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Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg has written 10 thrillers set in her small hometown, and the books have sold 23 million copies worldwide. In her new novel, The Golden Cage, a woman seeks revenge against her wealthy philandering husband.
The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani (2016).
A brilliant and beautifully narrated novel that gets under your skin, the 2016 winner of France's Prix Goncourt is a must-read for any fan of psychological suspense. Slimani based her work on a true murder story. I often recommend the book to people who want an intelligent page-turner.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992).
Probably one of the best books ever written. I can't recall how many times I've reread this fantastic novel. It's mind-blowing how Tartt excels on so many levels: the writing, the story, her gallery of characters — the list can go on forever.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (1934).
I don't know how old I was when I read this novel for the first time, but I do know that it became a part of my foundation as a crime writer. The craft that Christie brings to her whodunits is always impressive.
Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh (1997).
This book is perfect for geeks like me. But it's also a captivating story about a centuries-long human search for the truth: Several mathematicians tried and failed to provide proof for the titular theorem, which was proposed in 1637 by Pierre de Fermat. No one succeeded until 1995, when it was proved by Andrew Wiles, an English mathematician at Princeton.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (1968).
This book is an amazing read for both adolescents and grown-ups. I completely loved its coming-of-age story about a gifted young wizard, as well as the five subsequent entries in Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle. She really succeeded in blurring the boundaries between genres and inspiring authors such as Margaret Atwood. Her books have done much to shape the fantasy genre as it exists today.
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt (2003).
Hustvedt is an extremely talented writer whom I admire greatly. Her third novel traces the intertwining of two artistic New York City families across 25 years. Its reach is greater, though, touching on the question of where influence ends and the self begins.
This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.
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