1. BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley. A private jet crashes in the first chapter of this stylish, spellbinding thriller, written by the writer/showrunner of the television series Fargo. The writing is crisp and the well-oiled plot kept me turning the pages until the very end.
2. BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue. I was blown away by this beautiful debut about race, class, immigration and the American Dream, set in New York against the backdrop of the financial crisis.
3. UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry. Berry’s cool, sparse writing elevates this thriller from mere caper status to brilliant, breathtaking debut. I stayed up all night just to finish it.
4. THE CHILDREN by Ann Leary. I really enjoyed Leary’s THE GOOD HOUSE, and I absolutely loved THE CHILDREN. Leary’s warm, witty voice drew me in immediately, and she unspools her plot with a master hand. I can’t wait to read what she writes next.
5. THE EXPATRIATES Janice YK Lee. Janice is an exquisite writer. I was as mesmerized by her gorgeous descriptions of ex-pat life in Hong Kong as I was by her intricate portraits of the inner lives of her characters. I bought this book as a holiday gift for all the readers in my life.
6. BE FRANK WITH ME Julia Johnson. Johnson’s pitch-perfect wit and brilliant, eccentric characters charmed me through and through. This is the kind of book you want to press into people’s hands, just because you know how much joy it will bring them to read it.
7. THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE Melanie Benjamin. I love Truman Capote and I love a good New York story, so how could I not fall head over heels for Benjamin’s glamorous, dishy read about Capote and his high society friends- a stylish, fun, well-done escape.
8. CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD Caroline Leavitt. No one captures the hearts and minds of young girls quite like Leavitt. I was so taken by this haunting, intimate portrait of two sisters, finding their way in the world during the chaotic late sixties.
9. SMALL GREAT THINGS Jodi Picoult. This timely, thoughtful examination of race and racism in America was a #1 New York Times bestseller for good reason. I was a Jodi Picoult fan before and after this book, I’m a lifetime devotee.
10. TINY LITTLE THING by Beatriz Williams. Beatriz’s books are so elegant and glamorous, they always sweep me off my feet. This delicious read about a flawless politician’s wife with a dangerous secret was the perfect vacation read – I couldn’t put it down.
Read more at Great Thoughts.