As the bestselling author of five novels, Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland and Eligible as well as the recently released You Think It, I’ll Say, you wouldn’t presume that Curtis Sittenfeld has much time to read. As it turns out, she is an avid reader and makes time to read. We recently caught up with her and had the chance to get a feel for her reading style.

how to write an autobiographical novel

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee

Chee’s book is extremely personal, entertaining and insightful. Crafted over time while creating a collection of novels, his essays are much more than a how-to or document of processes. Chee’s stories share how to work through a world that tries to tell you what is wrong with you without losing yourself.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

The upcoming release of Transcription from Kate Atkinson follows the success of Life After Life and A God in Ruins. You’ll find similarities between the books, especially when it comes to the strong female characters as well as the dry wit. This novel, part mystery and part spy tale, will delight you with the exploration of the characters live and how they intertwine throughout.

The High Season by Judy Blundell

The High Season by Judy Blundell

Rife with gossip, sarcasm and wit, The High Season arrives just in time for your upcoming beach vacations. If you can’t get away to the beach this summer, this book will be the next best thing. Set among the high-class elite of the adjacent Hamptons this delightful read delves into what happens when the upper class move into the charming small neighborhoods and decide that they want more than just a rental.

What’s one book that you go back to time and time again?

Open Secrets by Alice Munro.

Open Secrets by Alice Munro

Alice Munro’s collections feel much more condensed novels than short stories. There is so much emotion and detail within the limited pages; you’ll feel entrenched in the stories and so invested that by the time you get to the close of the story you may need a break before starting the next.

The last book to make her cry:

Last week, in the Cincinnati airport, I finished the new story collection A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley. It’s an amazing book, so perceptive and moving and nuanced. I felt very weepy in a way I rarely do at the end of a book because I was dazzled by the artistic achievement Brinkley had pulled off.

The last book to make her laugh out loud:

Less by Andrew Sean GreerLess by Andrew Sean Greer (which won the Pulitzer this year) is one of those books that’s poignant in places and laugh-out-loud funny in others. Thank goodness for books like that!