These are the 6 must-read titles in the running for the 2021 Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious book awards

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Books on the Booker Prize shortlist, including The Fortune Men, Great Circle, and Bewilderment 4x3

  • The Booker Shortlist was announced on September 14, 2021.
  • The list includes six shortlisted books for the prestigious literary award.
  • See all the titles that made the initial Booker Prize longlist.

The Booker Prize Foundation shared the six books selected for the prestigious Booker Prize in an online news conference this Tuesday.

Booker Prize finalists include poet Patricia Lockwood, whose fragmentary debut novel, “No One Is Talking About This,” is partially written in internet lingo (we’re fans); Nadifa Mohamed, whose book “The Fortune Men” follows a man in danger of being wrongfully convicted of murder in Wales; and Anuk Arudpragasam, whose novel “A Passage North” examines human longing against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war.

Now, the judging panel will reread the six books before deciding on this year’s winner, who will be announced on November 3, 2021 and receive 50,000 pounds alongside what is typically a hefty bump in book sales.

Some of the buzziest titles of the year to make the longlist didn’t make the 2021 Booker shortlist. These include “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro, a former recipient of both the Booker and Nobel Prize.

Descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length and clarity.

The 6 books on the 2021 Booker Prize shortlist:

“A Passage North” by Anuk Arudpragasam

Book cover for "A Passage North" by Anuk Arudpragasam

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99

A Passage North” begins with a message from out of the blue: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstances — found at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall. The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind. 

As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for Rani’s funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war, this procession to a pyre “at the end of the earth” lays bare the imprints of an island’s past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.

Written with precision and grace, Arudpragasam’s masterful novel is an attempt to come to terms with life in the wake of devastation, and a poignant memorial for those lost and those still alive.

“The Promise” by Damon Galgut

Book cover for "The Promise" by Damon Galgut

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23

The Promise” charts the crash and burn of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stands for — not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land… yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.

The narrator’s eye shifts and blinks — moving fluidly between characters, flying into their dreams — deliciously lethal in its observation. And as the country moves from old deep divisions to its new so-called fairer society, the lost promise of more than just one family hovers behind the novel’s title.

“No One Is Talking About This” by Patricia Lockwood

Book cover for "No One is Talking About This" by Patricia Lockwood

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.89

As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms “the portal,” where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats — from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness — begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal’s void. 

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: “Something has gone wrong,” and “How soon can you get here?” As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.

Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, “No One Is Talking About This” is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.

“The Fortune Men” by Nadifa Mohamed

Book cover for "The Fortune Men" by Nadifa Mohamed

Available on Amazon from $14.99

Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen, and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer. 

So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed, and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn’t too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.

It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life — against conspiracy, prejudice, and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman’s noose, he begins to realize that the truth may not be enough to save him.

“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers

Book cover for "Bewilderment" by Richard Powers

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.49

The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual 9-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. 

As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain.

With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, “Bewilderment” marks Richard Powers’ most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?

“Great Circle” by Maggie Shipstead

'Great Circle' by Maggie Shipstead

Available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18

After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There — after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in biplanes — Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At 14, she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.

A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian’s own story, as the two women’s fates — and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times — collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, “Great Circle” is a monumental work of art and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.

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The 19 best online writing classes led by famous authors, including Malcolm Gladwell, Neil Gaiman, and Judy Blume

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Best online writing classes taught by bestselling authors and writers 4x3
Some of the best online writing classes include MasterClass courses with authors Salman Rushdie, Roxane Gay, Amy Tan, and Malcolm Gladwell.

  • Strong communication and writing skills will help you succeed in any profession.
  • Online classes are an affordable way to learn writing tips and receive feedback on your work.
  • All the classes on this list are taught by award-winning writers with decades of experience.

Good writing skills can take you far (just take it from a business major who wormed her way into an editorial career). Strong written communication skills can help you land a job or move up in your career, but good writing doesn’t come easily or instinctively to everyone. As with any skill, you won’t get any better at writing simply by reading books or watching videos about it.

Online classes from e-learning platforms like MasterClass and Skillshare are affordable, flexible ways to not only learn the proper strategies but also practice and receive feedback on your writing. And who better to learn from than actual published authors, writers, and editors?

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The following classes are all taught by accomplished, award-winning writers who have decades of experience in communicating ideas, telling stories, and captivating audiences. Some specialize in fiction, while others employ storytelling tricks to make even the driest facts shine.

If you see the word “creative” in the title, don’t immediately dismiss the class. All the courses have valuable lessons to learn for making your writing more effective, whether you’re in a creative industry or not.

19 writing classes taught by experienced authors, writers, and editors:

Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass on the Art of Storytelling

Neil Gaiman sitting in front of a large bookshelf

The teacher: Award-winning writer Neil Gaiman (“The Sandman,” “Coraline,” “American Gods“) has dabbled in everything from novels and comic books to film and audio theatre.

The course: Gaiman covers the fundamentals of storytelling, from finding your voice to fleshing out your characters.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

Teaches the Art of Storytelling (button)
Joyce Carol Oats’ MasterClass on the Art of the Short Story

Joyce Carol Oates in a library talking to a screen

The teacher: Joyce Carol Oates is the author of over 58 novels (“We Were the Mulvaneys,” “Blonde,” “The Accursed“), as well as countless short stories, essays, and articles. She is also a former professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

The course: Oates’ class helps students finetune their storytelling instincts for short story writing, from learning how to observe the world around them to nailing down structure and form.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

Teaches the Art of the Short Story (button)
Judy Blume’s MasterClass on Writing

Judy Blume smiling in a maroon jacket

The teacher: Judy Blume’s beloved children’s books (“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Superfudge“) have sold millions of copies, and Blume has written over 25 novels. She’s also the recipient of the 2004 National Book Foundation medal for distinguished contribution to American letters, as well as numerous other awards.

The course: With a focus on writing for young readers, Blume’s course dives into developing ideas, creating plot structure, and even pitching book ideas to editors, and even dealing with issues like rejection or censorship.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

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N.K. Jemisin’s MasterClass on Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing

NK Jemisin sitting, wearing a maroon sweater and green scarf

The teacher: NK Jemisin, a Hugo Award winner for three consecutive years for her “Broken Earth” trilogy, is an an acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author.

The course: Jemisin’s course, geared towards sci-fi/fantasy writing, teaches students how to build a believable world from scratch (including macro and micro details), create characters that truly feel relatable even in fantastical settings, and find a literary agent.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

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Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style

creative nonfiction

The teacher: Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992 and is the author of eight books, including New York Times bestseller “Rin Tin Tin” and “The Orchid Thief,” which was later adapted into Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation,” (in which Meryl Streep portrayed Orlean).

The course: The best nonfiction makes facts compelling and interesting to read, but it’s not easy to do this. This course takes students through Susan Orlean’s writing process, from finding a topic to making final edits, and helps them polish their own creative processes. The class project is a 1,000-word profile on someone you find mysterious. 

The price: Free with 14-day Skillshare trial; $8.25 per month or $19 per month after trial ends.

Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style (button)
Malcolm Gladwell’s MasterClass on Writing

Malcolm Gladwell

The teacher: Malcolm Gladwell has written for “The New Yorker” since 1996. His fascinating books, which include “The Tipping Point,” “Blink,” and “Outliers” reveal the most unexpected insights into our world. “The Tipping Point” was named as one of the best books of the decade by Amazon customers, The A.V. Club, and The Guardian, and was Barnes & Noble’s 5th bestselling nonfiction book of the decade. 

The course: In 24 lessons, you’ll learn how to find, research, and write stories that capture big ideas. This is Gladwell’s first-ever online class, where he analyzes his own works to reveal his unique creative process. He also answers select student questions during virtual office hours. 

