The Netflix of Books—There's a Bunch of Apps for That
A slew of new subscription services have emerged to meet the demands of voracious tablet readers. These are the best of them.
$10 per month
This iOS-only app boasts unlimited access to more than 100,000 titles, but Harper Collins is the only big publisher participating.
$9 per month
Another all-you-can-read service, but this one's Droid-friendly. The downside? Any old user can upload his pretentious self-penned book.
Starts at $10 per month
Download two or more e-books per month—and keep them even if you cancel your membership.
Offers by far the biggest selection of e-books, which you can access through your local library—unless the title you want is checked out.
The Writer's Reading List: Joshua Ferris
Joshua Ferris has a killer new novel about online identity theft—To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Little, Brown and Company, $26; out May 13). Below, he lets us steal his favorite works of fiction.
1. Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara (1934)
"A man burning his life to the ground. Suspenseful, character-driven—it deserves to be read more."
2. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
by George V. Higgins (1970)
"This one is like crack. A master class in dialogue. The riffs don't always seem to lead to a point, yet there's not an ounce of fat on any line."
3. You Think That's Bad by Jim Shepard (2011)
"Dispatches from the apocalypse unfolding all around—climate change, avalanches, insane movie productions."
4. Money by Martin Amis (1984)
"Pure adrenaline prose. 'Hahahahahahahahahahaha!' sums this one up."
5. Endless Love by Scott Spencer (1979)
"When you name a book Endless Love, you've got serious balls. Avoid the silly movies. The book is disruptive to any notion of romantic love. Who does that, except maybe Nabokov in Lolita?"
The International Page-Turner That's Finally Coming to the U.S.
Three years ago, Geneva Law School grad Joël Dicker was taking lunch orders from Swiss parliament members and putting off the bar exam. "I didn't have the holy fire for law," recalls the 28-year-old. Instead, he wrote the great American crime novel—in French. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (Penguin, $18) is a breakneck thriller about a cold case in a small New Hampshire town. When the book debuted in France in 2012, Dicker topped the best-seller list (unseating E.L. James), then he did the same in 2013 in Spain and Italy (supplanting Dan Brown). It hits U.S. shores on May 27, and Dicker's already fielding calls about a Hollywood adaptation. "I like when the end is the beginning of something else," he says. "A good story is never-ending." Especially when it comes to a franchise.
The Brilliantly Unpredictable Career of Geoff Dyer
The prolific 55-year-old Brit is coming out with his 15th book on May 20. Below, a chronological crib sheet on his genre-hopping ways.
Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush
Dyer boards an aircraft carrier and shines a light on the oddities of this little-known world at sea.
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
A fictional tale about two writers (or are they one?) in Italy (sex, drugs, art) and India (filth, squalor . . . salvation?).
The novel's main character is a young British writer (surprise!) trying his hand at a memoir. Lots of sex, drugs, dancing, and meta.
Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence
A nonfiction work about trying—and failing, sort of—to write a book on his literary idol.
The Missing of the Somme
An analysis of World War I's legacy. Per Dyer: "research notes for a Great War novel I had no intention of writing."
But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz
Portraits (part fiction, part historical retelling) of jazz greats (Chet Baker, Duke Ellington) that capture the music's essence on the page.