1. The HoursThe Hours is Cunningham’s revival of his literary idol, Virginia Woolf. His book is really three inter-related stories, one being of Woolf writing Mrs. Dalloway, and the other two of how women in different times are affected by the writing.
2. Fast Food Nation
In a book that is eerily like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Schlosser attempts to reveal how we have transformed into a country that is more concerned with quick satisfaction than consequences. You may not want to eat at McDonald’s for a while after reading this.
3. Mrs. Dalloway
Mrs. Dalloway has seen a boost in popularity since the release of the movie version of The Hours, a film in which the book is features. The title character prepares for a party, but deals with much larger psychological issues.
4. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Though the main character has no name, Dai manages to conjure up great emotion in the reader. Balzac is the story of two intellectuals who undergo “re-education” in 70’s China.
5. Empire Falls
Empire Falls sees Richard Russo return to the style of some of his earlier books, but with a wide range of secondary characters. Miles Roby, the protagonist, struggles through a blue-collar life in a New England town.