2011 Summer Reading list
As always, thanks to Chris Robinson and John Ernst for
co-hosting our reading list call-in program and contributing so many great
titles to the list. And, special thanks to Sarah Harris for joining us at the
table to bring her twenty-something perspective to the conversation. She's a natural.
Listen for her on future shows.
Here then, suggestions from staff and listeners. If you
can't find anything here to appeal to your summer reading appetites, visit the
--Ellen Rocco (always accepting your book suggestions
Ellen Rocco, NCPR station manager and co-host Readers
- The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman. Recommended by
John Ernst when it first came out a few years ago, now in paperback. Oh,
Rachman nails it: the people who work at or publish an English-language
newspaper based in Rome. A novel comprised of chapters told from each
character's perspective, and each voice is spot on.
- A Drop of Ink, Dale Hobson. Dale is NCPR's web
manager. That's his day job. But Dale is a natural poet—he observes, he sees
and he turns it all into gems even those who eschew poetry can read and
re-read. This is worth your time. Find out more about Dale at his website: dalehobson.org
- Savage City: Race, Murder and a Generation on the Edge,
T. J. English. A history of New York City in the 1960s-70s that focuses on the
turmoil and upheaval of that time through the lens of three key people of the
era: a black man falsely arrested and tried for the murder of two prominent,
young white women, a Black Muslim leader, and a corrupt homicide detective. If
you're unfamiliar with NYC during that time, this is an interesting portal into
an extraordinary decade; if you knew the city at that time, this will evoke
memories and fill in pieces of the story you may never have known.
- Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth,
Curt Stager. Curt, of course, is co-host of "Natural Selections" on NCPR. He is
also a professor at Paul Smiths College and he brings a scientist's eye to the
issue of climate change and global warming. This is truly the long view. He
puts the human impact on planet Earth in perspective.
Chris Robinson, Clarkson University and co-host Readers
This summer has been a harried one. I'm about to embark on
a yearlong break from my teaching duties at Clarkson and my hosting gig here at Readers and Writers on the Air. Beginning in August, I will be teaching and
researching environmental politics at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea.
Then I have research positions in both Burlington and Portland (Oregon) in the
The reading I have been doing is largely in preparation for this
ambitious year of travel and work. But I have been going to books that provide
me an escape from all the logistics and pressures that come with transition. I
have been working to become better acquainted with literature that responds to
LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer) sexuality and issues.
This focus will be reflected in my list.
The timing seems good given the recent
passage of the same sex marriage law in New York. While this gives people we
love the same right to form a marital bond that heterosexual couples have
enjoyed (three or four times over on occasion), many writing in and about LGBTQ
sexuality are less than sanguine about marriage as an institution and how it
might function to domesticate sexual relations and normalize marriage as the
only acceptable relationship between two people. And so the struggle to expand
the boundaries and smash the old categories of gender and sexuality will
continue in politics and in literature. Keep reading!
Literature, Poetry and Belles Lettres
Isherwood, Diaries, 1960-1969. Most people know Isherwood through his
stories of Berlin that became the basis for the musical play (and film) Caberet.
If you've read those stories, then you know the beauty, pain and clarity of
Isherwood's literary works. In these Diaries, the main focus is Isherwood's
relationship with Don Bachardy, a man thirty years his junior. The relationship
is strained and challenged from many directions, but through the decade it
emerged as strong, loving and committed as any I have ever seen. The emotional
depths of the entries on this relationship are plumbed throughout the diaries,
but you can glimpse it in Isherwood's novelistic masterpiece, A Single Man.
I read this novel in one sitting, and now I will bar myself from seeing the
recent film version (starring Colin Firth) because no movie could possibly
capture the complex intimacy of this book.
Bellow, Letters. I have not read a Saul Bellow novel since Ravelstein first came out in 2000. For a while, I was a bit fanatical about Bellow's
novels, and then the ardor cooled. This collection of Bellow's letters
reignited the flame, however. I don't know what I was expecting. I had heard
that Bellow was a difficult man – you can ask his four wives – and the letters
display his deep love for writing, the strength of his literary convictions,
and his willingness to sacrifice friendships for his particular version of the
truth. At the same time, Bellow comes across as loving, warm, and capable of
being a good companion.
- The Letters of Jack Kerouac and Allen
Ginsberg. I had been looking forward to reading this collection for
months. But I wanted to wait for the summer to pick it up. Here are Kerouac
and Ginsberg in their early twenties (Kerouac) and teens (Ginsberg) striking up
a conversation that would last for decades. They both knew their correspondence
would be important to the history of American literature, and so they kept it
all despite the messiness of their lives, the travels, and the occasional
fallings out. As you read, you witness the rise of the so-called "Beat
Generation" and the growing stardom of both writers through the critical
success of On the Road and the trial of "Howl." Both Kerouac and
Ginsberg are guilty of self-absorption and hubris, but their letters surprise
occasionally with great warmth, a willingness to sacrifice everything for art,
and even self-effacement.
Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Slaughterhouse Five,
and Breakfast of Champions. Last summer I planned to read a lot of
Vonnegut, but I never got around to it. This year, thanks to the good people
at Library of America, the impetus to read Vonnegut received a kick in the form
of a beautiful first volume of his collected writings. These are the novels of
the sixties and early seventies. Future volumes will go back to the start of
his novel and story writing career, and into latter works too. It should
probably be four volumes in all.
K. Dick, Collected Works. While I'm talking about Library of America
projects, this collection of novels by Phillip K. Dick is edited and introduced
by Jonathan Lethem. It makes a great gift for the science fiction nut in your
family. The early novels – those written before the onset of alcoholism and
insanity – are the best.
McCarthy, The Border Trilogy. McCarthy will be, and you heard it here
first, the next American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. All
the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain are keys to
understanding his greatness as a writer. These books all take place on the
U.S./Mexico border in the forties and fifties when this land was frontier and
the boundaries separating the two countries was, well, porous. Land, horses,
wolves, religion, language, and weather all occupy central places in these
books. They form the human characters of the novels, forge virtues and
challenge them, and leave us with memorable images of courage, honor,
independence, and love. Borders of the flesh, soul and geography abound.
Hynes, Kings of Infinite Space and Next. A few years ago I named
Hynes' A Lecturer's Tale my top pick for the summer reading show. I
also liked his Publish and Perish. I came to regard him as the novelist
of the college campus. But these two books are departures from academic
themes. The book I really want to talk about is Next. This is a day in
the life of man who is traveling to Texas for a job interview. We follow him
through the day, and the subject matter is both mundane and funny. But there
is real danger lurking in the background. I will leave it at this: Nothing
prepares you for what happens. It is a shock that left me near tears and in
utter awe of Hynes' talent as a writer.
Saramago, Blindness. I have a thing for communist novelists, what can I
say? I loved this novel, which opens with a man finding himself suddenly blind
while sitting in his car at a traffic light. The cause of the blindness is
something communicable and soon large portions of the population are cast into
darkness. This darkness is physical, but bleeds into the moral and political
spheres as well. Dependence and fear vie with one another in the halls of a
hastily constructed isolation camp and eventually in the streets of the city.
How strong is your morality and sense of identity? This is the question at the
heart of the book.
Wojnarowicz, Close to the Knives and The Waterfront Journals.
Wojnarowicz is known primarily as a visual artist. His NEA-funded works angered
a number of conservatives in Congress who had their own attenuated view of what
counts as art. Jesse Helms for one liked "nice pictures." Wojnarowicz had a
tough adolescence and youth. He spent much of his youth hustling and
hitchhiking. These memoirs explore the violence he endured as a consequence of
his sexuality and his poverty. They flesh out some of the artistic ambitions on
display in his short films, drawings and paintings.
Myles, Inferno. This is a memoir and work of poetry all in one. I
picked it up after reading Patti Smith's Just Kids because I was not
ready to leave NYC in the early seventies just yet. Myles' life was tougher
and far less romantic than Smith's, however. She recounts her growing into her
lesbianism and her poetry in the starkest of terms. You get to watch as the
life lived close to poverty's and (hetero)sexism's edges are shaped into
verse. Life and work are connected beautifully in this most unorthodox memoir.
Did I mention how funny Myles can be?
White, My Lives and The Burning Library. White is a profound
chronicler of gay culture and activism from pre-Stonewall days where
homosexuality was regarded as a mental disorder amenable to psychiatric
treatment through the age of AIDs. The title of his essay collection, The
Burning Library refers to the knowledge and stories lost with each person
who dies of AIDs. His autobiographical writings are designed to counter these
Larkin, Collected Poems. It is amazing to me how many writers regard
Larkin as their favorite poet. One of the nice effects of a good collection of
a poet's work is that you can see for yourself what all the fuss is about. No
one writes about the sexual revolution and the disappointments of middle age
like Philip Larkin.
Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara. One of David Wojnarowicz's best known
paintings is a frontal nude of Frank O'Hara. At his best, O'Hara can get
beneath the skin and bare something deep and important about what it is to be
K. Smith, Life on Mars. I first heard Smith reading from this
collection on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Smith's father worked on the
Hubble, and the poems are inspired by images from the telescope. She was also
pregnant while writing many of the poems. The result is a series of cyclical
verses reflecting on connections between the life within and the wideness of
the space without. Lovely.
Politics, Philosophy, and Culture
Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class. Hedges is becoming prolific. It is
hard to keep up. But he is our answer to the prophets of the Old Testament
railing poignantly about what is wrong with the United States and what we can
do to reverse the course we are on. In this book, Hedges decries the belief
that cost benefit analysis is what really counts as thinking at the expense of
moral and political reflection. He locates the origin of this impoverishment of
thought in the demise of the liberal class. In doing this, he brings great
thinkers from the past – Randolph Bourne, Reinhold Niebuhr, C. Wright Mills,
among others -- back from dead to stand as exemplars about what thinking and
culture can and should be.
