Wildly appealing literary sensations and pop culture classics are less the norm than bolstered books within particular genres.
Once upon a time, 2011-published “Fifty Shades of Grey” enticed millions of readers, and the erotic novel even launched the theme for this year’s “Book Club” major motion picture comedy. Yet wildly appealing literary sensations and pop culture classics are less the norm than bolstered books within particular genres. Readers preferring spy novels, for example, propelled Daniel Silva’s “The Other Woman” onto bestseller lists. World Magazine added it to June’s “Thirty Beach Reads” and called it “another masterwork of espionage.”
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This year’s “Varina,” by best-selling “Cold Mountain” author Charles Frazier, beguiles Civil War history buffs who might want to know how, after the Union claimed victory, the fugitive wife of confederate President Jefferson Davis fled with her children, hid from angry Northerners and Southerners alike, and survived to tell about it.
“The Book of M,” written by Peng Shepherd, appeals to the post-apocalyptic fantasy crowd. The storyline centers on a world where most people lose their shadows and ultimately their memories.
Drama and sense-of-place fiction lovers find the tragically beautiful “The Great Alone” a top pick. By “Nightingale” author Kristin Hannah, the setting is Alaska’s wilds and the time period 1970s post-Vietnam War. Fragile characters learn resilience and survival in a home dominated by a soldier suffering from PTSD.
Non-fiction sports is a genre all its own with plenty of new reads. David Rapp’s “Tinker to Evers to Chance” spotlights a shortstop, a second baseman and a first baseman who led the Chicago Cubs to world and league championships from 1906 to 1910.
Sci-fi and romance intermingle in “The One,” by John Marrs, with the premise that just a quick mouth swab will determine a perfect partner.
And then there is the memoir. Many readers who abhor fiction enjoy delving into juicy details of a person’s life. “Small Fry,” by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, does not disappoint; even its publication is making waves, according to Harper’s Bazaar’s September book recommendations. Apple founder Steve Jobs’ stepdaughter does not paint him in a favorable light, yet she apparently writes in a “practical, forgiving tone.”
For more 2018 best books in various genres, check out selections by Publishers Weekly, Real Simple, Esquire and more.