Celebrity Picks: Susan Orlean's Favorite Reads of 2018

Adrian Liang on December 14, 2018
Share

SusanOrlean_614w.jpg

Susan Orlean's nonfiction book The Orchid Thief spawned not only a fascination with orchid poachers but also a very strange and self-referential movie adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Nicolas Cage and called (yes) Adaptation.

Orlean thrives on finding seemingly small stories and uncovering the wider motives that propel people to do the unthinkable. This year, The Library Book explores the 1986 torching of the Los Angeles Public Library, and along the way, Orlean taps into a love of libraries shared by readers everywhere.

Who better to recommend books? Read on for the books that inspired Orlean this year.


Susan Orlean's favorite reads of 2018

Books never let you down; they're a journey, an escape, a deep dive into information, a comfort, a pleasure, a surprise. If I'm lonely or bored or curious, I know I can turn to a book and feel transformed, almost as if by magic. —Susan Orlean

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

It's another one of Atkinson's brilliant, twisty explorations of truth and history and character, this one focusing on a young woman who works as a typist for the British government in WWII.

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

A startlingly beautiful, emotional novel following an escaped slave as he makes his way to freedom.

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

I'm not sure how I missed this one when it first was published, but I am so glad I circled back to it. It's a masterpiece of deep reporting about an offshoot of the Mormon Church and a horrific murder done in the service of the religion.


Shop this article on Amazon.com

ABR-RR-SUBS-yellow[1]

Sign up for the Amazon Book Review: Best books of the month * author interviews * the reading life * and more


Browse more celebrity picks:


Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
Gisele Bündchen
Gisele Bündchen
Eva Chen
Eva Chen
Lee Child
Lee Child

Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare
Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly
Curious George
Curious George
Dessa
Dessa

Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Janet Evanovich
Janet Evanovich
Sally Field
Sally Field

Tana French
Tana French
Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford
Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan
The Grinch
The Grinch

Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris
Sean Hayes & Scott Icenogle
Sean Hayes & Scott Icenogle
Gina Homolka
Gina Homolka

Marlon James
Marlon James
John Kerry
John Kerry
Christopher Kimball
Christopher Kimball
Stephen King
Stephen King

Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott
Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
Debbie Macomber
Debbie Macomber
DeRay Mckesson
DeRay Mckesson

Megan Mullally
Megan Mullally
Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean
Michael Ovitz
Michael Ovitz
Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow

James Patterson
James Patterson
Louise Penny
Louise Penny
Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult
Melissa Radke
Melissa Radke

Rachel Renée Russell
Rachel Renée Russell
Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek
Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks
Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen

Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen
Christina Tosi
Christina Tosi
Jeff Tweedy
Jeff Tweedy
Quad Webb
Quad Webb

Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson
Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak


Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking

Authors

Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards Podcast

Editors

Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube