Top Books – 2016 Best Sellers

Top Books – 2016 Best Sellers

Top Books 2016 reviews a broad range of books that have topped the charts this year.  WhyToRead likes lists like this to help broaden our reading.

Of course, many books top the charts during the year, so we have picked out some that stood out for us so far.  Be brave and read something from a new genre.  You just might love it.

1. Before the Fall – Noah Hawley

Top Books 2016 - Before the Fall
When an aeroplane full of influential people crashes off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, questions start floating to the surface.There are only two survivors: a down on his luck painter named Scott Boughes and a four-year-old boy. Told through the backstories of the doomed passengers as well as flash forwards to after the crash, we are treated to a thriller with intrigue at the heart. Before the Fall explores the heartwarming relationship between the two unlikely survivors while delving into the facts and secrets of those on the plane. Noah Hawley is the writer for the Fox show Fargo and has given us a Top Books 2016 thriller that pushes us to think about how vulnerable the human spirit really is.

2. The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeny

Top Books 2016 - The Nest
If you are looking for a funny novel about some serious topics, then The Nest may be for you. The story revolves around the Plumb siblings who are anxiously awaiting to dip into their trust fund, nicknamed “the nest.” With plans for the future and problems in their pasts, we learn about the dysfunctional Plumb family.The book takes us on a journey into the everyday workings of a family, showing us how important love and friendship really are. Comedy though it is, this novel also delves into issues surrounding family, grief and the real cost of inheritance. This debut novel for D’Aprix Sweeny is a New York Times bestseller.

3. The Longest Night – Andria Williams

Top Books 2016 - The Longest Night
Being part of a military family comes with sacrifices and troubles. The Longest Night follows the Collier family as they adjust to their new life on a military base in Idaho. When Peter’s military life takes over the family, his wife, Nat, becomes increasingly lonely. Secrets start to build as they grow further apart. With love triangles, a real nuclear accident, as well as the bonds of the family, The Longest Night is a very realistic read. Andria Williams uses her first-hand experience in a military family to bring us a novel rich in love and historical detail.

4. Pumpkinflowers: A Soldiers Story – Matti Friedman

Top Books 2016 - Pumpkin Flowers
Based on a true story, Pumpkinflowers follows the story of a group of Israeli soldiers stationed on a small hill in Lebanon. It follows the horrors of war, the bonds of friendship, and though Friedman’s accounts, the real story of a war. Written with vivid descriptions and harrowing details, this book is unprecedented in the insight it gives into modern warfare and how it shaped the lives of the men on that hill. It is a perfect read for military personnel or anyone willing to take a very emotional look at war. Pumpkin Flowers is being hailed a classic by critics and readers alike.  A highlight of the Top Books 2016 list.

5. LaRose – Louise Erdrich

Top Books 2016 - LaRose La Rose
When a shooting accident leaves a five-year-old boy dead, a family must come to terms with the loss while staying friends with their son’s killer. La Rose follows the story of Landreux Iron as he deals with the guilt of killing the Ruskin boy and the grief of having to give his own son, La Rose, to the Ruskin family as a sign of forgiveness. Between the two families, LaRose grows up, dark and troubled in a home that is not his. This fragile novel is rife with Native American customs and law. Louise Erdrich is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and this is a beautiful story that weaves together the fate of two broken families.

6. Barkskins – Annie Prouix

Top Books 2016 - Barskins
If you are looking for a story rich in history and ecology, then look no further. Barkskins is the tale of two poor Frenchmen who find themselves in New France (the French colonies of North America). They are introduced to a world where timber is king and ravaging natural resources is the norm. It follows both mens’ family trees for three hundred years showing the challenges, the triumphs, and imminent ecological collapse. This novel spans the course of continents and gives us a well-researched look into Native American culture. Written by the author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, this novel tries to weave the history of man with the destruction of the natural world.  A must read Top Books 2016.

7. The Fireman – Joe Hill

Top Books 2016 - The Fireman
When a deadly plague starts sweeping across America, everything changes. Harper Grayston is a nurse who is dedicated to helping those infected. After finding out she is both infected and pregnant, she must do everything she can to give birth to a healthy baby. She has watched other women do it , and knows the risks. This thriller explores the chaos that erupts across communities with threatening situations.   Exploring individual reactions, Harper and her ever distant husband deal with the idea of having a baby in this new world. A fast-paced read full of emotions, twists, and questions for the future.

