Elizabeth Gilbert, a former Cullman Center Fellow and author of the New York Times bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, is currently working on a new novel. Following her recent appearance on the LIVE from the NYPL series, we asked Gilbert for a list of her favorite summer books.
- This is a double-hitter, but definitely Hilary Mantel’s astonishing novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. Her version of Thomas Cromwell is my favorite literary creation of recent years, and this utterly transporting recounting of the Tudors is as compelling, sexy, and violent as anything you’ll see on “Game of Thrones”.
- State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett. Never miss an Ann Patchett novel. This one, especially don’t miss.
- The Children’s Book, by A.S. Byatt. In keeping with my apparent theme of fabulous, rich novels written by great female novelists, this one is an extraordinary epic of love, family, art and ambition in England, right before the first World War. The critics were equally split on this novel. I sided with the smart critics, who loved it, and who (like me) think it is Byatt’s best work.
- Middlemarch, by George Eliot. You didn’t think I would discuss fabulous, rich novels written by great female novelists and not mention Middlemarch, did you?
- Hateship, Loveship, Friendship, Courtship, Marriage, by Alice Munro. Let us all bow at Alice Munro’s feet. Each one of these short stories is like a novel in miniature, and the title story is so beautifully heartbreaking and redeeming, I can’t even take it.
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