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This Is It: The Final Round of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards Starts Now!
Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017



Vote now in the Final Round! »

It's all come down to this: It's time to pick from the best of the best to determine the winners of the 9th annual Goodreads Choice Awards. It's the only major book awards decided by you, the readers!

In the first two rounds of this year's Choice Awards, you cast 2.19 million votes (which also included your 19,000 write-in nominations). Those votes have been tallied and now we’ve narrowed down the field from 20 to ten favorites in each of the 20 genres.

Be sure to check out who made the final cut and vote your favorites onto victory in each of the categories including Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Nonfiction, and Debut Goodreads Author.

This final round lasts from November 14 until November 27.

We know that you stand by your vote, so share your picks with your friends, family, and followers on social media with the hashtag #GoodreadsChoice.

All of the Goodreads Choice Award winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 5.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to voting!



Tasteful Cookbooks for Foodies
Posted by Marie on November 13, 2017

Stella Parks is an acclaimed food writer and self-described "resident pastry wizard." She was named one of "America's Best Pastry Chefs" by Food and Wine magazine. Her first cookbook BraveTart is now available for sweet tooths everywhere.



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The best part of having an avid foodie on your gift list is that you may be rewarded with the recipes they try. So why not give them some inspiration? We asked Parks to share some of her go-to cookbooks from her collection. Perfect for every skill level, these cookbooks feature gorgeous photography, thorough instructions, and excellent advice for whipping up an unforgettable feast just in time for the holidays.

"Having gone to culinary school at the ripe old age of eighteen, my cookbook collection has a decidedly professional bent, with titles focused on theory and technique. Whether used as a crash course for new bakers or a refresher for seasoned pros, these books cover everything from the basics of dough lamination (aka, making croissants and Danish) to the mechanics of flavor pairings and the power of pH," says Parks.


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What cookbooks would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Coffee Table Books for Bookworms
Thought-Provoking Books for the Business-Minded Reader
Books that Celebrate the Spirit

Books that Celebrate the Spirit
Posted by Marie on November 13, 2017

Anne Lamott is the bestselling author of inspirational works including Bird by Bird and Help Thanks Wow. Her new book Hallelujah Anyway is a meditation on mercy told with her characteristic wit, grace, and down-to-earth humor.



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It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Often, we need to take a step back and remind ourselves of what's truly important. It's a season of joy, hope, and compassion—a time where we look back on the memories we shared with our loved ones and look forward to the chance of celebrating more. So in the spirit of giving, we asked Lamott to share which books can help express the gratitude you feel towards all the special someones on your list.

"There are certain books I read over and over again, and foist on people all through the year if I think they need some hope and inspiration. I know this season can get crazy, but it's supposed to be about light, and love, and hope, and all these books remind me of how amazing people, nature, and Life can be. (Also, people will like you even more than they already do if you give them one of these books. And they'll OWE you forever.)"


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What books inspire you? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Thought-Provoking Books for the Business-Minded Reader
Great Books for the Classics Lover
Tasteful Cookbooks for Foodies

Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers
Posted by Marie on November 13, 2017

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times-bestselling author of the young adult series, Shatter Me. Her new release, Whichwood, is a companion piece to her middle-grade fantasy novel, Furthermore.



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Got a tween bookworm on your gift list? Middle-grade fiction bridges the gap between the innocence of children’s books and the nuances of young adult novels. They represent the golden age in a young reader’s life where they’re poised at the edge of the discovery; of exploring who they are and what they want to be. In fact, the books they read now will help shape the beginning of their journey of growing up.

So if you're looking to expand the horizons of the middle-grade readers in your life, these classic, moving, and whimsical picks from Mafi are the perfect stocking stuffers.

"Middle grade novels are my first love; these were the books I first discovered as a young person—the books that became the portal through which I discovered distant lands and fascinating new friends. Here are a list of some of my favorites for the young reader in your life."


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"I adored this book as a child. I reread it a couple of years ago, as an adult, and it made me cry all over again."




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"Jason is just, hands down, one of the most talented writers working today. This book is so special."




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"This book! It's stayed with me all my life."




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"A sweet, moving portrayal of life and loss. Ally is an artist."




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"It’s a tough call, but this might be my favorite Dahl book…Matilda was such a role model for my young self."




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"This one is for a slightly younger audience, but it’s a beautiful, stunning story—another knock out by Matt de la Peña—and the visuals are divine."





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"I was obsessed with this book when I was a kid. I probably read it about fifty times!"




