Mendl out, and with him, the information to help win the war for the Allies.READ MORE





Sassafras Lowrey

Queer Literature Top Five


The author of Lost Boi picks five of hir current favorites from LGBTQ fiction. 


"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) literature is a growing genre filled with a diverse array of novels that are pushing the literary envelope. These works of fiction challenge readers to explore worlds beyond conventional definitions and understandings of sexuality and gender identity/expression." 






Joshua Gaylord

Five Fictions About Fiction


The author of When We Were Animals selects five fictional books that reflect on the art form. 


""I suppose what...readers admire about storytelling is its capacity to blend into real life, to erase the line between fiction and reality. But I’m not one of those readers. I like art because it’s art—because it’s different from reality—because it’s (all right, I’ll say it) better than reality." READ MORE  





Elizabeth Marro

Five Over Fifty 


The author of Casualties picks five books by authors who got their start a little later in life. 


"Sometimes a writer has to live a little before that first novel. Sometimes she has to live a little longer. Here are five debut books by authors who first published when they were over fifty—and then kept going. They prove that it is worth the wait." READ MORE





Jennifer Haigh

Constant Cravings


The author of the new novel Heat and Light, suggests seven books about addiction. 


"My new book, Heat and Light, is a novel about the fracking boom in Pennsylvania. In a deeper way, it’s also a story about addiction, that perverse human compulsion to poison ourselves in much the way heavy industry poisons the land." READ MORE





Domnica Radulescu

Thieves of Language


The author of Country of Red Azaleas presents this list of recommended reading focused on women's journeys, voices, and visions.


"The French writer and feminist philosopher Hélène Cixous urged women to be thieves of language as well as to fly with language. The French language very conveniently offers such a beautiful semantic overlap as the word voler means both to steal and to fly." READ MORE





Lorenzo Carcaterra

The Must-Read Ten


Our Crime Fiction Academy instructor, and master author and screenwriter, Lorenzo Carcaterra, presents his list of ten books on crime that everyone should check out. 


"I write about crime—whether it’s a murder committed by a member of my own family or one that comes out of a world of my own. I also read about crime and have since I was old enough to get a library card." READ MORE






Dexter Palmer

Five Long Reads


The author of the highly praised new novel Version Control uses his dissertation on Joyce, Gaddis, and Pynchon as inspiration for this list of weighty tomes. 


"These are five books that have their unusual size in common: all are a thousand pages or more. Don’t let that scare you away, though: let me try to convince you that these are worth picking up for reasons other than strengthening your biceps." READ MORE






Roger Rosenblatt

Five Old Flames


The author of Thomas Murphy takes a look at five passionate classics.











Roxana Robinson

Books on the Artistry of War 


The author of Sparta discusses books that helped her inhabit the world of soldiers. 








Daniel Woodrell 

Five Stateside Novels You Likely Missed


The author of The Maid's Version picks five wrongfully neglected works of American genius. 







Ann Hood

Five Favorite Modern Crime Books

from the UK and Ireland


The author of An Ornithologist's Guide to Life tells us about her favorite books on crime from across the pond. 







Gavin McCrea

Five Books That Help Us Rethink History


Debut author Gavin McCrea challenges the notion of 'historical fiction' in this fascinating list of recommended reading. 







Amitav Ghosh

Some Favorite Works of Modern Arabic Literature


The author of Flood of Fire selects four novels and a memoir from modern Arabic literature.








Kate Walbert

Five Books on the Mixed Blessings of Nostalgia


The author of The Sunken Cathedral chooses five novels that reflect on the past.







Writers On Artists:

Frederic Tuten, Caroline Leavitt, Stuart Dybek, Roxane Gay, Martine Bellen, Charles Salzberg, Tom Bradley, Jane Ciabattari, Roberta Allen  










Lawrence Block

Five Books to Read More Than Once

The legendary crime writer selects five books that warrant re-reading. 













Ed Park

Five Science Fiction Books You Should Read Right Now 


The author of Personal Days selects some not-to-miss sci-fi. 

















Susan Isaacs

Brave Dames, Great Hearts


The author of Goldberg Variations suggests female heroines who are no damsels in distress.














Madeline Miller
Great Books Inspired by the Classics 


From Hamlet to Jane Eyre, these picks from the author of The Song of Achilles have friends in high places!














Five Fantastic Tales 


Timothy Schaffert, Kate Bernheimer, Kevin Brockmeier, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and Maria Tatar pick a favorite—yet overlooked—fairytale-inspired book. 













Sheila Kohler
Five Great Historical Fictions 


The author of Dreaming For Freud selects must-read works that bring the past to life. 














Dean Koontz
Five Favorite Books About Dogs


This bestselling author is "dog-obsessed!" Here are his picks for five books about man's best friend.













Tayari Jones

Five Favorite Books About Philandering


The author of Silver Sparrow recommends five stories with their share of affairs.













Thomas Mallon

Five Essential Books About Politics


The author of Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years, selects five books that expose, examine, and reimagine politics.













The One Book I'd Give as a Gift 


Cristina Garcia, Tom Piazza, Francine Prose, Patricia Volk, Jayne Anne Phillips, John Wray, and Matt Bell pick some of their favorite books to give this holiday season.







Alan Lightman

Surreal and Mythical Five-Pack


The author of Einstein's Dreams recommends five disorienting and dreamlike novels to make your head spin.














Martha McPhee

Women Behaving Badly


The author of Dear Money has chosen some female protagonists who break all the rules.













Carmela Ciuraru

Five Fascinating Noms de Plume


The author of Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms gives us insight into some literary aliases













Sandra M. Gilbert

700 Years of Underrated Women


The author of Rereading Women: Thirty Years of Exploring Our Literary Traditions shines the spotlight on some deserving authors.