An English Teachers Non-Fiction Book List

An English Teachers Non-Fiction Book List

Most people read fiction for entertainment – humor, mysteries, horror – we escape to another world. Non-fiction can also entertain. Non-fiction can be “how to” or text books and documentaries, but also includes memoirs, biographies, science, self-help,  business and art. Non-fiction is basically anything based on real people, events or facts. This list of non-fiction books is guaranteed to entertain you as it expands your knowledge and view of the world.

1. LeviathanJohn Birmingham

Leviathan: The unauthorised Biography of SydneyThis award winning book is subtitled “The unauthorized biography of Sydney”, as in Sydney, Australia – a city . More like techno-thriller, this book is underpinned by extensive research. It will teach you more about this gorgeous harbor city than most locals would know. Highly recommended.

2. Notes from a Small IslandBill Bryson

In this humorous travel memoir, Bill Bryson records his jaunt around the old country, England (and Wales & Scotland). Enjoyable, funny and educational. Learn about British quirks and oddities whilst being entertained.

3.Moab Is My WashpotStephen Fry

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry shares his early life story in this autobiographical novel. Brutally honest, Fry shares his mistakes and misconduct along side the difficulties and challenges of growing up gay in a British boarding school in the 1960’s. There is no pointing the finger of blame here, simply a wry, funny and wise memoir.

4. Fever PitchNick Hornby

Featured in the fiction of out English Teacher’s lists with his novel High Fidelity Hornby returns with his tribute to his obsession to football (soccer). An easy to read coming of age story, fans of any sport will relate to the highs and lows of his team dictating the happiness and direction of his life. Mandatory reading (or ideal gift!) for any obsessive sports fan.

5. No LogoNaomi Klein

Written by an award winning journalist, this 10 year anniversary edition was published in 2009 following the GFC. Part exposé, part political and cultural study, Klein dives into the world of image and brands in the global economy. Well-reasoned, she shows how the “superbrands” of huge corporations are penetrating our lives and manipulating many of our choices. Certainly if the rise of ‘product placement’ in movies and sports fields is any indicator, she is spot on.  A book that will change the way you view the world, marketing and brands.

See also Conspiracy Theory book list for a review of her earlier book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

6. The FightNorman Mailer

The Fight is an account of the classic 1974 heavyweight boxing title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Transcending the sporting event, the book captures the drama of the struggle both in the sporting rings and in the psyche with a unique insightful literary style.

7. Down and Out in Paris and LondonGeorge Orwell

This was Orwell’s debut book, written before his works of political fiction such as the classic 1984 and Animal Farm.  It is, as The Nation put it, “the most lucid portrait of poverty in the English language.”  With vivid and precise descriptions he humanizes and brings empathy to the poorest people (including himself as narrator) in a simple sociological study of homelessness in France in early 1900’s and Edwardian England.

Previously reviewed in 10 books that will broaden your life perspective.

What You Should Read In High School – an English Teachers List (part 2)

What You Should Read In High School – an English Teachers List (part 2)

As we continue on from Part 1 of our English Teacher’s list, discover not only the joy of reading, but the benefits of reading widely.

The books in today’s list will increase your vocabulary and sentence length; stretch your imagination; and help you develop empathy for others with stories of racial prejudice as well as the comedy and tragedy of coming of age.

1. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and six moreRoald Dahl

Roald Dahl is a master story teller for children and adults. Whilst these short stories are not as commonly read or recommended they are timeless and inspiring, yet literary masterpieces. The story of Henry Sugar (one of six in the book) is almost a parable, telling the story of Henry, who masters the skill of seeing without his eyes and discovers almost anything is possible. Be prepared to expand your vocabulary with this book.

2. Arthur & GeorgeJulian Barnes

• Short-listed 2005 Man Booker Prize

This ‘real life’ detective story is based on the true events in the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of one of the most famous detectives in literature. Within the rich detail of Victorian life is the deeper issues of justice and racial prejudice. Sometimes called a literary thriller, or a psychological novel, the surprising twists and turns will satisfy your detective character.