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"This book needs no introduction, of course, but I just couldn’t keep it off the list. It’s a modern classic—one I can’t wait to share with my own daughter."




What books would you recommend for middle-graders? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Hilarious Reads for Kids of All-Ages
Enchanting Picture Books to Delight The Youngins
Fantastic Books for Fantasy Fanatics

Fantastic Books for Fantasy Fanatics
Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017

Nicholas Eames is the author of Kings of the Wyld, which is a 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards nominee in both the Fantasy and Debut categories.


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Looking for a great book for someone who devoured Game of Thrones or who longs to return to the Shire? These books are guaranteed to please both the fantasy aficionado as well as the person who has yet to discover the greatness of the genre!

We asked debut author Eames to round up a dozen fantastical books to check off your holiday list this year:

"As someone who has spent a great deal of time and effort trying to 'convert' friends into fantasy readers, I consider myself something of an expert when it comes to curating lists of books guaranteed to impress. Below are a few that would make ideal gifts for old and new fantasy fans alike!" says Eames.


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"Huge, epic, sprawling, sentimental. Check their bookshelf first because this will PROBABLY be on it. If you or anyone you know still hasn't started this series, get on it. If fantasy had a yearbook, this one would be grinning in its braces above this caption: 'Most likely to be the next Game of Thrones.'"




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"Western meets fantasy, with a badass, take-no-crap-from-anyone female protagonist. Lots of humor with some beautifully poignant moments in there as well."




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"One of the best debuts of all time. The tale of con men and thieves in a 'Venetian renaissance' setting. Fast-paced, hilarious, brilliant. It's first in a series, but it reads fine as a standalone."




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"Organized crime meets Asian-inspired epic fantasy. Few books in our genre tread upon truly new territory, but this one occupies a space few others do. Family intrigue, magic, and martial arts in one outstanding debut."




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"A fantastical twist on The Three Musketeers. Exceedingly witty and fun, with a wonderful cast of characters and incredible sword fights, written by a guy who really knows his stuff. A great beginning to a truly excellent series."




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"Very accurately billed as The Hobbit meets Ocean's Eleven. A group of miscreants band together to pull elaborate heists on their evil dragon overlords. Things go badly for everyone involved. Action-packed and hilarious."





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"Probably the best book I've read in the past few years. Baru is an accountant whose island nation is usurped by an overbearing empire. She resolves to bring them down from the inside. Intrigue (and devastating heartbreak) ensues!"




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"Fast-paced, gritty, and brutal. Blackwing has swords, guns, magic, twisted monsters, evil sorcerers, and embittered mercenaries all fighting to survive on the edge of a wasteland called The Misery. If your reader has mentioned loving Joe Abercrombie, this is for them."




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"Besides having a great title, this book is the beginning of an incredible series featuring a cast that is refreshingly diverse and not-at-all typical of many 'classic' fantasy tropes (the heroine of book two is a blind craftswoman). These books are intriguing, complex, and often socially relevant. Jemisin is prolific, too, so there's plenty more if you like what you read."




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"A buddy-cop movie in a fantasy setting. Two unlikely partners team up to solve a mystery that threatens their entire city. Plenty of action, plenty of laughs, and a fair bit of mystery to boot."





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"Expecting blood and battle and tons of killing? Look elsewhere because Age of Assassins is actually a beautifully told coming-of-age story cloaked in the vestments of a mystery novel. Complex characters and a deeply inventive world promise bright things for this series in the future!"




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"Another of those 'if you haven't read this yet you will eventually' books. This story is fast-paced, clever, and all sorts of cool. A great one for 'fantasy skeptics'—it takes place throughout several alternate (and often sinister) versions of London, England."




What books would you recommend for fantasy fans? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Irresistible Books for History Buffs
Thrilling Pageturners for Mystery Lovers
Bone-Chilling Books for Horror Fans

Enchanting Picture Books to Delight The Youngins
Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017

Drew Daywalt is the two-time Goodreads Choice Award winner in Best Picture Books for The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. His latest book, The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, tells the fantastical story behind the school-yard game.



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"I never loan books. I always just give them away, partly because they never come back, but mostly because I like to see the book continue its journey of impacting people. I also love to buy books as gifts because it's like giving someone a piece of your mind (without getting punched)," says Daywalt.

"So when the fine folks at Goodreads asked me if I'd like to make a list of my favorite picture books to give as gifts for this holiday season, I was psyched to oblige. Enjoy!"


