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Bill Gates' Top Reads (List 4)  ›

Bill Gates, the American business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist, is an avid reader.
by Marquina Iliev
36 books
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  • The electrical grid may not be something you think about on a regular basis, but after reading this book, I guarantee you’ll think about it a lot more.

  • This book looks at the developments in the 18th century that allowed technology and innovation to create platforms for even more invention.

  • I’m mentioned in this book, on a subject I’m personally invested in—how business-modeled philanthropy can change the world.

  • The beast of the title is medical technology—which brings great cost and ethical dilemmas, along with its great promise.

  • If you're interested in the basics of physics, I recommend this book. It gives a good overview of the core principles.

If You Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid  ›

Books for when Wimpy Kid is all checked out!
by SER Youth Services
22 books

Weird West for fans of The Dark Tower  ›

Childe Harold, get your gun!
by karenbrissette
10 books
  • see all 10 →
  • A noir-heavy but overall very "classic" western despite its supernatural glimmers featuring an immortal lawman administering justice across multiple worlds and times, going where he is called on a never-ending pursuit to thwart evil and restore order to the universe. A prequel, Quaternity, and several short stories are also set in this world.

  • This selection is an outlier both for being a standalone novel and for being one of the few that isn't really Weird West. Nonetheless, its post-apocalyptic setting, supernatural obstacles, Wild West-ish stance on vengeance and survival, and its harrowing epic road trip across a blighted America really brought The Dark Tower to my mind. Come for the apocalypse, stay for the clockwork owl.

  • First in a trilogy, this series opener's setting is decidedly, recognizably Western, complete with horse trading, gunslingers, and racism, but when the sun goes down on a borderland town, that's when the shapeshifters and demigods come out to play. Paul Kearney's blurb invokes The Dark Tower AND Cormac McCarthy, bringing peanut butter to my chocolate.

  • Another first-in-trilogy (F.I.T.), this is more dark fantasy than true horror; a pre-apocalypse story in which a frontier town’s quirky citizens, all of whom have firsthand familiarity with various supernatural phenomena, face the onslaught of the ultimate ancient evil which, unless defeated, will end the world.

  • F.I.T. The town of Wormwood, with its door to Heaven, appears in a new location every 100 years. In 1889, a cast resembling a Steampunk/Weird West Village People will try to reach it: gunslinger, preacher, inventor, brain-damaged Messiah, blind sharpshooter, monks, and freakshow performers. Dangers will include: gunfights, blizzards, creatures both biological and mechanical, desperadoes, and a truly carnivorous town.

The World of the Hollows  ›

Rachel Morgan is a witch. Ivy Tamwood is a living vampire. Jenks is a pixie nearing the end of his life with a large family. Together they run a private investigative agency called 'Vampiric Charms' in this urban fantasy series with monsters.
by Riffle Horror
17 books
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  • "Dead Witch Walking" (The Hollows Book #1) by Kim Harrison.

  • "The Good, the Bad, and the Undead" (The Hollows Book #2) by Kim Harrison.

  • "Every Which Way But Dead" (The Hollows Book #3) by Kim Harrison.

  • "A Fistful of Charms" (The Hollows Book #4) by Kim Harrison.

  • "For a Few Demons More" (The Hollows Book #5) by Kim Harrison.

Beyond Behold the Dreamers  ›

Oprah picks the books, Karen finds the readalikes
by karenbrissette
10 books
  • see all 10 →
  • While completing his residency at a Manhattan hospital, a Nigerian-German doctor walks across the city, thinking about his life and experiencing NY as a microcosm of the world; interacting with other immigrants who have come to make their own opportunities, listening to their insights on their adopted land and learning the stories of what they left behind in a melting-pot dissection of New York and post 9/11 America.

  • Yes, technically this is about the experiences of an expatriate rather than an immigrant, but however you slice it, the Nigerian Ifemelu's observations on race, gender, politics and culture while living abroad in America are phenomenal.

  • Same premise as BTD: immigrant family affected by the 2008 economic downturn, but played as comedy. The Wangs are a Chinese family enjoying the spoils of the American Dream: successful family business, Bel-Air mansion, private schools, when they lose it all in the crash. Mr. Wang drags his wife and two children on a road trip to his eldest daughter's NY home, with many misadventures and self-reflection along the way.

  • An American real estate tragedy whose conflict stems from a clerical error wrongfully evicting a depressed former drug addict from the home she inherited from her father, sold at auction to an Iranian immigrant planning to flip it to improve his family's future. As tightly-plotted as a Thomas Hardy novel, the clash between these two blameless and mostly sympathetic characters is a slow shredding of the American Dream

  • Mbue's book is about an "outsider's" circumstances during the 2008 crash. For a different perspective, try this one from a long-time chronicler of New York's elite as he returns to his characters from Brightness Falls and The Good Life, putting their already-shaky marriage through the wringer of economic collapse.

Best Translated French Fiction - The 2017 Albertine Finalists  ›

With Bastille Day on the 14th of July, it's worth appreciating the French-speaking world's enduring literary tradition, with the best of their translated works in 2017.
by Riffler
10 books
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  • At once sexy and feminist, Couple Mechanics tells the story of a woman who decides to fight for her marriage after her husband confesses to an affair with a noted politician. With intelligence, honesty, and humor, the novel examines the forces at work in a marriage, the effects of the inevitable ebb and flow of desire, and the difficulty of being a man today. The book won the Prix Interallié in 2013.

  • This best-selling debut novel from one of France’s most exciting young writers is based on the true story of the 1949 disappearance of Air France’s Constellation, a new plane launched by Howard Hughes, and its famous passengers. Tying together the destinies of boxer and fiancé of Edith Piaf, Marcel Cerdan, a musical prodigy, and others, the novel gives these thirty-eight men and women a new life through their story.

  • The Heart takes place over the 24 hours surrounding a fatal car crash and the subsequent heart transplant as life is taken from a young man and given to a dying woman. As stylistically audacious as it is emotionally explosive, the book examines the deepest emotions of everyone involved--grieving parents, doctors and nurses--as they navigate decisions of life and death. The book won the 2014 Grand Prix RTL.

  • With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country’s endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend; Saadiq, a gifted would-be poet in love with Eve; and Clélio, a belligerent rebel waiting for his brother to send for him from France.

  • Lola Lafon's award-winning novel offers a fictionalized account of iconic gymnast Nadia Comaneci’s life, from her rural Romanian childhood to her unprecedented perfect score in the 1976 Olympics and to her 1989 defection to the U.S. The book re-imagines a childhood in the spotlight of history, a woman adored by young girls in the West and appropriated as a political emblem in Communist Romania.