The author of 2011's "The Night Circus" and 2019's "The Starless Sea" shares the books she's read and loved this year.
Erin Morgenstern became one of the more memorable authors to appear this decade when The Night Circus was published in 2011. The Night Circus was a mesmerizing, fantastical read that quickly became a best seller. And it was a debut novel, which thrilled audiences and left a lot of readers waiting for another book from a favorite new author.
That wait is finally over. Morgenstern's second novel, The Starless Sea, is set in a world as iconic and memorable as the one readers encountered in her first novel. In this new book, readers will discover a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea. And, as Amazon Senior Editor Seira Wilson tells it, the novel "is a love letter to books and readers, a masterpiece of stories within a story." She goes on to explains that our protagonist, Zachary Ezra Rawlins, "falls in love first with a book and later a person, both of which compel him to embark on a dangerous journey through time and place, lost loves, and lives lived again and again."
Where does an author as talented as Morgenstern turn when she wants to read a book? Find out below.
Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
Steel Crow Saga was already on my radar when my friend Chuck Wendig recommended it and happened to mention that it was a standalone. The word “standalone” is like catnip for me, because I don’t always have the patience for series and I love a self-contained fantasy. But I would happily spend more time in this incredibly vivid, masterfully drawn world. I burst into tears when I finished reading, just because the story was over.
The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet
I haven’t fallen into a book the way I fell into The Unwilling in years. I fell in deep and didn’t have any desire to come back out again. I was already a Kelly Braffet fan, so I was incredibly curious to see what she would do with a fantastical narrative, and this book exceeded my wildest expectations. I keep thinking about the world and the characters even weeks after reading, and I am certain that I will return to it again and again and again.
Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane
I’ve only just started reading Underland with a combination of wonder and annoyance, because this is precisely the book I wanted to read while I was working on The Starless Sea. Alas, it wasn’t published until after I was finished writing. But even after the fact, I remain fascinated by how many mysteries remain beneath our feet, and I always love real life things that feel like magic.
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