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

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Roxane Gay’s MasterClass on Writing for Social Change and Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact

Classes taught by celebrities Roxane Gay

The teacher: On top of writing bestselling memoirs like “Bad Feminist” and “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body,” Roxane Gay is a professor and New York Times columnist, making her as experienced an author as she is an educator.

The course: If you want to see change in the world, strong storytelling skills can help you get there. Gay’s MasterClass teaches you how to tap into your identity, figure out your voice, and write about emotionally hard subjects with care, so that you can get people on board with the broader visions you have for improving the world.

Roxane Gay also teaches a short Skillshare class on crafting impactful personal essays from start to finish. You can read a review of it here.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.
Free with 14-day Skillshare trial; $8.25 per month or $19 per month after trial ends.

Roxane Gay teaches Writing for Social Change (button)Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact (button)
Daniel José Older’s Storytelling 101: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft

storytelling

The teacher: Daniel José Older is the bestselling author of the “Bone Street Rumba” urban fantasy series and the YA novel “Shadowshaper.” “Shadowshaper” was a “New York Times” Notable Book of 2015 and named one of Esquire’s “80 Books Every Person Should Read.” Older’s short stories and essays have appeared in the Guardian, NPR, and a number of other sites. 

The course: This short 40-minute class breaks down the fundamentals of narrative storytelling and what makes a story different from a mere anecdote. Learn the “4 C’s” of storytelling and see them in action in one of the teacher’s own short stories. The fun final project is to write a short story about something that happened on a single block in your hometown over the course of one hour.

The price: Free with 14-day Skillshare trial; $8.25 per month or $19 per month after trial ends

Storytelling 101 (button)
Steven Heller’s The Designer’s Guide to Writing and Research

Steven Heller

The teacher: Steven Heller writes the Visuals column for the “New York Times Book Review” and is the editor of the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design. A former “New York Times” art director, he is the author, co-author, or editor of over 170 books on design and popular culture, and also regularly contributes to design publications. 

The course: Geared towards designers, this course illuminates the parallels between writing and design. You’ll learn about the professional importance of research and writing to designers today, best practices for developing your voice, and creative ways to communicate. The final project is a 500-word essay on an object in your wallet, bag, or pocket. 

The price: Free with 14-day Skillshare trial; $8.25 per month or $19 per month after trial ends

The Designer’s Guide to Writing and Research (button)
David Sedaris’s MasterClass on Storytelling and Humor

David Sedaris’s MasterClass on Storytelling and Humor

The teacher: If you want to inject your writing with a dash of comedy, David Sedaris — “The New Yorker” essayist and author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Calypso,” and “The Best of Me” — is one of the best people to teach you how to do it.

The course: Beyond covering tips and tricks for writing eye-grabbing openings and endings with huge payoffs, Sedaris also gives his advice on finding humor in the darkest moments of our lives.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

David Sedaris teaches Humor and Storytelling (button)
Amy Tan’s MasterClass on Fiction, Memory, and Imagination

Amy Tan Masterclass

The teacher: Most known for her bestselling novel “The Joy Luck Club” (which spent 40 weeks on the “New York Times” bestseller list), Amy Tan is an inspiration to anyone who’s started exploring their writing voice later in life — she started at age 33 and published her famed debut novel a mere few years later. Tan went on to write many other books, including “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” and “The Kitchen God’s Wife: A Novel.”

The course: With a focus on utilizing your most powerful memories, this course teaches you how to find your voice as well as sharpen your story with compelling beginnings and endings.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

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Shani Raja’s Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer

Shani Raja

The teacher: Shani Raja is a former Wall Street Journal editor who has written for The Economist, Financial Times, and Bloomberg News. He has also taught advanced writing skills to professionals and edited for leading global companies like Microsoft, IBM, and PwC.

The course: Another bestseller from Shani Raja, this course promises to “dramatically improve the quality of your writing in as little as days or weeks” through a few key principles. Both new students and experienced writers have benefitted from the course, which teaches you how to sharpen your words and command the reader’s attention.

Raja also has a Udemy course on the four levels of writing mastery.

The price: Both of Raja’s Udemy courses are $109.99 each.

Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer here. (button)Ninja Writing: The Four Levels Of Writing Mastery (button)
Margaret Atwood’s MasterClass on Creative Writing

Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing

The teacher: Of “The Handmaid’s Tale” fame, Margaret Atwood has been titled the “Prophet of Dystopia” for works such as “Oryx and Crake” and the “Handmaid’s Tale” sequel, “The Testaments: A Novel.”

The course: Atwood’s MasterClass “covers the general points of interest for writers — how to get started, handle the middle of a story, develop characters, craft dialogue, and address writers’ block — as well as more specific queries, like research and maintaining historical accuracy,” according to Insider senior reporter Mara Leighton. You can read her full review of the course here.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing (button)
Simon Van Booy’s The Writer’s Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit

Simon Van Booy

The teacher: Simon Van Booy’s short story collection “Love Begins in Winter” won the 2009 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He has written two other short story collections as well as three anthologies of philosophy, and his work has been translated into over a dozen languages throughout the world. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project that helps young people build confidence in their storytelling abilities through annual awards.

The course: Writing should be approachable and fun, not torturous. By optimizing your space for your writing style, creating a daily writing routine, and acting on inspiration, you can build a long-term writing process to rely on for years to come. This short video course teaches you how.

The price: Free with 14-day Skillshare trial; $8.25 per month or $19 per month after trial ends

The Writer’s Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit here. (button)
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Finding Your Writing Voice: How to Express Your Unique Self in Your Work

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

The teacher: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is a former Entertainment Weekly writer and current TV columnist for BBC Culture who has also written for The New York Times Book Review, Fast Company, New York’s Vulture, and The Verge. She wrote the New York Times bestseller “Seinfeldia: The Secret World of the Show About Nothing that Changed Everything.”

The course: You don’t have to lose your unique personality when you write; in fact, it’s what will make your writing stand out in the crowd. Using pop culture icons like Beyoncé and Britney Spears, the class discusses different voices and explores ways to take chances with your writing. 

The price: Free with 14-day Skillshare trial; $8.25 per month or $19 per month after trial ends.

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Salman Rushdie’s MasterClass on Storytelling and Writing

Salman Rushdie’s MasterClass on Storytelling and Writing

The teacher: Winner of the Man Booker Prize, Salman Rushdie is known for his mystical world-building and genre-bending plotlines as seen in books like “Quichotte,” “Midnight’s Children,” and “Shame.”

The course: Rushdie provides tips on creating fleshed-out characters, believable surrealist worlds, and an air-tight plot. This is a great course for those who have lots of fantastical ideas but struggle to ground them into a cohesive story.

The price: $180 ($15 per month) for an annual MasterClass membership.

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Clare Lynch’s Writing With Confidence: Writing Beginner To Writing Pro

Dr. Clare Lynch

The teacher: Dr. Clare Lynch is a former Financial Times journalist who teaches academic writing and professional communication at the University of Cambridge. She has written for organizations like Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, and UBS and is the author of the business-writing blog Good Copy, Bad Copy

The course: Learn powerful principles that can be applied to all types of writing, including emails, speeches, news writeups, and even presentations. The course takes you through fundamentals from techniques to beat writer’s block to lessons on getting readers hooked and creating a clear, persuasive angle. 

The price: $109.99.

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Joyce Maynard’s Writing Your Story

Joyce Maynard's Writing Your Story

The teacher: The author of 17 books (including novels and memoirs), Joyce Maynard has worked as a “New York Times” reporter and a contributor to outlets like NPR and “Vogue.” Her books include “Labor Day,” “The Good Daughters,” and “Under the Influence.”

The course: Focusing on memoir writing, Maynard explains the difference between simply retelling events that happened to you and exploring your journey as a protagonist. She also covers some of the biggest questions that come up when writing about yourself, from what to cut to dealing with fears of judgment so that you can present a narrative that’s authentic to readers.

The price: $89 for the course, or $11 per month for a CreativeLive membership.

