Our May Guest Editor is not only a talented New York Times bestselling author but also a book lover and avid reader. The author of the Reese Witherspoon book club pick, The Alice Network, Kate Quinn shared with She Reads her perfect reading list. We’re dying to know which of these books have also made it into your #TBR pile.
Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang
A wonderful coming-of-age story starring an orphaned Eurasian girl struggling to find her place among the tumultuous shifting tides of the early Chinese republic. Jialing is a desperately appealing heroine, struggling for an education, a job, anything that will give her a future, and continually having doors slammed in her face. A touch of magic realism makes this one special, as the isolated Jialing’s only constant friend is a mischievous fox spirit.
Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon
Tightly plotted and racheting its way to a merciless climax, Flight of Dreams takes a famous historic disaster – the explosion of the Hindenburg – and uses it as a ticking clock to power the novel along as a handful of likeable and unwitting characters scheme, dawdle, kiss, drink and kill time on the great luxury dirigible crossing the Atlantic, as all the while the reader is screaming at them to get off the balloon before it’s too late. A terrific read.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
A gorgeous fairy tale wrapped in the chaotic history of pre-Imperial Russia, so rich with atmosphere you can feel the snow on your cheeks. Full of wicked stepmothers, fanatical priests, whimsical nature spirits and brave maidens, this was a book I read in one sitting.
The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
An unabashed power anthem celebrating female friendship and female ambition, wrapped in the sparkling myth of the early Hollywood film scene. Budding screenwriter Frances gets her big break in an unexpected partnership with America’s sweetheart Mary Pickford, a mega-star whose ringlets and dimples hide flinty determination to succeed. Glamour, glitz and girl power galore.
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell
A delightful departure from Cornwell’s usual wonderful blood-and-battle epics, depicting in all its glitter and squalor the world of Elizabethan theatre. The hero is Shakespeare’s younger sibling Richard, an actor resentful of his playwright brother and yearning to graduate from women’s parts to men’s parts. Romeo and Juliet is being written… what part will he get?
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
A fantasy version of Moorish Spain, poised on the brink of violent civil war. But the prospect of peace is explored through the odd partnership of a Moorish warrior-poet, a Spanish mercenary captain and a fierce female Jewish physician who bridge the religious and cultural gaps to find friendship and dare to hope their people can do the same. Just heartbreaking.