Curtis Sittenfeld burst onto the literary scene back in 2005 with her debut novel, Prep. With the release of each of her subsequent, well-received books—Man of My Dreams, American Wife and, now, Sisterland—she has stumped those wanting to relegate her to any one category of writers.

Sisterland introduces readers to twin sisters Kate and Violet. Just about the only thing they have in common is their psychic ability, with which Vi is predicting a massive earthquake that will devastate the city of St. Louis. Our reviewer declares the book to be "another Sittenfeld novel to savor, ponder and recommend to friends."

We asked Sittenfeld to tell us about three books she's enjoyed reading, and here are her recommendations: 

Age of MiraclesThe Age of Miracles
By Karen Thompson Walker


What prompted you to read it?
It's a book that's sort of about a natural disaster and is sort of surreal (daylight and darkness inexplicably keep getting longer, destroying our current 24-hour cycles) yet is also very grounded in typical suburban life. I received an advance copy while I was working on a novel [Sisterland] that's sort of about a natural disaster and is sort of surreal (a psychic predicts that a devastating earthquake will hit St. Louis) yet is also very grounded in typical suburban life. So I guess it was professionally narcissistic curiosity that prompted me?!


Why do you recommend it?
It's told from the perspective of a 10-year-old girl and the voice is very convincing and not at all annoying, as child or tween voices often can be in fiction. It's beautifully written. And the premise is fascinating. I still think about this book whenever there's weird weather, which is often these days.


yonahlosseeridingcampThe Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
By Anton DiSclafani


What prompted you to read it?
Well, I'm friends with the author. But I'm definitely not faking my love for this book!


Why do you recommend it?
In 1930, after causing a scandal at home, a 16-year-old named Thea gets sent from her native Florida to a fancy equestrian finishing school in the mountains of North Carolina. And let's just say her scandalous behavior is far from finished. Filled with sex and debutauntes, this book is very juicy on many levels.


The AttackThe Attack
By Yasmina Khadra


What prompted you to read it?
It's about an Arab-Israeli doctor living in Tel Aviv whose wife may or may not have been a suicide bomber. After her death, he tried to figure out the truth. Reading fiction set in places of current political or religious upheaval allows me to feel like I understand complicated situations a little better.


Why do you recommend it?
It makes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict personal in ways that news reports don't. Interestingly, the author openly writes under a pseudonym: He's a man named Mohammed Moulessehoul (a former Algerian army officer who lives in France) writing as Yasmina Khadra.


What do you think, readers? Do you plan on reading Sisterland or any of Sittenfeld's recommendations?

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