Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
This novel introduces two unforgettable characters: Grady Tripp, a former publishing prodigy now lost in a fog of pot and passion and stalled in the midst of his endless second book, and Grady's student, James Leer, a budding writer obsessed with Hollywood self-destruction and struggling with his own searching heart. It is a deft parody of the American fame factory and a piercing portrait of young and old desire.
Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
A.D. 69. Nero is dead. The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The year of four emperors will change everything--especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome. Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. Her sister, Marcella, is more withdrawn, content to witness history rather than make it. But when a bloody coup turns their world upside down, Cornelia and Marcella must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be on Emperor... and one Empress.