10 Writers Recommend the Books They Cherish Most
Asking writers for book recommendations may be a bit of a cliché, but on the other hand — wouldn’t you ask your Italian friend where to get the best pizza in Rome? With that in mind, we asked 10 of our writers to tell us which book they cherish most in the world.
Granted, book readers may become an extinct species in the near future, but for those of you who like to turn off your phone for a while and curl up with a good read, here are a few of our writers’ all-time favorite books:
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer Rebecca, Writer (Italian) This novel offers a completely new way of mixing fiction and magic; it’s a creative writing piece that blew my mind. Jonathan Safran Foer is able to blend fiction, history, drama and comedy in narrating one of the darkest periods in modern history. Read it if: You want to cry and laugh, all at once. It’s one of those books where you’ll find yourself underlining many of the sentences because they're just written perfectly.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach Maria, Marketing Writer When I first started this book, I thought I would hate it. How could I enjoy a book about baseball? Especially since I'd never seen a game or even tried on a mitt. I was unexpectedly awed, however, by its powerful reflection on the fundamentals of the human condition. It addresses anxiety, passion, longing and loss in a really unpretentious way. Read it if: You're feeling a little shaky or in need of some reassurance.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov Kester , UX Writer There’s a simple reason I always recommend this book: it has everything. It’s funny, tragic, moving, scary, political, satirical. Plus, it has elements of magical realism and surrealism. Read it if: You simply need to read it if you’re alive. It should be on everyone’s list of top ten books to read before you die.
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger Jillian, Marketing Writer I would recommend this book because it's a classic. This book opened my eyes to the world of literature. It was so far ahead of its time and today still remains timeless and relatable. Read it if: You've been living under a rock and haven't yet.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend Abigail, Marketing Writer This book got me through my teenage years. It’s nothing short of a literary masterpiece. Set in 1982, it chronicles the experiences of a teenage boy struggling to cope with pubescent angst against the backdrop of a politically charged, economically uncertain England. Read it if: You were an awkward teen or are the parent to one, and want to relate to this hilarious, confessional novel. If you miss the 80s, or if you’ve ever experienced a painful coming of age, this one’s for you.
Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell Daniel, Marketing Writer This book encourages you to judge a book by its cover. We often make snap judgements, and this book tells you that your first impression may well be correct. Read it if: You want to clear your mind by reading a book that will help change your perspective on something.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden Naama, Content Manager I'd recommend it because the story is so simple. The writer starts by giving us a glimpse into the world of the characters and slowly, throughout the book, adds small details that inspire the imagination. Read it if: You love stories that unfold bit by bit and characters who seem simple on the surface, but are beautifully complex within.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen Laura, ADI Writer It's the perfect combination of a good plot, solid writing and character development. This is a suspenseful novel following a young family living in a sleepy American suburb. With its plot twists and complex, multi-layered characters, this novel could easily be a memoir. Read it if: You're going on a long trip with lots of free time to read and appreciate an intriguing novel with great characters.
The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi Takanori, Writer (Japanese) This book was written circa 1645 by swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi. This legendary samurai invented “Nito-ryu,” the practice of using 2 swords at a time. He never lost a fight and managed to write a book that people are still reading today, over 350 years later. It teaches the deep secrets of Bushido and describes a very different way of living life. Read it if: Rather, because it’s a must. In Japan, this is the book that everyone has on their shelf.
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss Netanya, Marketing Writer The book is written in such a sensitive and heartfelt way that 10 years after reading it, I still hold its words dear to my heart. The portrayal of a young girl and her relationship to a book, the characterization of an old man and his history with the world, and how and why they meet will have you in tears. Read it if: You’re looking to feel something, anything.
What’s the book you’d recommend without hesitation? Share it in the comments so we don’t run out of book ideas and find ourselves curled up on the couch with nothing but Twitter.
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Rebecca Pakin, Writer (Italian) at Wix