3. The Complete Sherlock Holmes (2 Volumes)Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson are one of the world’s best known and most fully realized literary characters. This complete compendium of 4 novels and 56 short stories are fun to read over and over. Generally considered a literary classic, his sensitive characterization (including well written women characters) and convincing portrayal of life in many different sectors of Victorian era society make this a great bed time read. A firm favorite.

4. David Copperfield Charles Dickens

‘The most perfect of all the Dickens novels’ Virginia Woolf

Reading a Dickens novel can seem like a daunting task for many readers. Widely recognized as a literary giant, his books often come in leather bound volumes that look fantastic on bookcases, but are too intimidating to actually read.

Be brave, open this book and be treated to rich, detailed and penetrating character studies. Sit back and enjoy the ride as this story filled with tragedy and comedy draws heavily on Dickens’ own childhood.

Featured in 10 Best First Lines of Novels

5. The Virgin Suicides: A Novel Jeffrey Eugenides

A coming-of-age story of five sisters who commit suicide one by one. Eugenides writes with haunting sensitivity and dark humor in precise prose. It won’t be to all readers tastes, but recommended for the deep and developed characters, narrative and juxtaposition of outwardly ‘normal’ suburbia with the dark side of life.

Also by this author: Middlesex featured in 10 modern Books Which Will Be The Classics of The Future

What You Should Read In High School – an English Teachers List (part 1)

What You Should Read In High School – an English Teachers List (part 1)

Not all of us excelled in English at High School. Some of us didn’t even read the novels required.

To help this, reading time in English classes is becoming more popular as teachers try to develop well rounded, educated students with a love of reading. Some classes are ‘bring your own’ and others have set lists. However, some students (and teachers) simply don’t know what to read outside their favorite genre.

So what should you read in High School? What books will expand your mind, develop critical thinking and language skills? What books will show you what literature can be?

A sophomore English teacher shares the A-C authors on his summer reading list with us.

1. In Cold BloodTruman Capote

In Cold Blood

On November 15th 1959, in Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were dragged from their beds in the early hours of the morning and tied up. All four were shot in the head with a shotgun at close range. Truman Capote, traveled to Holcomb in late 1959 to investigate the killings for an article which then turned into this terrifyingly chilling book.

Also featured in: 7 Greatest Non Supernatural Horror Novels

2. Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Beautiful, sumptuous and satisfying, this book is a monumental achievement that should be on the top of your summer reading list. One of our absolute favorites.

3. Oscar and LucindaPeter Carey

Set in mid-19th century England and Australia, Carey writes with a visual richness that is at times amusing, graceful and deeply touching. An unconventional love story, the unexpected ending makes the book a masterpiece of passion and human weakness within a narrative of the social and religious mores in nineteen-century Australia.

4. The Hours: A NovelMichael Cunningham

The stories of three women in different times, Virginia Woolf writing “Mrs. Dalloway” and Laura & Clarissa reading the finished book decades later. The dark and depressing characters are painfully introspective as they examine insights into things around themselves. The writing however is a hauntingly poetic stream of consciousness. Best read with a big pot of tea, on a rainy day. Look for the hint of hope at the end to lift you out of the depths.

Read Part 2 or Part 3 of the list.

Book Club Books | 10 Best Books To Read With A Book Club

Book Club Books | 10 Best Books To Read With A Book Club

These are the best books to read if you are currently in a book club or you’re thinking of starting one with your friends. Whether the people in your book club love or hate these books, there will certainly be a lively discussion.

Book Club Books | 10 Best Books To Read With A Book Club

1. The Help – Kathryn Stockett

Book Club Books

(As featured in 10 of the Most Exciting Page Turner Books You’ll Ever Read)

The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black ladies’ maids that every family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families’ homes. This book will create a lively discussion in your book club, as many of the issues of 1960s discussed in the book are still prevalent today.

2. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

Book Club Books

(As featured in 6 Books That Will Completely Exceed Your Expectations)

The main character is a cantankerous, still-sharp 93-year-old man, and his frustration at being trapped in an old man’s body is palpable. The story of his incredible life and adventures with the Benzini Brothers circus unfolds in a way that is emotionally wrenching, and yet flashes of good humor and surprises pervade throughout.

