Hey readers, I’m Anne Bogel.
Welcome to One Great Book, where each week I pull one stand-out selection off my personal bookshelves and tell you all about it, in ten minutes or less.
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Lamenting all those lost pandemic vacations? Globetrot with Alex and Poppy in this modern twist on When Harry Met Sally.
Ever since my mother died, I cry in H Mart.” So begins this poignant, heartfelt, and poetic memoir about grief, growing up, and making amends.
A delightful, feel-good queer romcom with a touch of magical whimsy and a cast of the bestest besties a girl could ever ask for.
A chance encounter prompts a renowned surgeon to reexamine the past she left behind in this sweeping historical novel.
This page-turning family saga has everything you could want in a beach read: surfers, rockstars, 80s pop culture, and a mansion going up in flames. With well-drawn characters and a strong sense of time and place it’s a perfect summer selection for fans of messy family stories and compulsively readable literary fiction.
Full of twists, turns, and biting social commentary, this highly original (and highly discussable) debut novel set in the world of publishing will leave you with your jaw on the floor.
A conversational, story-driven guide that promises to educate and entertain, and will transform a dreaded household chore into an activity you might actually like.
This modern Gothic novel promises a strong sense of place, a slow-building character study, and a setting that’s a character in its own right.
An unexpected treasure of a book that’s part thrilling puzzle, part character study, and 100% bonkers adventure story.
A stunning anthology of wide-ranging and richly varied stories and with a thoughtful assortment of formats, gorgeous color photography, and coffee-table heft.
A layered family drama featuring characters inspired by larger-than-life Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. This compulsively readable literary novel mixes in their classic stories of infidelity, mistakes, and consequences with real small town problems.
For more Great Books
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All of the books in this volume of One Great Book are from my Summer Reading Guide.
This summer I’ll also be sharing some older great books with our Patreon members, books that might be easier to get at your library without waiting on the hold list. We also have bonus episodes from my long-form podcast What Should I Read Next, an expanded edition of the Summer Reading Guide, and a great community of readers like you.Become a member!
A gorgeous novel that wrestles with the magical and the miraculous, whose beautiful storytelling and memorable characters have compelled many readers to call Peace Like a River THE best book they’ve ever read.
This Is Where You Belong unfolds like a conversation with a friend who’s telling you about the stress of her recent move in a way that’s not only fun to read, but also practical, actionable, and bound to make a difference in your everyday life.
Full of unexpected joys, tragic misunderstandings, and deep disappointments, all unfolding in descriptive, dazzling prose, Before We Visit the Goddess has the heft and sweep of a family saga in a compact 225 pages.
I ‘ve pressed The War That Saved My Life into the hands of scores of readers. Over and over, the response has been: “I never would have picked that for myself, but I LOVED IT.” That thrill of discovery, coupled with that near-miss experience—it’s a highlight of the reading life.
If you love books about books, or if you enjoy nonfiction that changes the way you see the world—or, at the very least, the bookstore—the slim volume The Clothing of Books belongs on YOUR bookshelf.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go is a haunting, atmospheric novel about the power of memory, the passage of time, and the human condition that packs a quiet but sure punch.
In his final novel Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf reflects on love, happiness, and the small moments that make up a life; its bittersweet story lingers long after the final page.
I once watched a woman miss her bus stop because she was utterly absorbed in this literary thriller. Everything I Never Told You is that good.
Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. In her debut Love Walked In, Marisa de los Santos proves that happiness makes for terrific reading.
My favorite John Grisham novel, The Pelican Brief, is a heck of a page-turner, a political thriller turned blockbuster action movie, and summer reading gold.
If you’re looking for a breathtaking, breathless novel that brings history to life, consider this your invitation to read Octavia Butler’s Kindred now. Right now.
Some books manage to feel fun and breezy while still tackling serious topics. In Katherine Center’s novel Happiness for Beginners, she shows us how one woman bounces back from personal tragedy.
To me, there are two kinds of summer reads: fast-moving books that have me compulsively turning the pages, and more contemplative works that prompt me to slow down, both as a reader and as a person. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea sits firmly in the latter category.
Deborah Crombie’s A Share in Death kicks off a long-running British mystery series with a strong sense of place and compelling characters whose personal lives matter every bit as much as their police work.
If you like the sound of a multigenerational family saga full of interesting, well-developed, and flawed-but-likable characters, The Shell Seekers may be the next great (big) book you’re looking for.
Station Eleven gets all the attention, but I don’t want you to miss Emily St John Mandel’s 2012 literary mystery The Lola Quartet. Plus a fun story about how this podcast was born.
Ex Libris is a book about books, for book lovers–and one that holds a special place in my heart and on my shelves.
The debut novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, one of today’s greatest living writers, doesn’t just display the seeds of greatness. Purple Hibiscus is already great—even though it was published when she was just twenty-six years old.
A Gentleman in Moscow gets all the attention, but it’s Amor Towles’s first book Rules of Civility that I keep coming back to.
Don’t miss out on a good read just because it happens to be in the “wrong” section of the bookstore or the library. Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind is for every reader who enjoys a (feel-good) story, well told.
A typewriter shattered my destiny.” So begins The Time in Between, Maria Duenas’s sweeping tale of love, high fashion, and espionage.
Not my genre, not my style, not the kind of book I’m interested in, or so I thought. But then I gave Sylvain Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants a try. And… WOW.
Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place is a kaleidoscope of a novel: wildly ambitious, emotionally resonant, lushly written and laden with symbolism. And most importantly—it works.
For more literary matchmaking
For more literary matchmaking, listen to my long form podcast What Should I Read Next? where each week a guest tells me three books they love, one they don’t, and what they are currently reading. Then I help them find their next read.