What are the top book recommendations for 'casual and straightforward storytelling'?

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#1

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?

What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical ... More details on Freakonomics

Imagine for a moment that you are the manager of a day-care center. You have a clearly stated policy that children are supposed to be picked up by 4 p.m. But very often parents are late. The result: a...
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#2

What do readers say about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

fun book fantasy stories wonderfully witty and short twists and turns

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to atten... More details on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or...
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#3

A survival story for the 21st century and the international bestseller behind the major film from Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.

I'm stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I'm in a habitat designed to last... More details on The Martian

For the record…I didn’t die on Sol 6. Certainly the rest of the crew thought I did, and I can’t blame them. Maybe there’ll be a day of national mourning for me, and my Wikipedia page will say, “Mark W...
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#4

ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S TOP 100 NONFICTION BOOKS OF ALL TIME

"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb vol... More details on On Writing

A year or so later, my mother, my brother, and I were in West De Pere, Wisconsin. I don’t know why. Another of my mother’s sisters, Cal (a WAAC beauty queen during World War II), lived in Wisconsin wi...
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#5

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a ... More details on All Systems Red

I COULD HAVE BECOME a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been wel...
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#6

Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children

No Solicitations

No Visitors

No Quests... More details on Every Heart a Doorway

THE HABIT OF NARRATION, of crafting something miraculous out of the commonplace, was hard to break. Narration came naturally after a time spent in the company of talking scarecrows or disappearing cat...
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#7

MOST LOVED. MOST RED. Ten must-read modern classics.'He learned silence and did not insist upon his love.'This is the great forgotten novel of the last century - a quiet book; the story of a quiet life. William Stoner is a man who learns to contain h... More details on Stoner

WILLIAM STONER ENTERED the University of Missouri as a freshman in the year 1910, at the age of nineteen. Eight years later, during the height of World War I, he received his Doctor of Philosophy degr...
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#8

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of w... More details on Slaughterhouse-Five

All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn’t his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to h...
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#9

'His spectacular inventiveness makes the Discworld series one of the perennial joys of modern fiction' Mail on Sunday

NAMED AS ONE OF THE BBC'S 100 MOST INSPIRING NOVELS

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat ... More details on The Colour of Magic

FIRE ROARED through the bifurcated city of Ankh-Morpork. Where it licked the Wizards’ Quarter it burned blue and green and was even laced with strange sparks of the eighth color, octarine; where its o...
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#10

DAY ONE: THE NAME OF THE WIND

My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the Unive... More details on The Name of the Wind

Old Cob was filling his role as storyteller and advice dispensary. The men at the bar sipped their drinks and listened. In the back room a young innkeeper stood out of sight behind the door, smiling a...
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