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Wesleyan University’s Creative Writing Specialization

wesleyan university

The teachers: Salvatore Scibona was named one of “The New Yorker’s” “20 under 40: Fiction Writers to Watch” and is the author of 2008 National Book Award finalist “The End,” the research for which he conducted while on a Fulbright Fellowship. 

Amy Bloom, author of two “New York Times” bestsellers and three collections of short stories, has written for “The New Yorker,” “The New York Times Magazine,” and “Vogue,” among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award for Fiction. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages.

Brando Skyhorse is an Associate Professor of English at Indiana University in Bloomington who won the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2011 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction for his debut novel “The Madonnas of Echo Park.” 

Amity Gaige is the author of three novels, “O My Darling,” “Sea Wife,” and “Schroder,” which was shortlisted for The Folio Prize in 2014. To date, “Schroder” has been published in eighteen countries.

The course: This specialization created by Wesleyan University consists of four courses (each taught by a teacher listed above) and covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. It culminates in a challenging capstone project in which you’ll draft, rewrite, and complete a substantial original story in the genre of your choosing. 

The price: Free with 7-day Coursera trial; $49 per month to keep learning after trial ends.

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MasterClass is running a 2-for-one sale right now – pay $180 for an annual membership and get a second to gift

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Masterclass E Learning 4x3
Until September 29, buy one MasterClass annual membership ($180) and get one for free to gift to a friend or family member.

MasterClass houses over 100 video courses taught by celebrities and experts in their field of expertise – from Serena Williams teaching tennis tricks to Gordon Ramsey on cooking and Aaron Sorkin on screenwriting. Classes have an average of 20 lessons per class and 10 minutes per lesson, so they’re easy to fit into your life.

With an annual MasterClass membership ($180), you get unlimited access to every course.

Right now through September 29, you can get two memberships for the price of one.

You can find a full review of the MasterClass annual membership here, but the gist is: if you’re interested in a couple of courses or know people in your life who will use it more than a few times per year, it can be worth it. It’s one of our favorite and most recommended education services, and the cost-per-use is very attractive during a BOGO event.

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Masterclass Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking
Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking in his MasterClass.

Some of the most popular MasterClass classes:

Art of Negotiation (small)Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking (small)Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television (small)Teaches the Art of Storytelling (small)Daniel Negreanu Teaches Poker (small)Ron Finley Teaches Gardening (small)Neil deGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking and Communication (small)Bobbi Brown Teaches Makeup and Beauty (small)Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership (small)Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting (small)Brandon McMillan Teaches Dog Training (small)

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The 22 best Agatha Christie books, according to Goodreads members

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Diagonal Pattern of popular Agatha Christie Books; including And Then There Were None and  Murder on the Orient Express
According to Goodreads reviews, some of Agatha Christie’s best books include “And Then There Were None,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” and “The Mysterious Affair at Styles.”

Agatha Christie is one of the best-selling authors of all time, holding the Guinness World Record for best-selling fiction writer with over 2 billion copies of her books sold. Her murder mysteries have become a staple in crime fiction as she keeps readers guessing, story after story. Across 66 novels and 14 short story collections, Agatha Christie introduced readers to countless characters including the notorious Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and the duo Tommy and Tuppence.

To rank Agatha Christie’s greatest works, we turned to ratings from Goodreads members. Goodreads is the world’s largest book reviewing platform where over 125 million members can rate and review their favorite books. Whether you’re searching for your first Agatha Christie novel or a gripping new murder mystery, here are some of the best Agatha Christie books, according to Goodreads members.

The 22 best Agatha Christie novels, according to Goodreads members:

And Then There Were None

and then there were none

“And Then There Were None” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99

With nearly one million ratings on Goodreads, “And Then There Were None” is a classic murder mystery and the most popular Agatha Christie novel amongst Goodreads reviewers. When 10 strangers gather at a mansion, they discover they’re systematically being murdered as described in an eerie poem framed in every room of the home. The guests must figure out who is behind the murders before everyone is killed. 

Murder on the Orient Express

murder on the orient express

“Murder on the Orient Express” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.27

In this murder mystery that ends with a satisfying plot twist, a snowdrift stops a very full train called the Orient Express just after midnight. By morning, an American man is found stabbed to death in his compartment, locked from the inside: A mystery only Hercule Poirot can solve.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

the mysterious affair at styles

“The Mysterious Affair at Styles” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99

Agatha Christie wrote her first novel, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” while working as a nurse during World War I. This book introduces readers to Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective and World War I refugee, who begins to investigate when his benefactor is mysteriously poisoned — and it seems nearly everyone is a suspect. 

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

the murder of roger ackroyd

“The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99

One of the most controversial of Agatha Christie’s novels for its wild plot twist and non-traditional mystery style, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” is also one of the most gripping Christie novels. When an English widow and her fiance are both killed within 24 hours, Poirot must unravel the tangled mystery in this clever and thrilling tale. 

Death on the Nile

death on the nile

“Death on the Nile” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99

On a Nile cruise for her honeymoon, the young and wealthy Linnet Ridgeway approaches Hercule Poirot and asks him to keep her former friend from following her, resentful after she married her friend’s fiancé. When Linnet is found dead, Poirot finds that the former friend is far from Linnet’s only enemy. 

Murder at the Vicarage

murder at the vicarage

“Murder at the Vicarage” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.69

This is the first Agatha Christie novel to feature Miss Marple, an elderly woman who acts as an amateur detective consultant and previously only appeared in Christie’s short stories. When a widely disliked Colonel is found dead, there is no shortage of suspects through which Miss Marple must sort. 

The ABC Murders

the abc murders

“The ABC Murders” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.99

In this mystery, a killer is systematically making their way through the alphabet, first targeting Alice Asher in Andover, then Better Bernard in Bexhill. Hercule Poirot must follow the ABC Railway Guide — the murderer’s calling card — to get one step ahead of them before someone else is killed. 

The Man in the Brown Suit

the man in the brown suit

 “The Man in the Brown Suit” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.95

Full of thrills and espionage, “The Man in the Brown Suit” is about a young girl named Anne who witnesses a man die after falling onto the subway tracks. She discovers a mysterious note in his pocket with an address — and when a woman is found dead there the next day, Anne decides she must investigate. This is also the first Agatha Christie novel to feature former spy and ex-Army Colonel Johnnie Race, who works alongside Hercule Poirot in later novels. 

The Body in the Library

the body in the library

“The Body in the Library” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

In this mystery where nothing is as it seems, a family wakes one morning to find a strange woman in an evening dress dead in their library. With a possible connection to another body found nearby, Miss Marple is called to investigate and piece together this strange and deadly puzzle. 

The Murder on the Links

murder on the links

“The Murder on the Links” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9

When Hercule Poirot and his assistant, Captain Arthur Hastings, receive a letter that a wealthy man fears his life is in danger, they rush to Paris to find he’s already been killed by a letter opener and left in a grave next to a golf course. With building suspense and layers of complex clues, this murder mystery is an exciting Agatha Christie favorite. 

Evil Under the Sun

evil under the sun

“Evil Under the Sun” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

While trying to enjoy a peaceful holiday, Hercule Poirot finds himself in the middle of another murder investigation as a young woman is found strangled to death on a beach. This Agatha Christie novel is full of red herrings as Poirot untangles a motive and tracks down a killer.

A Murder Is Announced

a murder is announced

“A Murder Is Announced” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.16

Miss Marple is staying in a small village when an advertisement in the local paper announces a murder will take place and includes a date, time, and location. While the community is unsure whether the advertisement is a practical joke or scare tactic, Miss Marple is unable to resist and goes to the location to see the lights go out just before someone is murdered. 

Crooked House

crooked house

“Crooked House” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.41

“Crooked House” is a standalone Agatha Christie novel, a rare gem that doesn’t feature any of her beloved recurring characters yet entices readers all the same. In this mystery, a young widow is a prime suspect when her wealthy husband, 50 years her senior, is found poisoned. Despite the rumors spreading through the community, criminologist Charles Hayward has far more suspects than just the widow. 

