Good Reads: My Top Five Books

After nearly 13 years of belonging to the most extraordinary book group anyone can imagine, I have had the great fortune of reading some amazing fiction. Paring it down to even my top 20 was a challenge, but after revisiting my list of books, here are my top five books by contemporary authors which will have you silencing your phone, ignoring the laundry and making every night “fend-for-yourself sandwich night.”  Please feel free to post some of your favorites!  And, these are in no way in any particular order.

Straight Man by Richard Russo
This uproarious situational-comedy-esque novel is a hilarious account of a wise-cracking, middle-aged man serving as the interim chair of a university’s English department. Warning:  This academic satire may resonate with higher ed. employees more than you want to admit!

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenidis
This 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is an epic multi-generational historical account of a hermaphrodite and her, ultimately, his Greek American family. Brilliantly written, historically relevant, medically accurate – prepare to be taken on a transfixing journey from 1920s Greece to 1970s Detroit.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This harrowing autobiographical memoir is an unbelievably troubling account of Walls and her three siblings’ unconventional childhood with an alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother. This chronicle will haunt you for a very long time.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Soon to be a movie directed by Angelina Jolie, this biography is the inspiring true story of Olympian-turned-WWII Japanese POW Louie Zamperini. I don’t want to give one piece of this amazing story away, just know this tale of survival will not disappoint, but will astound.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Dubbed as a great American novel, this debut novel is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in rural Wisconsin and centers around a mute boy raised by his dog-breeding parents and his evil uncle. This coming-of-age tale is a riveting family drama which is both “fantastic and utterly believable.” Mari Malcom.

For more recommendations, please visit my full list of recommended books at:

I invite you to post some of your favorites!