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Today is National Author’s Day, and we’re celebrating by calling out just a few of our favorite prolific authors. While some writers are lucky to release one or two great books over the course of their careers, these inexhaustible authors are known for their ability to churn out title after outstanding title. Check out the list for recommended reading from each one, and if you want to learn more about a particular author’s work, click their name to browse other available titles.
Recommended Reading: The Colors of All the Cattle
“There is no end to the pleasure that may be extracted from these books.” —The New York Times Book Review
In this latest installment of the beloved and bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe finds herself running for office—much to her dismay.
Recommended Reading: Midwives
“Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful.” —People
On an icy winter night in an isolated house in rural Vermont, a seasoned midwife named Sibyl Danforth takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency cesarean section on a mother she believes has died of stroke. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead? The ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witchhunt, forcing Sibyl to face the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience.
Recommended Reading: The Sea
“Remarkable. . . . The power and strangeness and piercing beauty of [The Sea is] a wonder.” —The Washington Post
In this luminous novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory, John Banville introduces us to Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the recent loss of his wife. It is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, gorgeously written novel — among the finest we have had from this masterful writer.
Recommended Reading: The Plot Against America
“A terrific political novel. . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened.” —The New York Times Book Review
In an extraordinary feat of narrative invention, Philip Roth imagines an alternate history where Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to heroic aviator and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh. Shortly thereafter, Lindbergh negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.
For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America—and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.
Recommended Reading: The Handmaid’s Tale
“The most poetically satisfying and intense of all Atwood’s novels.” —Maclean’s
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now. . . .
Recommended Reading: Family Furnishings
“What a stunning, subtle and sympathetic explorer of the heart Munro is.” —The Washington Post
Here is a selection of Munro’s most accomplished and powerfully affecting short fiction from the last two decades. Subtly honed with her hallmark precision, grace, and compassion, these stories illuminate the quotidian yet astonishing particularities in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world.
Recommended Reading: As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members—including Addie herself—as well as others, the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Considered one of the most influential novels in American fiction in structure, style, and drama, As I Lay Dying is a true twentieth-century classic.
Recommended Reading: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
“Dreamlike and compelling. . . . Murakami is a genius.” —Chicago Tribune
In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.