4:50 from Paddington

4:50 from paddington

“4:50 from Paddington” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.49

When Elspeth McGillicuddy witnesses a murder on a passing train, it seems no one believes her unlikely story. She turns to the beloved Miss Marple, who is eager to investigate and uses her resourcefulness and keen eye to find the murderer. 

Five Little Pigs

five little pigs

“Five Little Pigs” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

In this crime fiction novel, Mrs. Crale sends a letter posthumously to her daughter, insisting upon her innocence despite the overwhelming evidence that she’d poisoned her husband 16 years earlier. When the letter offers more questions than answers, Crale’s daughter turns to Hercule Poirot to reopen the case and find out who may have really killed her father. 

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

hercule poirot's christmas

“Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.29

Returning for a suspenseful Christmas mystery, Hercule Poirot is called when a family reunion turns deadly after the patriarch announces a change in the will, punctuated by insults towards each of his sons. Everyone is a suspect In this tense holiday whodunnit mystery, and Hercule Poirot is the only detective who can figure out the murderer. 

Poirot Investigates

poirot investigates

“Poirot Investigates” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $3.95

“Poirot Investigates” is a collection of detective short stories featuring Hercule Poirot solving a series of exciting cases. Loved for Agatha Christie’s entertaining writing style, these stories are creative, clever, and fun to read as Poirot solves anything from a strange and demanding letter sent to a movie star to a suicide with suspicious circumstances. 

The Secret Adversary

the secret adversary

“The Secret Adversary” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.95

“The Secret Adversary” is the first Tommy and Tuppence mystery from Agatha Christie featuring a young couple who decide to start a business called “Young Adventurers Ltd” to make money. When their first assignment calls for them to play detective, they must unravel the mystery of a young woman who has been missing for five years. 

Peril at End House

peril at end house

“Peril at End House” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.89

While on vacation in Cornwall, Hercule Poirot and his assistant, Arthur Hastings, meet a young woman named Nick who has recently narrowly escaped a series of suspicious life-threatening accidents. Convinced that someone is trying to kill Nick, Poirot launches a full investigation into the accidents and the secrets behind Nick’s dark home. 

Cards on the Table

cards on the table

“Cards on the Table” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.69

When a boiserious but unpopular man named Mr. Shaitana invites eight guests over to play bridge — four sleuths and four previously suspected of murder — he is murdered in plain sight. The four detectives, including Hercule Poirot, each investigate one of the other guests in this suspenseful murder mystery full of plot twists. 

Appointment with Death

appointment with death

“Appointment with Death” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.14

One of the most despicable characters in Agatha Christie’s work is Mrs. Boynton, a mother who abuses her children and is mysteriously murdered with only a tiny puncture wound as a sign she’d been killed by injection. With only 24 hours to solve the mystery, Hercule Poirot unravels Mrs. Boynton’s relationships to investigate her murder. 

Murder in Mesopotamia

murder in mesopotamia

“Murder in Mesopotamia” available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

Set on an archaeological excavation site in Iraq, “Murder in Mesopotamia” is told through the perspective of Amy Leatheren, a young nurse who becomes Hercule Poirot’s assistant when a brutal murder occurs. Intricate and thrilling, this murder mystery is a highly descriptive and vibrant classic that will keep readers stumped until the very end. 

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The 14 best online graphic design courses in 2021

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Woman working as a graphic designer on a tablet
From short tutorials to in-depth classes, you can find some of the best online graphic design courses on e-learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and CreativeLive.

Graphic design is all around us: Fliers, advertisements, movie posters, and magazine layouts all require plenty of creativity and thoughtfulness to capture the attention of potential customers.

To produce eye-catching, effective work, clients often rely on graphic designers, who have an eye for images, layouts, and typeface, as well as the ability to strategize and create artwork that is both visually appealing and functional.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to design your own marketing materials, a creative professional interested in expanding your skills, or a graphic design beginner who doesn’t know where to start, taking online graphic design courses can provide a variety of useful tools and knowledge to take your work to the next level.

Below, you can find everything from short online tutorials to in-depth classes, including free options that are perfect for brushing up your skills or testing out a graphic design course before committing to a bigger career change.

The 14 best online graphic design courses in 2021:

Beginner graphic design courses

Graphic Design Fundamentals: Getting Started

Person typing on computer on desk

Available on CreativeLive

Length: 5 hours and 29 minutes

Cost: $14 for the course; $13 a month for a CreativeLive subscription

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced graphic designer wanting to enhance your skills, this course shares instructor Timothy Samara’s creative process and what happens behind the scenes when combining technique and inspiration. You’ll walk away with a better grasp of color theory, typography, composition, and more.

Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Working on laptop near a window

Available on Coursera

Length: 15 hours

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

If you learn best through hands-on learning, you’ll want to consider this course that focuses on all the core principles of graphic design, with plenty of assignments to practice and incorporate the skills you learn. 

It’s part of CalArts’ Graphic Design Specialization, a five-course certificate program.

Graphic Design For Real Beginners

Person look at laptop on table with fruit

Available on Udemy

Length: 5.5 hours

Cost: $89.99 

If you’re considering a career in graphic design (or simply want to gain some quick new skills), this course is designed with beginners in mind. The basics are covered, from images and layouts to logo creation and common design issues to avoid.

Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

woman working on computer

Available on Skillshare

Length: 35 minutes

Cost: $8 per month or $29.88 per year for a Skillshare subscription

If you’re completely new to graphic design or need a refresher, this short class focuses on the core principles of functional design. Taught by graphic designers Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), it provides background on the importance of scale, symmetry, framing hierarchy, grids, and more. 

The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course

Person looking at laptop with coffee cup beside them

Available on Udemy

Length: 8.5 hours

Cost: $149.99 for the course; $29.99 per month for a Udemy subscription

This course combines the core principles of what every graphic designer needs to know, including logo creation, marketing, branding, and the legalities of design. When you complete this intensive course, you’ll be ready to apply real-world skills to your business, work, or hobby.  

Intermediate, in-depth graphic design courses

Graphic Design Masterclass: Learn GREAT Design

woman on laptop

Available on Skillshare

Length: 18 hours and 20 minutes

Cost: $8 per month or $29.88 per year for a Skillshare subscription

For those wanting a more in-depth and hands-on course, this masterclass tackles the fundamentals from color and images to designing a magazine layout. You’ll also gain an understanding of how to use some of the most popular programs geared for designers: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Graphic Design Bootcamp: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

woman online learning

Available on Udemy

Length: 15 hours and 34 minutes

Cost: $129.99 for the course; $29.99 per month for a Udemy subscription

Sooner or later, you’ll need to know how to use different Adobe programs if you’re serious about graphic design. This course is great for beginners and creative types who want to learn new skills whether it’s making a logo, invitation, or website.

David Carson Teaches Graphic Design

David Carson sitting in a chair

Available on MasterClass

Length: 2 hours and 7 minutes

Cost: $15 per month or $180 per year for a MasterClass subscription

Interested in learning from a famous graphic designer? In this MasterClass, David Carson, known for breaking the rules and relying on his intuition in his design, shares his best tips and tricks after breaking down the basics of graphic design. He walks you through the core principles, including typography, photography and layouts before diving into his insider advice on making graphic design your career.

Advanced graphic design courses

Design Fundamentals: Layout and Composition

Person sitting on the floor typing on laptop

Available on CreativeLive

Length: 1 hour and 14 minutes

Cost: $8 for the course; $13 a month for a CreativeLive subscription

There are lots of components to practicing beautiful design. If you want to perfect your composition as well as your understanding of what makes or breaks a layout, this class will help.

Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, & Application

Person on laptop in office chair

Available on CreativeLive

Length: 8 hours and 14 minutes

Cost: $14 for the course; $13 a month for a CreativeLive subscription

This course is dedicated to color theory principles, color terminology, and using color to enhance your work. If you’re a designer or creative professional interested in expanding your knowledge specifically about using color in design, this is for you. 

Introduction to Imagemaking

Person on laptop in red chair

Available on Coursera

Length: 15 hours

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

This course focuses on learning, experimenting, and playing with images through composition and juxtaposition with assignments focused on creating spreads and ultimately with your own book of images. 

It’s part of CalArts’ Graphic Design Specialization, a five-course certificate program.

Typography Fundamentals

young person using laptop at home at night

Available on CreativeLive

Length: 6 hours

Cost: $8 for the course; $13 a month for a CreativeLive subscription

If you want to better convey text information, then you’ll want to learn more about typography. This fundamentals course highlights the importance of aesthetics and designing through a different lens and is geared towards designers, illustrators, and many creative types who want to expand their knowledge and abilities. 

Introduction to Typography

Typing at a laptop taking online class

Available on Coursera

Length: 9 hours

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

Understanding typefaces is an integral part of graphic design. This class provides historical and cultural context as well as aesthetics for considering all things related to fonts and sizing — but you should have basic knowledge for using Adobe InDesign before signing up since these skills are necessary for completing assignments. 

It’s part of CalArts’ Graphic Design Specialization, a five-course certificate program.

Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

Person typing on laptop with tea mug, pad of paper, and pen

Available on Coursera

Length: 10 hours

Cost: Free to audit (no certificate) or with 7-day trial; $49 per month subscription after trial ends

Understanding the past can provide plenty of inspiration. This course focuses on the history of graphic design and provides perspective on how design evolved throughout the years, from the 1850s through the 1960s.

It’s part of CalArts’ Graphic Design Specialization, a five-course certificate program.

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The 12 best new books to read in September, according to Amazon editors

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According to Amazon’s book editors, the best new books to read in September include works from Sally Rooney, Colson Whitehead, and Anderson Cooper.

September means the end of summer and the beginning of fall, a transition often marked by a change in weather, the start of school, or even a new wardrobe. And if you’re looking to add a new book to the lineup, Amazon’s book editors have got you covered with their 12 picks for the best new books in September.

This month’s top choice is “Harlem Shuffle,” a literary fiction novel by two-time Pulitzer winner Colson Whitehead. Below are the 12 best titles new in September, with captions provided by Amazon’s editorial team.

‘Harlem Shuffle’ by Colson Whitehead

The cover of 'Harlem Shuffle' by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead’s latest is an entertaining novel of schemers and dreamers, mobsters and crooks, elaborate heists, and the thrilling mischief of those who are up to no good and others who are just trying to make a living. Caught between his family’s penchant for shady deals and his desire to be clean, Ray Carney sits at the center of this swirling drama set in 1960s Harlem. A tribute to the city, the momentum of life, and the duality that lies in each of us, “Harlem Shuffle” is a lot of fun to read and another winner by the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Editor

by Colson Whitehead (button)
‘Snowflake’ by Louise Nealon

The cover of 'Snowflake' by Louise Nealon

A country mouse just getting her footing at a university in Dublin must return home when tragedy strikes, forcing her to contend in new, deeper ways with family, mental illness, and how, as the old Irish saying puts it, we all live in each other’s shadow. An award-winning debut in Ireland, “Snowflake” is wonderfully, giggles-galore funny but also — and this has earned Nealon comparisons to another young Irish writer, Sally Rooney — emotionally sharp as a tack. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Editor

by Louise Nealon (button)
‘Under the Whispering Door’ by TJ Klune

The cover of Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

The follow-up to Klune’s “The House in the Cerulean Sea” finds Wallace dying unexpectedly and coming to the attention of Hugo, a teashop owner who ferries the dead to the other side of life. Wallace is a difficult case, but gentle Hugo gives him a chance to come to grips with his predicament, opening up his eyes to love, beauty, and the absurdities that make every moment special. This heartfelt story about a man who discovers the joys of living after he is dead is one that you’ll hand to a good friend with a smile and a hug. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Editor

by TJ Klune (button)
‘Apples Never Fall’ by Liane Moriarty

The cover of Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Stan and Joy Delaney, former owners of a tennis academy and partners in life and on the court, are the parents of four grown children: Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke. Each child, former tennis players themselves, suffers from their own successes and demons. But jealousy piques when a mysterious young woman named Savannah shows up at their parent’s house and begins living with them, filling in as the perfect domestic daughter they never had. “Apples Never Fall” will be a grand slam with the author’s fans, and enchant new readers alike. —Sarah Gelman, Amazon Editor

by Liane Moriarty (button)
‘When Ghosts Come Home’ by Wiley Cash

The cover of 'When Ghosts Come Home' by Wiley Cash

When Sheriff Winston Barnes discovers a slain Black man lying next to a small plane on a runway, the town erupts in a buzz of rumor, innuendo, propaganda, and outright racism. Barnes is up for re-election and his corrupt, good ol’ boy opponent decides to make political hay out of the way Barnes handles the investigation. In “When Ghosts Come Home,” Wiley Cash delivers a spellbinding novel that is part family drama, part police procedural, and part race-reckoning in a small Southern town. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Editor

by Wiley Cash (button)
‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ by Sally Rooney

The cover of 'Beautiful World, Where Are You' by Sally Rooney

The complicated humans at the center of “Beautiful World, Where Are You” are Alice, a bestselling novelist; Felix, a working-class man whom Alice meets in the seaside town in which she is renting a house; Eileen, Alice’s friend and a literary magazine assistant who has recently gone through a breakup; and Simon, Eileen’s childhood friend with whom she’s had a long flirtation. Rooney is gifted at capturing conflict between these friends and lovers. She also manages fresh observations on life, relationships, and sex. And that makes “Beautiful World, Where Are You classic Rooney. —Sarah Gelman, Amazon Editor

by Sally Rooney (button)
“Travels with George” by Nathaniel Philbrick

The cover of "Travels with George" by Nathaniel Philbrick

Philbrick, his wife, and his rambunctious dog, Dora, retrace George Washington’s presidential tours across the brand-new country. Glimpses of our current fractured politics heighten the importance of Washington’s all-out efforts to mold the ex-colonies into a single national identity — though the continuation of slavery, even within his own household, corroded his efforts. Always entertaining, Philbrick provides a lot to chew on as he explores what Washington did right, wrong, and how his choices still affect us today. — Adrian Liang, Amazon Editor

by Nathaniel Philbrick (button)
‘A Slow Fire Burning’ by Paula Hawkins

The cover of "A Slow Fire Burning" by Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins (“The Girl on the Train”) loves a large cast of characters and she’s assembled a rum bunch in this novel about a young man found dead on a houseboat. So rum that readers will come to the conclusion that any one — or all — of these people are capable of murder. It’s a testament to Hawkins’ skillful storytelling that readers will have no idea until the last few pages who the culprit is, and that they will, by then, be so fond of some of them that they won’t care if they did it. Prepare to inhale this smart thriller in one sitting. — Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Editor

by Paula Hawkins (button)
‘The Book of Form and Emptiness’ by Ruth Ozeki

The cover of The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

Ozeki’s latest finds a mother and son grappling with the profound loss of the patriarch of the family, who dies in a freak accident. While the mother’s anguish expresses itself in a growing hoarding problem, her son hears inanimate objects talking to him. This is just one of the many quirky elements that leaven an otherwise serious but compassionate story that mines the complexities of grief while also making a sly critique of consumerism. If you listen carefully, you might hear this book telling you to read it, and you absolutely should. — Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Editor

by Ruth Ozeki (button)
‘The War for Gloria’ by Atticus Lish

The cover of The War for Gloria by Atticus Lish

Corey Goltz grew up near Boston with his single mother, Gloria, who is diagnosed with ALS when he’s 15, sending both into a series of spirals. As Corey moves into accelerated adulthood, we learn about Gloria as well — how she became who she is, how things might have turned out differently. Corey’s estranged father eventually insinuates himself back into their lives, even as Corey looks to a series of other male figures in an attempt to plumb how a life should be lived. This is an immersive novel about people who live on the fringes. It can be grim; but it is also unforgettable. — Chris Schluep

by Atticus Lish (button)
‘Redeeming Justice’ by Jarrett Adams

The cover of "Redeeming Justice" by Jarrett Adams

Adams was barely 18 when an all-white judge and jury sentenced him to 28 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. That was the beginning of his battle to prove his innocence in a judicial system that is not only racist but biased against the poor. This stirring memoir recounts his years of incarceration, how he came to study the law, his eventual exoneration, and his struggle to acclimate to “normal” life. Evoking emotions ranging from outrage and shock to hope and vicarious pride, “Redeeming Justice” is a real-life Phoenix-rising story you won’t want to miss. — Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Editor

by Jarrett Adams (button)
‘Vanderbilt’ by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe

