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In 2010, author Jonathan Franzen's celebrity status kicked into overdrive with the release of Freedom, which ended up at the top of numerous critics' year-end lists. With the public spotlight on him, the Illinois native's strong opinions about everything from social media to e-books were heard and turned him into a controversial figure.

In Farther Away, a collection of essays and speeches Franzen has written and given over the last five years, his passionate thoughts are given an official, unfiltered platform, allowing Franzen to eloquently discuss the suicide of friend and fellow writer David Foster Wallace, opine over the effects of technology on human interactions, and put on his investigative reporter's hat to address the harsh realities he saw firsthand in China.

Those looking to see what all the Jonathan Franzen fuss is about should start here. Once Farther Away's fearless and ever-so-clean prose dominates you, you'll rush to pick up copies of The Corrections and Freedom. Just not in e-book form, of course.