3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer

Book Club Books

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society manages to offer wonderful well rounded characters, a genuine sense of historic time and geographic place, some real inspiring stories of courage under hardship during World War II and a sweet if rather predictable love story. Plenty for your book club to talk about.

4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

Book Club BooksThis book should be required reading for those of you who are interested in science and literature. The true story of Henrietta Lacks and her family has finally been told, beautifully, in this book. The book encompasses science, ethics, and the story of a family who was terribly wronged in the pursuit of scientific research.

5. The Glass Castle: A Memoir – Jeannette Walls

Book Club BooksThe Glass Castle is probably the best account ever written of a dysfunctional family. It must have taken Walls so much courage to put pen to paper and recount the details of her rather bizarre childhood – – which although it’s like none other and is so dramatic – – any reader will relate to it. Readers in your book club will find bits and pieces of their own parents in Rex and Rose Mary Walls.

6. The Light Between Oceans: A Novel – M. L. Stedman

Book Club Books

Tom Sherbourne has miraculously survived World War I and finds himself in a small town in western Australia. A winner of medals of honor, he is no stranger to violence and killing. As he gets his first temporary job, he also meets Isabel, who becomes the love of his life. They begin a romance, marry and move to the isolated lighthouse where they hope to start a family. The isolation and the desperation in this book makes it deeply emotional and great for group book club discussions.

7. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Book Club Books(As featured in 12 Outstanding Books That Will Blow You Away)

The Book Thief describes that while being subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. You will not read a more moving and profound book as this one.

8. The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

Book Club BooksThe story begins during the summer of 1964 in South Carolina. We are immediately drawn into Lily’s struggle with a vague memory of the death of her mother. Her mother was shot and killed in a freak accident when she was only four years old. Throughout Lily’s journey we discover more and more about her mother and her death.

9. Room – Emma Donoghue

Book Club Books

“Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. Was I minus numbers?”

And the story of Jack and Ma begins. The entire story is told from the perspective of Jack, a just-turned five-year-old who is living in Room with his Ma. The only thing Jack has known is Ma and Room. His day is spent utilizing the few things they have, the songs and stories his Ma remembers and the five picture books he’s had read to him over and over.

And if you think this is really contrived and just not possible, just google the name Josef Fritzl – a real life horror far greater than Room.

10. Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay

Book Club BooksOn July 16, 1942, the French police rounded up Jewish families in order to send them to Auschwitz for extermination. The Nazis wanted only the adults but the French took whole families and then tore them apart. The story is fascinating, emotional, and pulls you in. You won’t want to put it down but you will so you can think about what you have just read. You will have to remind yourself to take a breath.

Roald Dahl | 6 Best Books To Read

Roald Dahl | 6 Best Books To Read

When it comes to children’s books, Roald Dahl has written some of the most significant in the genre. His books have influenced a generation, and continue to inspire young people to read. Roald Dahl books are guaranteed to get someone into reading, and many of his books have been turned into popular movies.

This book list is dedicated to Roald Dahl and the best books he has written in his long and successful career.

Roald Dahl | 6 Best Books To Read

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl books

Roald Dalh’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stands at the top of the heap when it comes to children’s books. This is a pure classic of imagination, storytelling and magic. Charlie, who lives with his four ancient grandparents and his mother in a one-room house, is the kind of child who can only dream about his future, since his family has barely enough money to survive.

When the Wonka chocolatier announces that five golden tickets to visit the aged factory have been carefully tucked inside chocolate bars the world over, Charlie’s dreams are suddenly wide open.

2. The BFG – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl books

Dahl’s superb imagination has created a character, the BFG, who talks so whimsically that you will laugh out loud while reading this book. His child friend, Sophie, has no trouble understanding him, however, although she sometimes has to translate for less flexible or more pompous adults. The BFG’s interactions with his fearsome peers demonstrate a high level of courage, particularly for a comic figure, and his nighttime activities indicate a delicacy of perception that few of us could attain.

3. Matilda – Roald Dahl 

Roald Dahl books

Originally published in 1988, Matilda was one of the last books author Roald Dahl wrote before his death in 1990. Here we have a sweet charming little piece of literature about a girl that is both good and interesting. Creating characters that you identify intrinsically with is not only difficult but (in children’s books) sometimes near impossible. Reading Matilda, it becomes clear that Roald Dahl never lost his touch for creating wonderful original characters and situations.