The cover of "Vanderbilt" by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe

The story of the Vanderbilts is a quintessential American fairy tale that began with Cooper’s savvy but ruthless great-great-great grandfather, who amassed a tremendous fortune in his lifetime, but one that by the 21st century would be gone. In “Vanderbilt,” readers are invited into the lavish balls, opulent homes, and fascinating lives of the generations that followed, culminating with Gloria Vanderbilt, Cooper’s mother. Rich in detail and personality, “Vanderbilt” beautifully transports readers back in time to the glory days of the Gilded Age, and the excesses of a true American dynasty. — Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Editor

The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (button)

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The 20 most popular Coursea online courses that students actually finish

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Coursera New Logo E Learning  4x3
  • Coursera offers a wide range of online courses and the ability to audit classes for free.
  • Coursera shared courses that have high enrollment numbers and high completion rates.
  • Some of them are part of longer certificate programs, including several from Google.

Coursera is a popular e-learning platform, offering thousands of courses administered by some of the top universities and higher-learning institutions in the world.

With such a breadth of options, it can be hard to know which courses are worth your time (and money, if you opt for a certificate program).

We reached out to Coursera to get some insight on their most popular courses based on completion rates, a metric we felt signaled the value a course is providing to students. Coursera wasn’t able to share exact completion rates with us, but they provided a list of courses that they say have both high enrollment numbers and corresponding high completion rates.

Online Courses (small)

Many of the courses are free to audit (Click the “Enroll” button and then “Audit this course”), meaning you can view all of the course’s videos and materials but usually can’t earn a certificate of completion. Others are parts of longer paid certificate programs (including several from Google), which can cost $39 or $49 per month until you finish.

Whether you’re looking to sharpen up some business skills or pick up a new hobby, Coursera probably has something for you.

20 of the most popular Coursera courses, based on high enrollment numbers and completion rates:

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Woman holding a phone in the street using the contact tracing app

Enroll here

Offered by: Johns Hopkins University

Number of students enrolled: Over 1.2 million 

One of the few Coursera courses with a free certificate of completion, this relatively short class covers the basic science behind COVID-19 and how it’s transmitted, strategies for creating an infection timeline, and even the ethics behind contact tracing

What is Data Science?

ibm course

Enroll here

Offered by: IBM

Number of students enrolled: Over 481,000

Meet a range of data science professionals and learn about what they do, getting a real overview of what data science looks like today. 

Programming for Everybody: Getting Started with Python

python coding

Enroll here

Offered by: The University of Michigan

Enrolled: Over 2.2 million

Learn the basics of programming computers with Python. This course — the first in a Python Specialization — covers everything from how to install Python, write your first program, and understand the nuances of the language.

Technical Support Fundamentals

tech

Enroll here

Offered by: Google

Number of students enrolled: Over 835,000

Prepare for a role as an entry-level IT support specialist with this course — the first in Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate. Introduce yourself to the world of IT and get tips on how to best prepare for a career in the industry.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

coursera

Enroll here

Offered by: The University of California, Irvine

Number of students enrolled: Over 396,000

Part of UCI’s Career Success Specialization, this course covers organizational tips to help students learn how to successfully plan their goals (leaving room for potential surprises or crises) and manage their time to reduce stress and overwork. 

Neural Networks and Deep Learning

deep learning

Enroll here

Offered by: DeepLearning.AI

Number of students enrolled: Over 988,000

This course will help you develop a strong background in deep learning, so you can break into the world of AI. Learn about major technology trends as well as how to build, implement, and fully understand neural networks. 

Foundations: Data, Data, Everywhere

edX Data Science by Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images

Enroll here

Offered by: Google

Number of students enrolled: Over 353,000

The first course in Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate, this foundational class covers key terms in data analytics and kickstarts students’ path towards an entry-level data analyst career.

Foundations of Project Management

project management

Enroll here

Offered by: Google

Number of students enrolled: Over 236,000

The first of six courses in Google’s Project Management Professional Certificate, this course goes over the core responsibilities of project managers before going into different project management methodologies.

AI For Everyone

woman working on computer

Enroll here

Offered by: DeepLearning.AI

Number of students enrolled: Over 690,000

Designed for non-engineers and people with no direct experience with AI, this course explores the fundamentals of AI and machine learning, including the limitations of AI, how teams can build data science projects, and ethical considerations that should be discussed in relation to AI.

Introduction to HTML5

man html software developer

Enroll here

Offered by: The University of Michigan

Number of students enrolled: Over 423,000

Part of a web design and coding Specialization, this course is ideal for total beginners and starts from what happens when a webpage URL is typed into a browser, with coding exercises and assignments to put theory into practice.

Foundations of User Experience (UX) Design

UX design

Enroll here

Offered by: Google

Number of students enrolled: Over 208,000

In this intro course to Google’s UX Design Professional Certificate, students learn the main responsibilities of entry-level UX designers, get familiarized with concepts like “user-centered design,” and begin to create an online portfolio.

Cloud Computing Basics (Cloud 101)

IBM cloud computing

Enroll here

Offered by: LearnQuest

Number of students enrolled: Over 113,000

Perfect for beginners, this course explains common Cloud computing terms like APIs and Azure Services, goes over different Cloud deployment models, and helps students identify the best Cloud services for their needs.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Office meeting

Enroll here

Offered by: Indian School of Business

Number of students enrolled: Over 113,000

Part of a Specialization in business technology management, this course teaches students how to apply emotional intelligence to work effectively in teams, manage important relationships with stakeholders, and navigate conflict in the workplace.

Excel Skills for Business: Essentials

Woman working at computer

Enroll here

Offered by: Macquarie University

Number of students enrolled: Over 609,000

As part of the Excel Skills for Business Specialization, this first course teaches students the basics of navigating Excel, from performing simple calculations with formulas and functions to creating data visualizations.

Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Public health mask

Enroll here

Offered by: The University of Toronto

Number of students enrolled: Over 167,000

This three-hour course acknowledges the unprecedented anxiety people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic before diving into stress management strategies, from reducing news consumption to maintaining social interaction in a time of physical distancing.

Introduction to TensorFlow for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning

Person on bed typing on laptop

Enroll here

Offered by: DeepLearning.AI

Number of students enrolled: Over 262,000

As the first course in the DeepLearning.AI TensorFlow Developer Professional Certificate, this class teaches aspiring software developers the basics of TensorFlow, a commonly used open-source machine learning framework, including the steps to building their own neural network.

Psychological First Aid

Coursera Buddhism and Modern Psychology review 4x3

Enroll here

Offered by: Johns Hopkins University

Number of students enrolled: Over 394,000

Learn the RAPID model (Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition) to help aid people in an emergency. Bring these applicable skills to your workplace, volunteer organizations, and more.

Supply Chain Logistics

Supply chain shipments

Enroll here

Offered by: Rutgers University

Number of students enrolled: Over 155,000

For anyone who’s interested in a career in supply chain management, this course covers the three main parts of supply chain logistics networks: transportation, warehousing, and inventory, teaching students how to develop supply chain networks that reduce cost and maximize customer satisfaction.

