Five Millions-Approved Books You Can Read on Oyster

June 5, 2015 | 4 2 min read

Oyster is the best way to read books digitally. For just $9.95 a month, you can read as many books in the Oyster Unlimited library (over a million in total, far more than what Kindle Unlimited offers), all within the most beautiful reading app ever designed. It works across your devices—iPhone, iPad, Android, the Kindle Fire, and the web—and it’s the only digital browsing experience that comes anywhere close to the feel of your local bookstore. And since all Millions readers are smart, discerning people of impeccable literary taste, you can try it for free for a month here.

But with a million books at your fingertips, where should you start? Why not start with a few favorites from The Millions.

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald: “H is for Hawk is not a mystical book, but it is one of those rare works of non-fiction that stand up to a metaphorical reading. The echoes of myth in Macdonald’s writing, however subtle and unobtrusive, lend her book an emotional weight usually reserved only for literature, and a grace only for poetry.” — Madeleine Larue

Speedboat by Renata Adler: “Adler’s brief, punchy wit reads, perhaps, better today than it did 35 years ago. Scrolling through news bits and status updates between passages of Speedboat, I’m floored by how the novel reads as a somewhat verbose Twitter feed. That is, verbose for Twitter. Succinct for anything else.” — Eric Dean Wilson

Young Skins by Colin Barrett: “This collection, winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Guardian First Book Award, wastes no motion in its unsparing look at youth and masculinity in the small towns of the west.” — Garth Risk Hallberg

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay: “[M]oral complexity, its denial of easy schematics, turns An Untamed State into something more than good fiction, which it is, and arrives at something approximating, in a larger sense, truth.” — Aboubacar Ndiaye

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner: “Kushner’s fiction is so stuffed with characters, events, stories, history, information — it is so alive in its own specific imagined worlds — that it seems to want to burst. But it never does. And that may be the main reason why Rachel Kushner is well on her way to huge.” — Bill Morris

And if you’re interested in books outside of the subscription library, the Oyster Store has got you covered too. Purchase new releases—like say titles off the Millions Top 10, like My Brilliant Friend, All the Light We Cannot See, or The Girl on the Train—and they’ll automatically sync to all your devices. It’s just as convenient and budget-friendly as shopping on Amazon, except it doesn’t feel like you’re shopping deep within a desolate warehouse.

This post was created in partnership with The Millions and supports the The Millions’ efforts to be the premier independent online magazine covering books, arts, and culture.

are created in partnership with The Millions and supports the The Millions' efforts to be the premier independent online magazine covering books, arts, and culture.


  1. Or you could go to the library and get them for free. What a concept, huh? All the books in the world, free, whenever you want them. Wow. Whoever thought of that must be a genius.

  2. So interesting but I just don’t get “The Flamethrowers” — why is this on everyone’s list of greatness? What did I miss?

  3. You didn’t miss anything. All the hype around Flamethrowers was obviously generated by a PR machine. When a book sucks but gets glowing reviews anyway you know something is up. Those glowing reviews, I personally think, were either purchased or the result of her knowing a bunch of people and being connected to the Machine, or else the result of some misguided desire to bring up a female writer because, well, VIDA, gender, blah blah blah, FEAR. It’s stuck at 50% read on my Kindle, and even that was a slog. Anyways, you’re not alone in not getting that book.

    “Just (one of) six pussies.”

  4. @JZero: Phew, I was starting to doubt myself! I mean, it wasn’t the worst thing I ever read, and some parts were interesting but at the end of the day it didn’t seem to warrant all the hype. And gee, there are so many other great books out there by both XX’s and XY’s — I hope you are are wrong about gender being the cause! I just want to read great stuff, regardless of chromosome assignment. Anyway, thanks for the feedback — it has soothed my ruffled brow! Cheers!

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