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Top 5 Must-Read Books By Philadelphia Authors

There is an eclectic selection of top reads from Philadelphia-based authors. From science fiction to self help, these hand-picked gems are sure to satisfy your page-turning cravings while supporting local talent, both past and present.


"Modern Classics of Science Fiction" by Gardner Dozois

Gardner Dozois
(credit: St. Martin's Griffin)

Available at: Joseph Fox Book Shop
1724 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103 (between 17th and 18th Streets)
(215) 563-4184
Hours: Mon to Sat -9:30 a.m to 6 p.m., Wed -9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun - Closed

Gardner Dozois is an award-winning American science fiction author and editor who began his career in the early 1970s, primarily as an editor. Over the years, he has amazed his audiences with both fiction and non-fiction stories, essays and reviews. He currently resides in Philadelphia.

Dozois' "Modern Classics of Science Fiction" takes us through 26 short, science fiction stories by various authors including his insightful commentary in the preface. The excerpt from the book's preface reads: "The best stories are timeless. Long years from now the stories here may still touch someone, cause that person to blink, and put the book down for a second, and stare off through the hallow air, and shiver in wonder."

"Save Me" by Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline
(credit: St. Martin's Press)

Available at: Robin's Books
110A S 13th St
Philadelphia PA, 19107
(215) 735-9600
Hours: Mon to Thurs -11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri to Sat -11 a.m to 8 p.m., Sun -Closed

Lisa Scottoline is an award-winning bestseller who has published 18 novels. She also serves as the President of the Mystery Writers of America and shares a weekly column with her daughter entitled "Chick Wit." Her long list of accomplishments is available on her website.

Scottoline's "Save Me" draws readers into the depths of a mother's love with pulse pounding, nerve wracking intensity. Her characters will lead you through every shocking turn of events.

Related: Top Places To Buy Books For College Students

"I Choose To Stay" by Salome Thomas-El

I Choose To Stay
(credit: Kensington Publishing)

Available at: IA Bookstore & Design Center
1218 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 569-318
Hours: Mon to Sat -10 a.m to 6 p.m., Sun -12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Salome homas-El is a regular guest on the "Dr. Oz show" and currently travels around the country visiting schools to meet with principals and teachers, educating them on ways to motivate students and keep them on the path to success. Dr. Oz has called Thomas-El a "superstar educator" and credits him with helping to aid in "revolutionizing how we teach kids."

Thomas-Eloffers an inspiring memoir of his 25 years as a teacher and principal in the Philadelphia School District. Not only does his memoir tell heartwarming stories of youth struggles, but also educates the reader on the importance of mentoring and making a difference in your community. Actor and Philadelphia native Will Smith has said of Thomas-El's "I Choose To Stay": "If you finish this book and are not inspired to immediately go out and effect change in your community, then you were not paying attention and should read it again."

"Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life" by Martin Seligman E.P.

Martin Seligman
(credit: Vintage Books)

Available at: Brickbat Books
709 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 592-1207
Hours: Tues to Sat -11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun -11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon -Closed

Martin Seligman will bring a big change to your life through this work. It is jam-packed with valuable tools to guide you in becoming more optimistic and generally happy. He teaches us all to focus on our individual signature strengths, and by doing so, says we will boost our immune systems and better develop our potential, thus helping us to become happier. Seligman has decades of clinical experience and has been considered the father of the new science of positive psychology. He has made it his life's mission to explore and explain why and how to be happy.

"A Disorder Peculiar to the Country" by Ken Kalfus

Ken Kalfus
(credit: Harper Perennial)

Available at: Head House Books
619 S 2nd St
Philadelphia PA 19147
(215) 923-9525

Hours: Mon -11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tues to Thurs -11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri and Sat -11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun -11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ken Kalfus provides a great fictional story of a couple on the brink of divorce during the events of September 11th in his book "A Disorder Peculiar to the Country." Comical, emotional and unexpected, his characters will entertain you and draw out some laughs in this eccentric work. Kalfus has written two novels and has also published two collections of stories. Born in New York, he currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife.

Related: Top Indie Bookshops In Philadelphia

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