Top 5 Sidney Sheldon Books
One of the first books I ever read during my teen years was called "The Stars Shine Down" by Sidney Sheldon. Ever since reading that book, I've been obsessed with collecting the rest of his books.
There is something about the way that he writes, and how he portrays his leading characters that make reading his books so captivating and addictive - it's almost impossible to put down any of his books once you've started reading them!
The Man Behind the Name - Sidney Sheldon
(1917 - 2007)
Sidney Sheldon was one of the world's most loved and highest earning authors - in fact, he is the 7th best selling author of all time.
An author of 18 novels (that have sold over 300 million copies), Sidney Sheldon started his career in writing television scripts - and has written over 200 scripts for various TV shows.
Born in Chicago, Illinois to Ascher "Otto" Schechtel, a Russian Jewish ancestor and Natalie Marcus, he sold his first piece of writing at the age of 10 - charging $5 for a poem that he wrote.
Sidney Sheldon changed his surname from Schechtel to Sheldon to appeal to a bigger audience for his writing.
He writes predominantly for a female audience, as most of his characters are heroines. During an interview, when asked why he mainly writes for women, he was quoted as saying: "I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power — their femininity, because men can't do without it."
A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to him in 1994.
Book Themes and Writing Genre
Sidney Sheldon's books center mainly around a female lead character.
They are built on suspense, and he has confessed in interviews that he writes about interesting people who are caught in dangerous situations.
He tries to keep the reader guessing until the very end of the book, so that it's very difficult to put down.
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My Personal Favourite Sidney Sheldon Books
1. The Stars Shine Down
Hands down, this has to be one of the best books ever written - well, I think so anyway. This story begins in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and you are introduced to the main character of the book, Lara Cameron.
Lara doesn't come from a loving home. She tries in vain throughout her childhood years to gain the love of her father - a drunk, who verbally abuses her and couldn't care less about what happens to her.
However, soon after these opening scenes, you soon realize that Lara is not prepared to live the life that was paved out for her. She's young and beautiful, and uses an inner strength and determination to claw her way to the top, fighting off the demons of her past and the men who try to abuse her, both mentally and physically.
She finds fortune after conquering the male-dominated real estate market, as well as love when she marries a world-famous concert pianist, but Lara is unable to foresee that there is a terrifying, uncontrollable force from her past, bent on destroying everything that she has created, and everything she values in life.
Review Score: 9/10
2. Rage of Angels
In this book, you're introduced to Jennifer Parker - a brilliant, beautiful and bold lawyer who begins her career in New York, as somewhat of a scatterbrain. Few people take her seriously, and she is almost disbarred due to her innocence in accepting an envelope of information from an unbeknownst member of a large Mafia family.
It isn't long before she begins dominating the courtroom with her sparkling intelligence and persuasive charms. This captures the attention of a very much married Adam Warner who is set to become the next President of the United States. If this love match wasn't complicated enough, she also finds herself attracted to Michael Moretti - leader of one of New York's largest Mafia families, and also the defendant of Jennifer's first case.
You're taken on a roller-coaster of a ride, as you uncover the journey to the top of Jennifer's career, right down to the depths of her depression once she realizes she's pregnant. It soon becomes clear that she's become vulnerable to those that seek out to destroy her, and it's the life of her child that pulls her out of her misery, and gives her the courage to try and take down those who are out to get her.
Review Score: 10/10
3. The Sands of Time
In this book, you are taken on a journey with four nuns who find themselves thrust into the hostile world - a world that they chose to leave behind - after their convent is attacked. They unwillingly become pawns in the struggle between Jaime Miro, leader of the outlawed Basque nationalists, and Colonel Acoca of the Spanish army.
The four nuns are:
- Sister Teresa - a nun who is almost 60 years old and who's lived in the convent for 30 years. She chose to convert her life to that of a nun to forget, after her fiancé left her and eloped with her more beautiful sister - a sister who spent her life trying to overshadow Teresa.
- Sister Lucia - daughter of an Italian Mafia boss, Lucia lost everything when one of her young lovers turned in her father and brothers. She seeks revenge and poisons the judge who put away her family. She attempts to flee the country from the police who are out to capture her, and seeks refuge by hiding in the convent.
- Sister Graciela - daughter of a whore. Graciela became aware of her exotic and beautiful looks, and at the age of 14 discovered her sexuality when she was caught sleeping with her mother's boyfriend. Graciela joined the convent as she had no other place to live, after her mother attacked and threw her out of the house.
- Sister Megan - a tomboy, was discovered on a farm after being abandoned and soon afterwards brought up in an orphanage. Megan joins the convent at the age of 15 because she loves going to church. You will learn that Megan's real name is Patricia, and that she has inherited a fortune from her biological family.
The faith, beliefs and morals of each of these four women are tested as they fight for survival, discover love and build life-long friendships during their time on the run.
Review Score: 9/10
4. Windmills of the Gods
In this book, you will meet Mary Ashley - a professor at Kansas State University who is offered an ambassadorship by the President of the United States. She turns down the position because her husband doesn't want to leave his medical practice and she doesn't want to be separated from him.
Her husband dies suddenly in a (suspicious) traffic accident, and she decides to accept the position in order to fill the void in her life.
Sent to Romania, she finds herself being conspired against by almost everyone she meets. Although she is the new US Ambassador to an Iron Curtain country, she soon realizes that she's been marked for death by the world's most skilled assassin.
She's forced to fight for her life, as she is plunged into a world of kidnapping, espionage and terror.
Review Score: 8/10
5. Master of the Game
Kate Blackwell is the lead character in this story. You'll be introduced to her in the first scene as she looks back on her life at her lavish 90th birthday party.
Spanning six generations, you will be taken on a journey with Kate that begins with her Scottish father, Jamie McGregor who travels to South Africa to make his fortune in diamonds.
You will get a sense of who Kate is - a beautiful, strong willed and manipulative woman, as she reminices about the great loves of her life, her struggle to dominate her empire, the ghosts of her past, and a life of blackmail, deceit and murder in a series of flashbacks.
Review Score: 9/10
Sidney Sheldon's Novels
The Naked Face
The Other Side of Midnight
A Stranger in the Mirror
Rage of Angels
Master of the Game
If Tomorrow Comes
Windmills of the Gods
The Sands of Time
Memories of Midnight
The Doomsday Conspiracy
The Stars Shine Down
Nothing Lasts Forever
Morning, Noon and Night
The Best Laid Plans
Tell Me Your Dreams
The Sky is Falling
Are You Afraid of the Dark?