Getting Started with AWS Machine Learning

Woman in headphones learning on laptop

Enroll here

Offered by: Amazon Web Services

Number of students enrolled: Over 180,000

Designed for anyone interested in a machine learning or AI career, this introductory course explains the basics of machine learning before jumping into using AWS tools like Amazon SageMaker, AWS DeepLens, Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Translate, and more.

Grammar and Punctuation

English Language Learning IPhone 4x3

Enroll here

Offered by: The University of California, Irvine

Number of students enrolled: Over 610,000

Part of UCI’s Academic English: Writing Specialization, this course acts as an English grammar and punctuation refresher, offering tips on everything from correct comma and verb tense usage to varying sentence types to write more effectively.

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Codecademy, an online platform for coding courses, is offering 20% off all its annual memberships through September 7

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Codecademy Learn To Code 4x3

Educational coding platform Codecademy is offering 20% off its Pro memberships through the end of September 7. Just use the promo code “FALL21” at checkout.

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Codecademy, which began as a programming club at Columbia University, offers basic online coding, computer science, data science, and web development classes for free. But its paid Pro membership is what you’ll need for extra perks.

Pro typically costs $39.99/month if you pay month-to-month or $19/month if you pay annually ($240 billed once). With it, you get member-only content such as “Career Paths” (which teach you the skills to land jobs like a front-end or full-stack engineer); step-by-step help; more challenging projects; and a certificate of completion to add to your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Opting for an annual Pro membership rather than the monthly option saves you $240 for the full year. If you paid for a full year with month-to-month membership, you’d pay $479.88. If you pay upfront for an annual membership with this discount, the same experience will be $192.

Additionally, for eligible college students, Pro Student normally offers 35% off Pro memberships, on top of the extra 20% off with this deal.

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If you’re still not sure about buying an annual Pro membership, you can try a free seven-day trial or scope out some of the free classes before committing to a full year.

You can sign up for an annual Pro membership or Pro Student one here. Below are some introductory Codecademy classes you can try out for free.

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I learned how to negotiate a higher salary from former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, who emphasizes collaboration and active listening

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Chris Voss teaches a MasterClass in the art of negotiation.

As a former FBI lead hostage negotiator, Chris Voss knows how to navigate conflict.

For over 24 years, Voss’s job required speaking and negotiating with bank robbers, gang members, and terrorists in high-stress and pressure situations – many of them life-or-death situations.

He’s applied classic psychological strategies and learned new ones throughout his career, transferring his knowledge through his bestselling book “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It,” The Black Swan Group (an organization he founded that teaches negotiation tactics), and, most recently, his MasterClass in the Art of Negotiation.

I’ve never been a fan of negotiating in my career – it’s always made me uncomfortable to ask for a higher starting salary or raise because I’d have to justify all the reasons why I deserved it. But after my brother recommended Chris Voss’s book to me and I saw his course on MasterClass, I decided to try it out.

Art of Negotiation (small)

About MasterClass:

Signing up for an annual MasterClass subscription is $180 (or $15 a month), granting you unlimited access to over 100 classes, with new ones added each month.

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Courses are available in a range of topics, from cooking classes led by famous chefs to MasterClasses in creative writing, meditation, gardening, and even the science of sleep.

What it’s like taking Chris Voss’s MasterClass:

Chris Voss explains that life can improve with better negotiation skills in his MasterClass.

A serious and straightforward guy, Voss calmly explains information in an engaging format by providing stories, examples, and even real-life audio footage to make the material easier to digest and understand. In each video, he presents one of the key components to negotiating and provides an anecdote, ending with a brief recap of the most important points.

The course is three hours long in total, with 18 videos and a 14-page PDF workbook – a handy reference guide that breaks down the main concepts explained in the videos.

The class is accessible on many devices (smartphone, computer, tablet) and there’s also an audio-only option if you prefer to multi-task.

Chris Voss's former FBI badge in his MasterClass.

For this particular MasterClass, I enjoyed the video format to witness how cool and collected Voss is. However, if you only have time to listen while you run errands or commute, you’ll still learn his important strategies and the rationale behind each of his tips with just the audio.

Just keep in mind that when it comes to mock negotiations, you’ll likely want to tune in and watch the videos to get a sense of what it looks like in action and observe his body language (a crucial part of negotiating).

Three things I learned from Chris Voss’s MasterClass:

We make many negotiations a day – not just at work or during arguments. Learning how to do it can drastically improve your life.

Chris Voss explains that everything in life is a negotiation in his MasterClass.

We may associate negotiating with work, especially when it comes to asking for a raise or a promotion, but Voss is quick to point out that we constantly have to negotiate in our day-to-day lives, from a conversation with your boss to a conflict with a loved one.

He made me realize that working with colleagues or even having casual discussions with my partner or friends often requires a level of negotiating that I hadn’t considered before taking the class.

When done right, negotiation can be empowering. At one point, Voss gets personal by telling students what drives him to pass down his negotiating knowledge. “I hate bullies,” he says matter-of-factly, recalling his own childhood memories of being bullied. According to him, strong negotiation skills “[give] people power in the face of a bully.”


Mirroring, a common negotiating tactic, helps the other person feel heard.

Chris Voss demonstrating mirroring in his negotiation MasterClass.

“Genuine curiosity is compelling,” Voss says, which is why he’s a big fan of mirroring, a way “to build rapport and show interest in what a person is talking about.”

He explains mirroring is a way of getting the other person to engage, hear their side, and show that you’re actively listening while you gather information. To do it, he suggests repeating the last few words someone says and then pausing for a moment, which gives the person space to elaborate. Using a curious and interested tone of voice is also key.

Chris Voss explains the power of mirroring as a negotiation tool in his MasterClass.

To drill home the idea, he uses several mock negotiations, including a teenage daughter asking permission from her father to spend the weekend with her boyfriend. Concerned about her safety, the father uses mirroring techniques with his daughter to find out more information about where she’ll be staying and whether her boyfriend’s parents will be present, all the while never outright telling her she can’t go.

Although some people can view negotiation tools like mirroring as a form of manipulation, Voss believes “negotiation isn’t about win-lose, [but] about collaboration.”

As an added bonus, he claims that “If you’ll mirror, you’ll be ridiculously interesting to other people because you’re interested in them,” making them feel heard by expanding your own active listening skills.


If you feel awkward trying these tips, you’re probably doing it right.

Chris Voss explains that great negotiation is about collaboration in his MasterClass.

Just when I started questioning some of these tactics, such as mirroring, Voss read my mind: “If some of these techniques sound difficult or are not going to work, don’t worry,” he says, “It means you’re learning,” emphasizing that awkwardness is a huge part of growth.

Negotiating can be intimidating and uncomfortable for many people, but the way Voss explains how it handled some intense, life-or-death situations as well as the psychology behind it made me rethink the idea of negotiation. I see how these tools can be beneficial to be applied in daily life, whether it’s ordering breakfast or addressing a problem with customer service.


The bottom line

I consider myself a negotiation novice, but after taking this MasterClass, I feel like I can start putting many of his techniques into practice. Voss breaks down everything in a way that provides a hands-on, practical approach, with plenty of examples and stories.

Voss explains everything you need to know to negotiate, including tactical empathy, emotional intelligence, body language, speech patterns, creating the illusion of control, and the value of saying no. When I finished the course, I felt energized -and empowered – to implement his advice.

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The 22 best dystopian novels to read in 2021

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Pattern of the best dystopian novels in 2021, including 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, Tender Is The Flesh, and Scythe 4x3

Dystopian novels are set in speculative versions of our world – some apocalyptic, others plagued by disease or violence – that imagine society in devastating social and political futures. A subgenre of science fiction, dystopian novels explore the nightmarish alternatives for humanity with gripping action, epic heroes, and often terrifyingly believable scenarios.

