"I think of this as my gift to the city," the best-selling novelist says of her Nashville book shop. "If I want to live in a city with a bookstore, then I'm willing to pay for it." Patchett shares her first-day jitters, and the best advice she got about opening a bookstore: Put the children's section in the back.
The best books don't just get inside a character's psyche, they get in the reader's head, as well. Author Ismet Prcic recommends Irvine Welsh's Marabou Stork Nightmares, a funny, provocative, cerebral novel that explores the meaning of violence.
The year is 1622, and a tormented English Puritan strikes out for the Plymouth Plantation in Hugh Nissenson's moody, intelligent novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan says The Pilgrim is a work of straightforward historical fiction — of the sort that you don't see so much anymore.
For British economist Sir John Maynard Keynes, consumption — economic or otherwise — was what made the world go 'round. His ideas about how to nurture national economies, and when to intervene, are still being debated, 65 years after his death.
Lee Myung-bak was so poor as a child that he wore his school uniform every day because he had no other clothes. He became a student activist and helped Hyundai become the massive conglomerate it is today. In many ways, Lee's life story — and ultimate success — mirrors that of South Korea.
It might be the Heartland of America, but writers from the middle of the country are often overlooked. An Iowa resident herself, author Jennifer Wilson recommends the best books from that cold, comforting place known as the Midwest.
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