4. Fantastic Mr. FoxRoald Dahl

Roald Dahl booksRoald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox tells the story of how Mr. Fox and his family fend off an assault by farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Losing his tail to the farmers’ bullets, Mr. Fox tries to wait out the farmers’ vigil but Boggis, Bunce and Bean have other plans. They try to dig up the Fox family’s den with steam shovels, forcing Fox and family ever farther underground. Derided by the townspeople for flattening a whole mountain just to catch a fox, the farmers decide to see who can last longer, them or Mr. Fox.

5. James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl booksAfter his parents are eaten by a rhinoceros, young James Henry Trotter has to go live with his two mean aunts named Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, who treat him very badly. Poor James has to live with his aunts for three whole years until one day a mysterious man gives him a bag of magic things, resulting in the giant peach and Roald Dhal’s amazing book.

6. The Twits – Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl booksThe Twits is the story of a couple of, well, twits! Mr Twit is has a nasty, unhygenic, ugly beard and Mrs Twit could be recognized by her glass eye, who lived in a windowless house. They have four pet monkeys, and a huge dead tree where they catch the birds for their weekly bird pie. to past time, they love to play tricks on each other.

16 Best Books To Read Before They Become Movies in 2015

16 Best Books To Read Before They Become Movies in 2015

The books on this list are already must reads and many have already been featured on WhytoRead, but these books are soon to become movies. Its best to read these books before they become top movies to watch, or you’ll have to fight the impression of the scenes and characters shown to you instead of using your imagination.

One of the best things about reading is flexing your imagination muscles. Read these books before they become top movies will let you use your imagination to the fullest extent. We’re sure these books will make great movies, most movies that are based on books are, but as book lovers, we want you to read the books first.

16 Best Books To Read Before They Become Movies in 2015

1. The Martian – Andy Weir

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesThe main character, Watney, presumed dead, is accidentally left by his crew mates when an intense Martian dust storm forces them to abort their mission. What follows for part of the book is a logbook style narrative that describes in great technical detail Watney’s efforts to extend his life until the next scheduled mission arrives in 4 years.

2. The Dark Tower series – Stephen King

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesThe Dark Tower features one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations—The Gunslinger. The epic of this series is so compelling and addictive, you’ll be reading it through to the end, making this one of the most addictive page turners on this list.

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesHis whole childhood, Jacob heard his grandfather tell tales of the incredibly peculiar children with whom he grew up. The older Jacob gets, though, the more he thinks his grandfather’s tales are nothing more than make believe. But, when his grandfather speaks a few cryptic words before he dies, Jacob is determined to learn the mysteries of his grandfather’s youth.

4. Paper TownsJohn Green

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesQuentin Jacobsen is in love the perfect Margo Roth Spiegelman. One day, Margo shows up at Quentin’s window, and together they play pranks on Margo’s enemies. The next day, Margo has disappeared. Soon, Quentin finds clues left by Margo, and his quest to find her begins.

5. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesLouisa’s life is lackluster and she’s completely content with ‘playing it safe’ at life. Not that she’s ever allowed herself to contemplate how different things could possibly be. She goes to her job at the tea shop, she goes home to her windowless room at her parents house. But when she loses her job at the tea shop she accepts a temporary 6 month position as a caregiver to a quadriplegic, Will Traynor.

6. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – Jon Krakauer

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesEven if you already know the story of the deadly Mt. Everest expeditions of 1996, you will appreciate Jon Krakauer’s own first person account of the Adventure Consultants and the Mountain Madness groups. Both of these expeditions were led by well-seasoned Everest climbers—Rob Hall from New Zealand and Scott Fischer from the States–and had the aid of expert guides, Sherpas from Nepal and “outsiders”. But we soon find that even these experienced people are not immune from the human frailties of greed, denial and self-serving.

7. Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal – Dick Lehr, Gerard O’Neill

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesOne of Boston’s most notorious mobsters, who also happens to be the brother of one of Massachusetts’ most powerful politicians, spends more than a decade as a secret informant for the FBI. And, using his informant status as a shield, he grows his criminal empire and commits just about every crime on the books, including murder.

