Friday, February 18, 2011

Read Alike: Ken Follett

Ken Follett is the author of over twenty books that range from spy thrillers to epic multi-generational Historical novels. His most recent novel, Fall of Giants, is the first in a planned trilogy that will follow five families, starting with the upheaval of World War I. Mr. Follett started his career as a newspaper reporter in his native Wales, but he quickly moved to writing fiction. His first books were not very popular, and often published under a variety of pseudonyms; he achieved his first best seller in 1978 with The Eye of the Needle, a spy thriller set during World War II. His books are characterized by their richly detailed settings that display his attention to research.

You can read more about his background here: Ken Follett's Biography (pdf)

Ken Follett also provides book recommendations on his website: "What I've been reading"

Other authors you might enjoy reading as you wait for Ken Follett's next novel:

Robert Harris is an English author who also started his career in news media. His first books were non-fiction, but his most recent works have been political thrillers, most notably The Ghost, which was adapted as the movie The Ghost Writer. If you prefer historical fiction, check out Imperium, the first in a trilogy of books set in ancient Rome.

Jeffrey Archer is a former British politician known for his plot-driven, fast-paced suspense stories of politics and espionage, as well as his memoirs of his time in prison for perjury. The Eleventh Commandment is the story of a man who finds it difficult to retire from the CIA..

Jack Higgins writes Adventures novels, filled with suspense and historical details. The Eagle has Landed is the story of a German attempt to kidnap Churchill during World War II, and the first of his books to feature Liam Devlin.

Edith Pargeter is better known by her pen name, Ellis Peters, which she used to write her Brother Cadfael mysteries. Fans of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth might enjoy Ms. Pargeter's The Heaven Tree Trilogy which tells a family of stone carvers quest to build a cathedral in 12th century England.

Frederick Forsyth specializes in spy suspense stories, while many of his novels are set in the present-day, he is known to write for a historical setting. The Veteran: five heart-stopping stories is a selection of his short stories set in a variety of time periods.

Edward Rutherfurd is known for his large scale historical family sagas that, despite their large page counts, engage readers with drama both large and small. The Forest is set in southern England, and follows five families from the year 1099 to the 20th century.

Conn Iggulden writes fast-paced and somewhat violent novels about historical military leaders. His Julius Ceaser series starts with Emperor: the gates of Rome, and his Genghis Khan series starts with Genghis: birth of an empire.

The descendant of English aristocracy, Juliet Nicolson worked in publishing for many years before turning to history. Her first book, The Perfect Summer, covers the dynamic period immediately prior to the first World War, including George V's coronation and debilitating strikes by English factory workers.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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