Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brien Pages: 459 First published: 1970
The book: This is the first novel in a fictional series about Captain Jack Aubrey of the British Royal Navy. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, this is the story of Aubrey’s first command as Captain and the adventures and battles that ensue.
You might like it because: It’s a marvelous tale of life in Nelson’s navy, with all it’s political intrigue, sailing adventures, and dangerous naval battles. O’Brien does a wonderful job of bringing the time period to life and immersing the reader in navy life. Read more
Douglas Adams Pages: 193 First published: 1979
The book: Arthur Dent wakes up on a Thursday morning to discover his house is about to be demolished to make way for a new road. Just when it looks like things could not get worse, Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway. Luckily, unbeknownst to Arthur, one of his friends, Ford Prefect, is in fact from another planet and is on Earth doing research for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Seconds before Earth is destroyed, Ford escapes by hitching a ride on a spaceship. He takes Arthur with him, and so their journey through the galaxy begins. Read more
Melanie Benjamin Pages: 396 Published: 2013
The book: Anne Morrow first meets the dashing Colonel Lindbergh when she’s a shy college senior spending her Christmas vacation with her family in Mexico. Whilst Anne is in awe of the great hero, she is sure Lindbergh has barely noticed her. However, she has most definitely made an impression on him, and they will soon be married. This is a fictional account of Charles and Anne Lindbergh’s marriage. Read more
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Pages: 226 Published: 2003
The book: Christopher John Francis Boone is very good at mathematics, likes detective stories, and hates the color yellow. He is the story’s narrator and describes himself as having “behavioral difficulties.” He has Asperger’s syndrome. One night, seven minutes after midnight, Christopher discovers his neighbor’s poodle lying dead on the lawn outside her house. The poodle has been killed, but who did it? Christopher plans to find out. Read more
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Pages: 530 Published: 2014
The book: A blind twelve-year-old, Marie-Laure LeBlanc, and her father flee Paris, which is under German occupation. They seek refuge with her great uncle in Saint-Malo, an ancient walled French town by the ocean.
In a mining town in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner Pfennig, becomes obsessed with radios and learns how to make and repair them. His radio skills take him first to a Nazi youth camp and from there into the German army, where he tracks resistance radio operators.
This novel is the story of Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives as their paths intersect during the war. Read more
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Pages: 314 Published: 2011
The book: Hadley Richardson met Ernest Hemingway in Chicago in 1920. A whirlwind romance followed, and despite objections from friends and family, they married then moved to Paris. There they became part of a group of writers and artists – sometimes referred to as the “Lost Generation”- that included Gertrude Stein, Erza Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is a fictionalized account of Hadley and Ernest’s life together.
You might like it because: Hemingway and Richardson had an incredibly passionate relationship, and the story of their lives during their marriage is interesting and interspersed with famous literary and artistic figures. McLain does a marvelous job of bringing these people to life. Read more