This week's picks come from Paula McLain, the New York Times bestselling author of Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride. Check them out below and see what other Penguin Random House titles made The Great American Read list.
Five-year-old Ayla is another order of orphan in this epic set in pre-historic times, circa 25,000 BP. Willful, spirited and “other,” Ayla doesn’t belong with the Neanderthal clan that raises her, nor does she see or recognize her own kind anywhere, because she is really a child of the future Cro-Magnon race. I read this every summer for years, utterly convinced by and drawn into Ayla’s world.
Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction when it was published in 1939, and weighted heavily when Steinbeck won the Nobel in 1962, the novel follows the tenant-farming Joad family as they set out from dust-bowl plagued, Depression-rocked Oklahoma for California. Though I remember thoroughly resisting the book in high school, I now see it as an almost peerless account of one tenacious family trying to survive one of the most catastrophic periods in our history.
I read King relentlessly as a teenager and young woman, but this one remains my absolute favorite, a stretching and humanistic post-apocalyptic account of a disintegrating America in the wake of a governmentally-modified influenza strain that gets accidentally released. The pandemic kills off most of the world’s human population, and sets three separate bands of survivors on cross-country odysseys that converge in a spectacular stand off between good and evil.
Don't miss Paula McLain's newest New York Times bestseller McLain returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in Love and Ruin, a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn. LEARN MORE ▸
In #1 New York Times bestselling
author Lisa Gardner's latest twisty thrill ride, Detective D. D.
Warren and Find
Her's Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to
either save a young girl's life... or bring her to justice. READ MORE ▸
In the first book of an all-new
series, a young lawyer races to save his client from execution,
putting him at odds with his own father: Thomas Pitt, head of
London’s Special Police Branch. READ MORE ▸
Lisbeth Salander is serving time in
Flodberga Prison. When a sadistic gang leader nicknamed Benito starts
to torture Faria, a young Bangladeshi prisoner, Salander finds it
impossible not to intervene. READ MORE ▸
The Great American Read is an eight-part
television series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told
through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels.
All summer long, we’ll be sharing some of our authors' favorite books
from the list. We’re kicking things off with New York Times bestselling author Jane Green.
Check out her picks below and see what other Penguin Random House titles
made the list here.
I have always gravitated towards the
cozy book, and nothing is cozier than Little Women. It was one of the
books that fostered my love of America, very early on, and showed me
what makes a great character, particularly in headstrong Jo.
We read this for school when I was
eleven years old, and I instantly fell in love. I was terrified by
Pip’s encounters with Magwitch, entranced by his relationship with
Estella and the ethereal Miss Havisham, and spellbound following
Pip’s journey as he grows up. As an adult, my love for this book has
remained constant, and particularly the genius of Dickens showing how
life can change on a dime.
Another love from my childhood, this
is the novel that paved the way for all of us women writing about
relationships with depth, humor, and emotional resonance. From the
first line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man
in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” Elizabeth
Bennet’s lovely family, and her quest to marry for love rather than
money, is just as relevant today.