We’re two weeks into the first MashableReads selection, and we have even more exciting news to share. To make finding our next MashableReads picks even easier for you, we’re launching our book club today on Apple‘s iBookstore.
Instead of scouring our website to make sure you didn’t miss an announcement, just check the MashableReads book club page on iBooks. If you have an e-reader, you can purchase the book right then and there.
We also put our heads together and chose eight additional books recommendations for your free time — because who couldn’t use more awesome books to read? Each selection is unique and offers completely different experiences. From the surrealist parallel universe of 1Q84 to discussions on artificial intelligence in Ulysses, you’ll be engaged and challenged by books from across the globe.
Check out our recommendations below — and don’t forget to participate in our first #MashReads Twitter chat with Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. on Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
1. We Need New Names
Author: NoViolet Bulawayo
We need new voices — and Bulawayo is one we’ve needed for some time. This first-time novelist from Zimbabwe was listed for the Man Booker Prize this year. There are plenty of good torn-between-two-countries stories out this year — but it’s what Bulawayo leaves to your mind that enriches your senses long after the novel is done. The story of Darling and her exodus from the horror that has befallen Zimbabwe is painfully real, but even more so when we see the America she comes to.
Author: Haruki Murakami
If you’re already a Murakami fan, this book will solidify everything you’ve ever loved about him. If you’re a new reader, this epic novel about the intertwined fates of two elementary school classmates will make you a believer. Aomame and Tengo both find themselves living in a world quite like their own, but with a few notable differences. In this lengthy story Murakami gives us murder, religious cults with sinister practices, the supernatural — and a love story that keeps you engaged until the very end.
3. Savage Detectives
Author: Roberto Bolano
Youth! Drinking! Sex! Blissful despair! Down with the Establishment! In other words, ideations of literature. Bolano, who hails from Chile, wrote this book in 1998. Mexican visceral realists (starving intellectuals) are the lone survivors in the literature wasteland of today. Their self-imposed mission is to find their elusive poet. But just as their journey begins, we flip form and get only third-hand accounts of their trek into the desert until the end of the novel.
Author: James Joyce
Artificial Intelligence realized. Think IBM did it with Watson? Or Google already has and just isn’t telling us? Joyce beat them both to it in 1922. This 650-page tale doesn’t present another tired iteration of a humanly contrived Other. Instead, it creates one life in one day. Leopold Bloom exists like we do — his experiences and thoughts are all fully-formed and functional. Modern, experimental, so nuanced you will need a companion text or a class to discuss and understand it. Find out why it’s considered the best novel written in 100 years.
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Freedom is one of those novels that you can instantly relate to. Franzen brings to life incredibly well-rounded characters who you may not always like but will make you cringe with recognition. From marital disputes and teenage relationship angst to the effects of global warming and animal extinction, Franzen keeps readers entrenched in real-world issues. Ultimately, the temptation of freedom and the consequences of abusing freedom underlie this epic novel about the contemporary nuclear family.
6. The Pale King
Author: David Foster Wallace
The geeks who would be kings? One would think the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Ill., is rife with those who call numbers and code their only friends. But this novel shows the true rich depth of humans, agents and otherwise, versus the numbing grind of our work, sex and family lives. So what is the value of our work; what is the meaning in life? Since this is Wallace, expect his attempt at an answer to be quixotic, incomplete and long.
7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Díaz
Oscar is an overweight comic book nerd in a family full of guapisimos hombres who is just trying to find love, damn it. In this 2008 Pultizer Prize-winning novel, Díaz takes you through one family’s life in the Dominican Republic to Washington Heights with raw and often heartbreaking descriptions about being an outcast. He’ll have you laughing along with Oscar’s awkward adolescence as you simultaneously sympathize with the difficulty of finding your place in the world.
Author: Gregory David Roberts
Shantaram is one of the rare books that balances beautiful storytelling with stark poverty, heartbreaking loss and hopeful romance. As you journey through the slums of Bombay, the beautiful beaches of Goa and war zones of Afghanistan, Roberts takes you through the gamut of human emotions. This novel based loosely on the author’s own life will fundamentally change you and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
Image: Mashable, Meghan Uno