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"Nothing goes together quite like funny and scary, and this one by Seuss has been one of my all-time favorites since I was like, I dunno, five? The concept that I could be a little bit frightened and also laughing at the same time came directly from reading this book. And the absurdism of What Was I Scared Of? went right into my DNA as a storyteller."




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"Nothing satisfies a kid like finishing a story and knowing that everyone got what they deserve. And this crocodile is such a jerk. When he finally gets his at the end of the book, it couldn't be more pleasing (and funny). Thank you, Mr. Dahl, for thinking so far out of the box—and an even bigger thank you to the publisher brave enough to publish it."




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"Technically this isn't a picture book, but it has pictures and it's a book, so…ya know. Anyway, when I was a kid, I'd read this one with my mom, and we'd howl with laughter. Bill Watterson has always been one of my literary heroes, and I think it's great to read him with my kids."




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"Bob Shea is the funniest person I know. Literally. I wait for his books to come out like a dog under the table waiting for scraps. Only I don't lick his hands. That'd be weird. What I'm trying to say is you should go buy this book, not hide under Bob Shea's dining table."




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"At six years old, I didn't know I loved messages about anti-consumerism and the pointlessness of the eternal class struggle—but I did. And I still do. Also Sneetches are super cute. And this Dr. Seuss guy, he really has a future in picture books. Keep an eye on him. He's gonna be huge."




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"Jory John is the funniest person I know. I know I already said that about Bob Shea, but I really mean it about Jory. I meant it about Bob, too, but I mean it about Jory just as much. Maybe more. I dunno. We should maybe put them in a cage and let them funny it out and see who emerges victorious. Anyway, nothing is better than penguins…except maybe complain-y penguins."





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"I hate picture books with overt lessons…I really do. And so do kids. But I love books about brats who get eaten by lions. And so do kids. So go buy this. You're welcome."




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"Okay, this book has it all—Jory John's words, Benji Davies' pictures, a grumpy bear, an insomniac duck, and dialogue so angry and frustrated that you can just feel the swearing under the surface. This one's a winner with kids in the same way that watching Daffy Duck rage against the machine always was."




What picture books would you recommend for young kids? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Hilarious Reads for Kids of All-Ages
Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers
Coffee Table Books for Bookworms

Hilarious Reads for Kids of All-Ages
Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017

Nothing Rhymes with Orange, turned to an expert for help on picking out funny books for kids of all ages: His five-year-old son Henry. Steal Adam and Henry's picks this holiday season!



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ADAM: Hi, I'll be right with you after I ask my five year-old something.

Henry? Some people want to know what funny books we like. Can we talk about that? It'll go on the internet.

HENRY: It'll go on the internet?!

ADAM: Yes.

HENRY: I want to do that.

ADAM: Okay, me first.



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ADAM: This isn't a children's book, but I read it for the first time at eleven and I turned out fine. The astonishing, acrobatic use of language in this story of an ordinary man who has his planet exploded and learns his best friend is an alien (all before page 25) probably influenced my own writing more than anything else. As a kid, this book made the world seem bigger.

Now you, Henry.

HENRY: I like it when…um…in the movie? When Captain Underpants says, "Stand down, Poopypants."




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ADAM: And that movie was based on this book, right? Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pilkey. Why do you like the book?

HENRY: Because it's so funny. And weird.

ADAM: What kind of funny? Smart, fancy funny, or gross, silly funny?

HENRY: Gross silly funny. Because it has Professor Poopypants.

ADAM: Okay, next!




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ADAM: My heart takes flight when I visit the comics shop, and there's a new issue of Marvel's The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. This earnestly all-ages comic is about a young woman who has both the "powers of a squirrel and the powers of a girl." Yes, she eats nuts and kicks butts, but half the time she prevails by listening to her enemies and getting to the root of what they're really upset about.

What is this book by Laurie Keller called?




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HENRY: The Scrambled States of America. It's about them changing states. The states go to different places.

ADAM: They get all mixed up and rearranged?

HENRY: Yeah.

ADAM: And do they like it?

HENRY: Uh, no.

ADAM: How come?

HENRY: Becaauuse…because Florida is freezing, and he doesn't like that. Minnesota got a sunburn!

ADAM: And what about Arizona? (That's where we live.)

HENRY: It's messing up her hairdo! The ocean waves.

ADAM: Do you think this is a good book for learning about the states?

HENRY: Yeah.