8. FrankensteinMary Shelley

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesVictor Frankenstein takes it upon himself one night to create a monster out of old body parts. He and his monster spend the rest of their days haunted by the other’s existence.

9. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesLibby Day was seven years old when her mother and two sisters were massacred in a blood-soaked home invasion. It was Libby’s testimony which put her then-fifteen-year old brother, Ben, into prison for the rest of his life for the heinous murders.

In hauntingly compelling prose, the book unfolds the story of what really happened during the early morning hours of January 3, 1985, and how searching for, and uncovering that truth will change the lives of Libby and Ben.

10. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge – Michael Punke

Best Books To Read Before They Become Movies

After being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his companions, frontiersman Hugh Glass, despite his injuries and predatory threats, makes his way across 3,000 miles of the American frontier for retribution against the men who left him behind.

11. In the Heart of the SeaNathaniel Philbrick

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesThere have been many great stories of survival and tragedy on the seas, and this book is one of the best of them. At one time the story of the Whaleship Essex was well known in America, but gradually that story faded into memory. Nathaniel Philbrick brings that memory back to life again with his very well written book.

12. A Hologram For the KingDave Eggers

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesIt is 2010, and Alan Clay is waiting for King Abdullah. He is a 54-year-old failed American businessman in serious debt, evading his creditors and anguishing over how he will pay for his daughter’s next year in college. He also has an angry ex-wife and a worrying lump on his neck. This is his last hurrah, a chance to turn his life from sad and broke to flush and secure, if he and his young team from Reliant can pitch this hologram presentation to the King and win an IT contract.

13. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon – David Grann

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesBack in the late 19th and early 20th century, the search for the mysterious lost city of gold was all the rage. Many explorers entered, many didn’t make it out alive, and no one ever found it, though it was thought that Percy Fawcett, his son and friend, must have discovered it and remained there.

14. A Walk in the WoodsBill Bryson

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesThe humorous memoir follows an Iowa-born man who returns to America after 20 years in England to walk the Appalachian Trail.

15. The Secret in Their EyesEduardo Sacheri

Best Books To Read Before They Become MoviesThe novel tells a very personal story of one man’s role in the Argentinean system of criminal justice, his mild obsession with an unsolved murder, and the difficulty of pursuing the truth in a corrupt political regime.

16. True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea CulpaMichael Finkel

Best Books To Read Before They Become Movies

Based on a true story, a former New York Times writer recounts his bizarre downfall. As he was about to be fired for fabricating details on a big story, Finkel learned that an arrested mass murderer named Christian Longo had posed as Finkel while he was on the run.

Good Books To Read in 2015: 12 Must Read Books

Good Books To Read in 2015: 12 Must Read Books

Good Books To Read in 2015

Did you make a new years resolution to read more this year? Well you have something in common with Mark Zuckerberg. The difference may be, that you haven’t stuck to your goal. One of the main reasons people can not stick to their reading goals is the lack of good books to read, or so they think. 2015 has been a great year for books, and in this list, we’ve compiled the 12 must read books of this year.

So if you’re in need of good books to read this year, here are some great books to read.

Good Books To Read in 2015: 12 Must Read Books

1. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Must Read Books 2015

The Girl on the Train is a dark, haunting and depressing psychological thriller, but it’s incredibly effective thanks to the writing skills of author Paula Hawkins. Rachel is a divorced woman who would do anything for a drink, and like a lot of folks consumed by a love affair with the bottle, one might call her a victim of circumstances. Her husband Tom had an affair that resulted in a pregnancy. He divorced Rachel, married the “other woman” and now all three (husband, wife and child) are happily ensconced in the house that was once Rachel’s.

2. The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand

Must Read Books 2015When her therapist gives her a notebook and encourages her to write about her feelings about her younger brother’s suicide, Lex Riggs is skeptical. She considers herself more of a science and numbers person. But since she no longer feels comfortable around her two friends, has broken up with her boyfriend, and her mother is dealing with her son’s death by drinking too much, Lex takes his advice.

