Friday, June 24, 2011

Unputdownable (yes, it's in the dictionary)

I get it. Summer is here and you're looking for a book you can read without too much effort: people in the reading business call this phenomenon a "good book". Maybe you weren't aware of the question, but we have the answer. The following is a list of books that you shouldn't pick up if you don't want to read a book you can't put down:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Recently released from prison, Shadow faces a different kind of life then what he envisioned: his wife is dead and he discovers that forgotten gods exist in North America. Leprechauns wear denim jackets and mesh baseball caps, genies drive taxis, and the goddess Easter has picnic lunches in a park in San Francisco. But new gods such as Technology and Media are threatening elimination of the old ones. Like the coin tricks that Shadow had become adept at performing in the clink, nothing is what it seems in today's world. Amidst all of this uncertainty, only one truth is known: the storm is coming.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Dr. Laszlo Kreizler is investigating a series of brutal killings in 1896 New York City. He puts together a team of investigators to delve into the dark underworld of the city, using techniques that were state-of-the-art at the time, such as fingerprinting and profiling. The detailed description of New York City and its people (including historical cameos by Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan) on the verge of the 20th century is clever and entrancing. Lovers of Sherlock Holmes will thoroughly enjoy his American counterpart.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
In a Barcelona that is still recovering from the Spanish Civil War, a boy named Daniel becomes enthralled by a book named The Shadow of the Wind written by an obscure author named Julian Carax. However, as he searches for more of his books, he comes to discover that someone is systematically destroying every book written by Carax. Daniel realizes that the identity of this mysterious author lies at the heart of a tale filled with such intrigue, murder, heartbreak, and madness that someone is willing to go to any lengths to keep it hidden.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
When the new Mrs. DeWinter comes to Manderlay Estate, she discovers that the frosty housekeeper and the sometimes distant new husband are nothing compared to the specter of the original Mrs. DeWinter that is still casting a pall over those who live there. Published in 1938 but timeless in its impact, Rebecca has become the archetype of a dark suspense novel filled with themes of passion and betrayal.

Do you have some books that cannot be set aside once started? Let's hear about 'em!


Linda K. said...

"In the Woods" by Tana French is one of the books that make my list of unputdownables. The setting in Ireland, the children running thru the woods, the friendships, the mystery surrounding the lives of the characters - amazing. Also, just about any mystery by Louise Penny would make my list. I love the characters she describes in that wonderful small town near Quebec.

Anonymous said...

Since I agree that The Alienist and The Shadow of the Wind truly were "unputdownable" I may have to give American Gods. You can't go wrong with Tana French either. Good recommendations!

Zoe Footlik said...

Lizbeth Salander. Need I say more?

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