To gather these recommendations, I turned to bestseller lists on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookshop, so whether you’re looking for a dystopian classic or a newly imagined futuristic read, you can find a great dystopian novel in this list.

The 22 best dystopian novels to read in 2021:

A dystopia set during an apocalypse

the fifth season book cover

“The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.80

As society collapses beneath an environmental apocalypse and a horrifying mass murderer, Essun finds that her husband has killed her son and kidnapped her daughter. Fighting to rescue her daughter, Essun must survive a dying land and devolving society in this fast-paced dystopian, alternate-Earth read. 

A dystopia plagued by an epidemic of blindness

blindness book cover

“Blindness” by José Saramago, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.59

When an unnamed society is swept by an epidemic of “white blindness” that leaves victims totally blind, authorities attempt to quarantine victims in an abandoned mental hospital. The quarantine fails, blinding the guards, and society quickly disintegrates into desperate chaos and an “Us vs. Them” mentality. 

A young adult dystopian read with fantasy elements

an ember in the ashes book cover

“An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.32

Selected as one of TIME’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time, “An Ember in the Ashes” uses fantasy elements to create a dystopia where all must vow allegiance to the Martial Empire and live in fear of their power. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she makes a deal with a group of rebels to attend the military academy and spy on the Empire from the inside in exchange for the rescue of her brother. 

A series set in dystopian districts that host a deadly competition

hunger games cover

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.69

In this bestselling series, the country is divided up into districts and teenagers fight to the death in an annual “Hunger Games,” where one victor earns riches and resources for their district. In the first book, Katniss volunteers in place of her younger sister and must quickly hatch a plan to survive in the arena, where everything and everyone wants to kill her.

A terrifying dystopia of extreme censorship

1984 book cover

“1984” by George Orwell, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48

Published in 1949, “1984” is a dystopian classic where the world is repressed and closely monitored by “Big Brother,” a totalitarian leader who strictly controls everyone using censorship and propaganda. It centers on Winston Smith, who works at the Ministry of Truth rewriting historical records to fit Big Brother’s fictitious version of events. 

A terrifyingly realistic dystopian read

the handmaid's tale book cover

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a classic 1985 dystopian novel where women are only valued as reproductive vessels. Offred, who isn’t even allowed to read, is the Commander’s handmaid, praying she gets pregnant for him each month in this convincing and terrifying world.

A YA dystopian read where humanity has conquered death

scythe book cover

“Scythe” by Neal Shushterman, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.92

“Scythe” is the first in a trilogy where humanity has conquered disease, hunger, and death. Scythes are now the only thing that can end life and control the population. When Citran and Rowan are unwillingly chosen to learn the way of the Scythe, they must master the “art” — or risk being killed. 

A supernatural dystopian novel

trail of lightning book cover

“Trail of Lightning” by Rebecca Roanhorse, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99

This award-winning novel is set in a climate dystopia, where the oceans have dramatically risen and drowned much of the world. Supernaturally gifted, Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter on a former Navajo reservation, unraveling clues from ancient legends on the hunt for a missing girl.

A 1993 dystopian novel set in the very near future

parable of the sower cover

“Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.26

First published in 1993, Octavia E. Butler’s book imagined the world in 2025 collapsing into anarchy beneath disease, war, and a water shortage. Lauren lives with her family in a safe neighborhood outside of Los Angeles as her preacher father attempts to help as many people as he can. When a fire destroys her home, Lauren is thrust into the dangerous world and must find a path to safety and salvation. 

A classic dystopian read of genetically-modified citizens

brave new world book cover

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.55

This dystopian classic, first published in 1932, is set in an imagined World State where humans are genetically modified and engineered through artificial wombs. Anticipating radical advances in technology and psychological manipulation, this is a startling read where a single individual challenges a complex dystopia. 

A novel of a dystopian boarding school

never let me go book cover

“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.78

In this powerful and exploratory dystopian novel, Kathy attends an English boarding school called Hailsham where students are well-cared for but taught nothing of the outside world. When Kathy and her two friends leave the school grounds, they discover the horrifying secrets of what Hailsham truly is. 

A post-apocalyptic dystopian adventure novel

legend book cover

“Legend” by Marie Lu, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.68

The first in a four-book series, “Legend” is a sci-fi dystopia set in what was formerly the western United States but is now the Republic, a land constantly at war. June is a military prodigy whose path crosses with Day — the country’s most wanted criminal — when her brother is killed and Day becomes the prime suspect. 

A riveting and well-loved dystopian sci-fi

divergent book cover

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.44

In this dystopian world, society is divided into five virtuous factions: All 16-year-olds must select a faction and devote themselves to its virtue. Torn between her family and her own identity, Beatrice makes a surprising choice and struggles with her transformation. 

A dystopia featuring a deeply divided America

the resisters book cover

“The Resisters” by Gish Jen, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.99 

In a near-future “AutoAmerica” half underwater, civilization is divided into the “Netted” who occupy the high ground and the “Surplus” who live in the low swamps. Born to Surplus parents, Gwen is an athlete with outstanding talent who is recruited as AutoAmerica rejoins the Olympics in this story of humanity, family values, and dangerous divisions. 

A novel set in a dystopia of internment camps

internment book cover

“Internment” by Samira Ahmed, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.65

In a dystopian near-future United States, Layla and her family are forced into an interment camp for Muslim Americans, fighting to escape with the help of free outsiders and fellow imprisoned citizens. Layla leads a revolution in this powerful and painfully realistic novel. 

A grotesque and haunting dystopian thriller

tender is the flesh book cover

“Tender Is the Flesh” by Agustina Bazterrica, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.40

This terrifying thriller is set in a dystopia where people now eat “special meat” after a virus made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Marcos works at a processing plant for special meat, dissociated from the realities of the “product” until he begins to feel compassion for a new specimen.

A stunning young adult dystopian novel

sanctuary book cover

“Sanctuary” by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19

Written by the co-founder of the Women’s March, “Sanctuary” is a YA novel set in 2032, where all Americans are chipped and closely tracked, making survival for undocumented immigrants nearly impossible. Vali is living in Vermont when her mother’s counterfeit microchip malfunctions and her family is forced to flee as the Deportation Forces raid their town. 

A dystopian read set in near-future China

an excess male book cover

“An Excess Male” by Maggie Shen King, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.99

Set in near-future China, the Chinese population is overwhelmed by 40 million men after the One Child Policy left society favoring sons. In this fascinating and emotional read, Wei-guo is an unmarried man on a quest for love as he’s constantly reminded of his dispensable status. 

An intense, contemporary dystopian read

the road book cover

“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.95

“The Road” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a father and a son traveling through the post-apocalyptic remains of a burned America, hoping to find something better when they reach the coast. Intense and memorable, this dystopian read is a contemporary classic. 

A classic dystopian novel of outlawed books

fahrenheit 451 book cover

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.29

First published in 1953, “Fahrenheit 451” is a classic set in a dystopian world where books are illegal and firemen are employed to burn literature in order to control what society can learn. The main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman who steals books from the burnings and questions everything he’s been told as he begins to read. 

A haunting, apocalyptic dystopian read

station eleven book cover

“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.38

A 2014 National Book Award Finalist, “Station Eleven” is a dystopian novel revered for its haunting and memorable speculation. When a Hollywood star dies during a production of “King Lear,” civilization begins to collapse into a wasteland, as the story traverses between the actor’s past and 15 years in the future where a group of actors roams the desolate wasteland that remains. 

A notorious dystopian novel

a clockwork orange book cover

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.89

“A Clockwork Orange” is a dystopian, violent imagination of the near future from 1962. Alex is a 15-year-old leader of an ultra-violent gang who finds opportunities to inflict horrors after dark. This quick read follows Alex as he is arrested, undergoes aversion therapy, and walks the line between freedom and free will. 

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