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ADAM: This is a perfect, utterly satisfying illustrated middle-grade novel about rival pranksters in an otherwise quiet, cow-filled town. Do you remember how much you loved the crazy one-upmanship in the short-lived 1984 Jason Bateman sitcom It's Your Move? No? You weren't born in 1973? Weird. Anyway, it's like that.




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ADAM: You asked to talk about this next one.

HENRY: I like it at the end because there's something really weird at…oh, I like that part!

ADAM: Read it.

HENRY: "Inside the Slidy Diner, the floors all…"

ADAM: Slant.

HENRY: "Slant, and the tables tilt. When a sticky bun rolls onto the floor…"

ADAM: Ethelmae.

HENRY: "Ethelmae sweeps it up and serves it again…to you." Ewwww!

ADAM: Tell everyone what that sticky bun looks like.

HENRY: Poo-poo!

ADAM: What's stuck to it?

HENRY: Flies and hair.

ADAM: Is this a little bit of a funny book but also a little bit of a spooky book?

HENRY: Yeah, it is.




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ADAM: Here's a comic that is decidedly not all-ages, but great for YA readers—Marvel's ongoing Runaways series. I loved Rowell's Fangirl, so I was pretty excited when I heard she was reviving this series about kids and young adults whose lives were upended the night they learned their parents were a cabal of supervillains.

If you know Rowell, you know this series is going to be heartfelt and dramatic; but also suffused with such a natural, graceful humor that will make every character feel like your new best friend.




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ADAM: Was President Taft a large man? And was his bathtub too small?

HENRY: Yeah. He tries to get out!

ADAM: Do they call everybody in the cabinet to try different plans to get him out of the tub?

HENRY: Yeah. The bathtub exploded!

ADAM: Who wants to make the bathtub explode?

HENRY: The secretary of war! Kaboom.

ADAM: And finally they all pull on President Taft's arms and legs and…pop!

HENRY: Ohhh! I can see his butt!

ADAM: (Note to parents: You can't quite see his butt.)




What hilarious books for young readers would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers
Enchanting Picture Books to Delight The Youngins
Coffee Table Books for Bookworms

Coffee Table Books for Bookworms
Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017

American Libraries 1730-1950, which traces the origin of America's libraries from roots in such examples as the British Library to the 1950s.


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"Are you looking for the ideal gift for the bookworm in your life, but aren't quite sure which labyrinthine narrative they're dying to dive into, and which one they'd rather avoid?"

"With the following list of coffee table books for lovers of literature, you'll be guaranteed to please even the most discerning of tastes. From the sartorial choices of literary giants to a comprehensive overview of how the library has influenced American identity, these books combine substantive content with stunning visual beauty," Breisch says.


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What coffee table book would you recommend? Share it with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Great Books for the Classics Lover
Irresistible Books for History Buffs
Tasteful Cookbooks for Foodies

Thrilling Pageturners for Mystery Lovers
Posted by Hayley on November 13, 2017

Shari Lapena is the author of The Couple Next Door, a 2016 Goodreads Choice Award finalist for Best Mystery & Thriller. In her latest book, A Stranger in the House, obsession and paranoia threaten to overtake one woman's seemingly perfect marriage.

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We all have at least one armchair detective in our lives, the astute reader who solves crimes—or, more often, follows along—with the real sleuths. For those readers, we've got you covered with recommendations from Lapena.

"I love to give (and receive) books for the holidays," Lapena says. "They make the best gifts! The following list contains, in no particular order, some of my favorites—some old, some new. What they have in common is that they are all utterly engrossing reads."


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What books would you recommend for amateur investigators? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Irresistible Books for History Lovers
Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers
Coffee Table Books for Bookworms

Great Books for the Classics Lover
Posted by Cybil on November 13, 2017

The Odyssey into English. Here the expert on the ancients helps find the perfect books for your friends and family who like to keep it very old school.



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"My favorite television show when I was very small was The Clangers, a wonderfully low-tech British series about strange pig-like creatures who lived on a planet far from ours, ate blue string pudding, and spoke in unintelligible squeaks. As I grew older, I loved books about other worlds (like the Earthsea trilogy, the Narnia books, the Lord of the Rings, Elidor, or the Chrestomanci books of Diana Wynne Jones). I loved the idea of going through a looking-glass, through a wardrobe, or through my own drawings (as in Marianne Dreams) to find an entirely different, but still comprehensible, way of life.

