In no particular order, my favorite books to date are:
1. The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
4. The World According to Garp or Cider House Rules by John Irving
5. ‘Salem’s Lot orThe Stand by Stephen King
6. Swan Song by Robert McCammon
7. The Peaceable Kingdom by Jan DeHartog
8. Centennial or The Source by James Michener
9. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye
10. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
These were wonderful, engrossing novels by master’s of their game. I must say that Swan Song in particular struck me. It’s similar to The Stand with its apocalyptic themes, but it offers a much more realistic, yet visionary and hopeful ending. It would be interesting to read a woman author’s vision of an apocalyptic future, but women rarely write of the “end” of things, only the reconstruction of things after men have destroyed us. Isn’t just like women to have to clean up the mess. 🙂
James Michener is highly underrated as an author and his monumental epics about countries and states are huge achievements. I loved Chesapeake and Hawaii as well and found it hard to choose, but since we lived in Colorado for a while, I remember reading Centennial when we were there and finding it most enjoyable. Not only do you enjoy his books, you learn quite a bit as well.
The Peaceable Kingdom was a fascinating look at the origins of the Quaker movement in England and in the United States. The Far Pavilions was a look at the British empire in India at the turn of the century. I could never have gotten through any of these long and engrossing reads if they hadn’t been worth it. I didn’t want most of them to end. Now that’s the mark of a good book!
Nelson DeMille I picked up recently and once I find an author I like, I read everything he or she offers. DeMille is one of those authors (along with Dick Francis). The Lion’s Game follows a New York City cop with a dry wit and “battle” wounds into an investigation with the FBI to find a terrorist on the loose in the United States. The guy can write witty dialogue that’s for sure and he doesn’t insult you intelligence while doing it. I also like novelists that can keep their overt political leanings OUT of the story. Let the reader discern his/her own politics from the book if they choose.
The others are self explanatory because they’ve been on best-seller lists for awhile and for good reason. I encourage you to read one of the list and let me know what you think.