3. Go Set a Watchman: A Novel – Harper Lee

Must Read Books 2015

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

4. The Martian: A Novel – Andy Weir

Must Read Books 2015
Good Books To Read

The main character, Watney, presumed dead, is accidentally left by his crew mates when an intense Martian dust storm forces them to abort their mission. What follows for part of the book is a logbook style narrative that describes in great technical detail Watney’s efforts to extend his life until the next scheduled mission arrives in 4 years.

5. Finders Keepers: A Novel – Stephen King

Must Read Books 2015After last year’s absorbing thriller Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King returns with its sequel as the unlikely team of ex-policeman Bill Hodges, Jerome Robinson and Holly Gibney tried to make sense of the City Center Massacre and also save the life of Pete Saubers from the clutches of a near-deranged Morris Bellamy.

6. Seveneves: A Novel – Neal Stephenson

Must Read Books 2015Seveneves begins with the moon being destroyed by a force (or forces) unknown, giving humanity roughly two years to get our act together and come up with a long-term survival plan before an apocalyptic bombardment begins that will sterilize the surface of the planet.

7. The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah

Must Read Books 2015The Nightingale combines history, family relationships and dynamics, as well as focusing on individuals doing what is necessary to survive the horrors of war, this novel draws readers into the story and holds them firmly in its grip from first page to last.

8. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania – Erik Larson

Must Read Books 2015

Written to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, a Cunard passenger liner sunk by a German U-Boat, Larson’s account differs in several ways from other well-known books produced on the subject.

9. At Hawthorn Time – Melissa Harrison

Must Read Books 2015At Hawthorn Time is about identity, consumerism, changing boundaries and our own long, straight path into the unknown.

10. A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson

Must Read Books 2015A God in Ruins ends with one of the most devastating twists in recent fiction – as Atkinson’s afterword acknowledges, ‘the whole raison d’être of the novel’.

11. Mislaid: A Novel – Nell Zink

Must Read Books 2015Mislaid, a new novel by Nell Zink, is certainly not a book for every reader. It is an edgy tale of characters who are laid bare in their essential quirkiness by the author. They are not characters you might love, but they are characters who will remain with you after you finish the book.

12. The Invaders – Karolina Waclawiak

Must Read Books 2015
Good Books To Read

A bored housewife in a gated community has to deal with her husband’s drug-addled son from his first marriage in Waclawiak’s hotly anticipated second novel.

8 Basic Books on Cognitive Science to Help You Understand Your Mind

8 Basic Books on Cognitive Science to Help You Understand Your Mind

Cognitive science is the scientific study of the human mind. The field combines ideas and methods from psychology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and neuroscience. Understanding cognitive science will show you how your mind works, how you make decisions, and what makes your thoughts logical to you.

The best way to learn about this field, other than taking a class on the subject, is to read some or all of the introductory books on cognitive science. These books have been recommended by the admins of the CogSci subreddit.

8 Basic Books on Cognitive Science to Help You Understand Your Mind

1. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions – Dan Ariely

Cognitive Science
Cognitive Science

The book has many strengths, the main one being that it convincingly presents many ways people are wired and/or conditioned to be irrational, usually without even being aware of it. This eye-opening revelation can be a bit disheartening, but the good news is that we can fix at least some of this irrationality by being aware of how it can arise and then making a steady effort to override it or compensate for it.

2. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain – Anthony Damasio

Cognitive Science

Damasio’s main contention is that logic and reason are impossible without emotion. That is why intuitions are called gut feelings. He goes over many case studies, experiments, and introspection, to drive this point home.

3. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

Cognitive Science

(As featured in 10 Easy To Read Books That Make You Smarter)

Daniel Kahneman presents the brain as we have never seen it. The basis of the book is simple. In judging the world around us, we use two mental systems: Fast and Slow. The Fast system (System 1) is mostly unconscious and makes snap judgments based on our past experiences and emotions. When we use this system we are as likely to be wrong as right. The Slow system (System 2) is rational, conscious and slow. They work together to give us a view of the world around us.

4. The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist’s Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics – George Lakoff

Cognitive ScienceDrawing on the latest brain science and a very nice range of examples to support his case, Lakoff develops logically persuasive and easily understood models for the cognitive cause-and-effect relationships that emerge as political differences.

5. How the Mind Works – Steven Pinker

Cognitive Science

This book is about more than just the mind: it is about the entire human being, with special focus on the motivational complexes stemming, in part at least, from innate, genetic factors within the human organism. Pinker discusses human nature from the viewpoint of evolutionary psychology.

6. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales – Oliver Sacks

Cognitive Science(As featured in 8 Straighforward Science Books To Read That Make You Smarter)

The man who mistook his wife for a hat is probably the most interesting clinical psychology books ever written. It is utterly fascinating to know that, as a result of a neurological condition, a man can actually mistake his wife for a hat and not realize it. In reading this book, you come to respect and appreciate the human brain as well as those who are struggling to deal with one of the conditions which Sacks explores.

7. The Computer and the Mind: An introduction to Cognitive Science – Philip Johnson-Laird

Cognitive Science

A great introduction into the field of cognitive science, fit for a layman with little or zero scientific knowledge.

8. Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom – Daniel T. Willingham

Cognitive Science
Cognitive Science

Imagine you could sit down with a cognitive scientist and ask him to explain how students’ brains learn, so that you could better teach them. Dan Willingham has written a book which achieves that very effect.

8 Essential Books About Writing Every Aspiring Writer Must Read

8 Essential Books About Writing Every Aspiring Writer Must Read

As a book lover, its inevitable that you will think about and aspire to be a writer. By reading your favorite books, your imagination will wonder and you’ll think about the type of book you want to write. Writing may seem easy at first, but as soon as you sit down to write your first few pages, you realize how difficult of a task it is. Whether you want your first book to be a novel, a biographical piece, or a short non-fiction e-book, its important to read specific literature on writing.

There are specific techniques you need to learn to be a successful writer, and the books on this list are the books which will equip you will all the tools and know-how you will need to being your writing journey. We hope you find these books useful, and your new life as a writer is all you imagined it to be.

8 Essential Books About Writing Every Aspiring Writer Must Read

1. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft – Stephen King

Books About WritingFor the legions of Stephen King fans out there, the first third of the book containing his short memoir is truly a gift. The second part, On Writing, is where the aspiring novelists will find inspiration. Assuming you’re a serious writer , you’d no doubt would have read the countless manuals on the mechanics of writing.

2. Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course – Jerry Cleaver

Books About WritingIf you are serious about amounting to anything as a writer, you need to read Immediate Fiction. The author’s instruction and advice leave no stone un-turned. There is no comparable book out there on this subject.

3. Writing the Breakout NovelDonald Maass

Books About WritingDonald Maass gives a course in how to turn a good story into a breakout novel. What he writes about is turning a good story into a commercial success. He knows the market as one of the top agents in publishing and as a successful novelist. He’s given advice to his clients and it’s propelled them to the top of the bestseller list.

4. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing – William Zinsser

Books About WritingThis is not a technical book that will lay out how to write. It’s a collection of well written essays about different factors that will help you write better. This book is fantastic in its coaching, mentoring, and its own exemplary writing.

5. The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the story within – Alan Watt

Books About WritingUnlike other novel-writing books which concentrate on a mechanistic approach to structure, The 90-Day Novel puts its emphasis on getting — and staying — in touch with your story at the deepest subconscious level. Everything that’s going on in your life becomes grist for the mill of the story.

6. Bird by BirdAnne Lamott

Books About WritingThough aimed at writers, this book is full of sage advice and razor-edged honesty for the average joe. If you’re a writer it’s more than a few anecdotes and good advice; it’s a lifeline. Of course it is about writing, but it is also about any kind of long-term endeavor that is challenging, that creates self-doubt, and that is a channel for self expression and self actualization.

7. How Not to Write a Novel – Howard Mittelmark, Sandra Newman

Books About WritingThis book offers a very large selection of things to avoid when writing your novel which is in many ways more helpful than all the books that tell you what to do. Most authors don’t want to feel like they are writing to template and the writing process is different for each individual person, but it is also good to know what to avoid, what tends to make a novel unsuccessful. There is advice on many different aspects of writing a novel from plotting to writing to characters.

8. The Elements of Style – William Strunk Jr., E. B. White

Books About WritingElements of Style is a wonderfully-written, extraordinarily concise tool that pays homage to classic high-end English. As the ‘rules’ in this iconic book take up only 14 pages, it will amazes you how often you will find the answer to a grammar or punctuation question within these pages.