"The past is another country"—as the great novelist L. P. Hartley famously wrote (in The Go-Between, another highly recommended novel). I love reading and studying the literature of ancient Greece and Rome because it takes me to worlds that seem in some ways even more distant and strange than the planet of the Clangers—and yet, like the Clangers, these people's stories can be touching, funny or terrifying, and can give us a quite different perspective on our own culture and world.

Part of the joy of watching The Clangers is the soothing, gentle voice-over style of the narrator, the late great Oliver Postgate, who interprets the utterances and actions of the characters for the viewer. Translators are often unnoticed or invisible, but a good translator can bring as much to the reading experience as Postgate's voice brings to his strange creations—to interpret, contextualize, and bring to life the words and actions of these strange beings from another time and place. This is a great time to read or re-read classical literature in translation, because there are so many great new versions of ancient texts, which bring them to life in entirely unfamiliar ways."


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"This is a collection of new translations of some of the greatest tragedies staged in fifth-century Athens, including famous works like Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus and also lesser known but equally fascinating plays like Euripides' Helen (in which the beautiful wife of Menelaus turns out to have spent the whole Trojan War innocently stuck in Egypt, waiting to go home)."




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"This is the entertaining, twisty traveler's tale of a man who gets turned into a donkey by some witches—with hilarious, scary, and sexy results. Written by a North African living in the Roman Empire in the second century CE, this gripping, influential, wonderfully meandering, and funny novel has also been read as a philosophical or religious meditation on the journey of the soul. It includes the famous story of Cupid and Psyche, Love and the Soul, which is echoed in the later fable of Beauty and the Beast. Ruden's carefully-crafted translation brings out the stylistic range and downright zany weirdness of the original in all its crazy glory."




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"What we tend to think of as 'Greek Myth' can also be called 'Stories from Ovid.' This subversive anti-epic poem, which probably infuriated the then-emperor Augustus, tells the story of the world from the time of the Flood, weaving in tales of gods, goddesses, and mortals. Ovid's tone is smooth and sly, but his poem—which is about power, art, time, change, sex, and power—includes many brutal acts of violence or rape; readers should be careful of possible triggers. The Charles Martin translation is fluent, metrical, and wonderfully readable as it takes you on Ovid's circuitous journey through the dark woods of mythical fantasy."




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"This absorbing novel, set in Athens in the time of Socrates, brilliantly evokes the period of the Peloponnesian War and provides a dense portrait of classical Athenian culture, including a sympathetic and intimate treatment of the relationships between elite men and teenage boys."




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"The great poet-classicist Carson provides a precise and bittersweet version of the poems and fragments of the only surviving female poet from archaic Greece—with the Greek text printed on the opposite side of the page."




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"If you like tales of adventure and true love foiled by pirates, abductions, shipwrecks, and misunderstandings, you'll love this absorbing collection of romances and melodramas from around the second century CE—which gives us a rare glimpse of what people in antiquity read for fun. The collection also includes the ancient sci-fi/fantasy novel Lucian's True History, which features a journey to the moon."





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"Often dubbed the 'father of history,' Herodotus was also the first anthropologist; his entertaining, richly anecdotal account of the wars between the Greeks and Persians shows a deep curiosity about the cultures and customs of non-Greek people, including the Egyptians."




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"Plutarch, a Greek who lived under the Roman Empire (first to second centuries CE), was one of Shakespeare's favorite authors; this set of five of his Roman biographies tells the story of Rome's dramatic and violent shift from republican government to one-man rule, with Plutarch's usual keen psychological insight."




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"Logue knew no Greek, but his wonderfully anachronistic poetic 'account' of Homer's Iliad brilliantly evokes the ancient Olympian gods and makes vivid cinematic use of the Homeric simile."




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"Seneca—a philosopher who was Nero's tutor and then political advisor and speechwriter—wrote the only surviving tragedies from ancient Rome. These bloody, bombastic, often darkly funny plays trace characters whose emotions and behavior are wildly out of control—providing a terrifying picture of the horrors that humans are capable of."




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"Virgil's great epic, about the founding of Rome and the tension between duty and love, has been translated many times, but one of the greatest versions is still Dryden's (1697), which maps the struggles of imperial Rome onto the Britain of his time."




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"A beautifully illustrated retelling of some central classical myths; sex and violence are kept to a minimum, so kids of any age, and parents of any ideological persuasion, should be able to enjoy it."




What books would you recommend for fans of the classics? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Thought-Provoking Books for the Business-Minded Reader
Books that Celebrate the Spirit
Irresistible Books for History Buffs