Consider yourself up to speed with the pop literary scene if you’ve read the following best-sellers which generated the most hype during the year.
The Accidental Billionaires
Ben Mezrich’s recounting of the history behind the founding of Facebook weaves an engrossing, largely tragic tale of deceit, betrayal and greed in this novel. With founder Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to contribute input for the story, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin was Mezrich’s main source, alongside court documents culled from a legal battle between him and Zuckerberg. The book’s best qualities lie in the vivid portrayal of the characters and the fun, party-going details of university life—not the best choice for facts and truth, but an entertaining one nonetheless.
Comprising three novels, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy captured the imagination of fans everywhere with the dangerous exploits of cyberpunk chick Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Themes of abuse, violence against women and organized crime are the main arcs of the books, which have also been adapted into movies, receiving similarly glowing acclaim from the critics when they were released this year.
Eat, Pray, Love
Receiving a fresh surge of attention with the release of its film adaptation starring Julia Roberts this year, this 2006 memoir by American author Elizabeth Gilbert is chick flick that lifts the whole genre with its intelligent, revelatory writing. It chronicles the author’s trip around the world after a bitter divorce, striking a chord with female readers the world over as Gilbert shares about what she learns from her travels in a witty and entertaining manner. Eat, Pray, Love is as much about balance and self-realization as it is about self-abandonment. The film, on the other hand, was not such a gem.
Have A Little Faith
In typical Mitch Albom manner, Have A Little Faith is an inspiring story about embracing all the good in our lives while making the most out of what we have. It opens with an 82-year-old rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asking him for a somewhat daunting favor: to deliver his eulogy when he passes away. The request plunges Albom into a journey of discovery about the substance of faith, as he makes the effort to be re-acquainted with his rabbi while getting to know about an inner city Christian pastor who knows no other way to keep his church afloat other than depending on his faith.
Bestseller list mainstay Malcolm Gladwell continues his winning streak with this inquisitive, highly absorbing book, an anthology of his best writing from The New Yorker. In it, he investigates the secret behind Heinz ketchup, makes a surprising assessment of what makes for a safer automobile, and gives a beguiling insight into how we hire when we can’t tell who the right candidate is. Through these seemingly random topics, he expounds on the larger meaning of it all, making this the perfect read for those who love quirky, unconventional wisdom.