Dosse, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Intersecting Lives. I'm
treading on dangerous ground here. Normally, I don't include books that I read
for my work in political theory in these lists. But this one is special. There
is a lot of esoterica regarding French culture, politics, psychiatry, and
philosophy in this thick, richly documented volume. But it is also about an
amazing collaboration between two thinkers that resulted in works that
represented significant and creative departures in the writings of both men.
You may never care to read Anti-Oedipus or A Thousand Plateaus,
but you glimpse how friendship and political turmoil fuel the creative process
in this wonderful cultural history of late twentieth century France.
Armatta, Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic.
The creation of the International Criminal Court is a relatively recent event
and a precarious tool for the punishment of those involved in crimes against
humanity. To prove itself capable of something more than symbolic gestures in
the name of international justice, the ICC needed to prosecute Milosevic for
war crimes and genocide. Armatta is an able and knowledgeable chronicler of
the politics and civil wars leading to the dissolution of the former
Yugoslavia, Milosevic's rise to power, and his demise in a cell in The Hague.
Bales and Ron Soodalter, The Slave Next Door. There are more slaves
today than there were in 1860. It is a problem so pervasive that it may be
occurring in the neighborhoods of Potsdam, Canton, and the other communities of
the North Country. Documenting slavery as it exists in the United States – the
number one stop for sex traffickers in the world – is the mission of this
book. Bales and Soodalter work hard to distinguish debt slavery from plain bad
working conditions, assess local and non-governmental attempts to eradicate
slavery, and examine the success of federal and state legislation designed to
criminalize contemporary forms of slavery. Finally, they offer a useful guide
for how to detect slavery and what citizens can do to thwart this affront to
all that is good and humane.
Marcus, Bob Dylan: Writing, 1968-2010. I read every book Greil Marcus
puts out. I am especially interested in his essays on Bob Dylan, which
includes two book length works published prior to this collection. I am such a
fan of Dylan that when I hear something from him that I don't like, I figure it
is my fault and not his. Marcus is a much better critic of Dylan's work than I,
but he is probably no less a fan. This is a volume that should be on the shelf
of any person who has at least one Dylan record in their collection, and has
read volume one of Chronicles.
Essays of John Berger.
Reading Berger is a result of my plunge into the works of Geoff Dyer last year.
Dyer's first book was on Berger, which Dyer considers one of the dullest books
ever written. He redeems himself with the edited collection he put together of
Berger's essays. What Dyer achieves is nothing less than a comprehensive answer
to the question: How much more does John Berger know than any other human being
alive? From art, to perception, to literature, Berger seems to have read
everything, observed connections between even the most discordant of ideas and
movements, and attained a high degree of mastery over it all.
Scarry, Rule of Law, Misrule of Man. Scarry is known best for her
brilliant study, The Body in Pain. This is a book composed of essays
she wrote for the Boston Review. Should members of the Bush
Administration be tried for violations of international law and the rules of
engagement in the wake of the preemptive war in Iran, the passage of the
Patriot Act, and the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and GITMO. This short
book presents a compelling case that the war on Terror has become an excuse to
nullify the rule of law, international and domestic.
Seligman, Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me. This small study of
Susan Sontag and Pauline's Kael's respective approaches to culture won a
National book Award a couple of years ago. It is an immensely interesting examination
of these two important thinkers and critics. Where Sontag drew a strict
division between serious art and "kitsch," Kael had a wide and interesting list
of works, sacred and profane, that she loved. There is no real reason for
comparing these two critics. The tie that binds is Seligman himself. Reading
can be an act of self-construction, and Seligman shows this.
read a number of defenses of the University in general and the Humanities in
particular. Two of the better ones were Louis Menand's Marketplace of
Ideas, and Martha Nussbaum's Not For Profit. Why must works of art
and literature, and education that emphasizes reading and critical thinking be
threatened in the University of all places? The character of what counts as
knowledge and education has been transformed by market forces that have proven
themselves failures as self-regulating entities repeatedly.
John Ernst, Elk Lake and NYC, co-host Summer Reading
- A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan. This won
the 2010 Pulitzer Award for Fiction. Egan is also the author of The Keep,
Look at Me and the Invisible Circus. In Egan's daring and sometimes
exhilarating novel, time is "the goon squad." Egan's story flips and spins and
back-dives over a forty-year span, following an assortment of rogues who come
out of the world of rock 'n' roll but who veer off in many directions over the
course of the novel. Their stories intersect at odd angles and illuminate each
other with a crazy glow.
- Just Kids, Patti Smith. Winner, National Book Award
for Non-Fiction 2010. Even though Chris had this book as a top choice for the
winter list, I can't resist chiming in for the benefit of anyone who hasn't yet
read it. This is a book so beautiful and genuine it can make you cry. Patti
Smith's story begins with her chance meeting of Robert Mapplethorpe when they
were both penniless kids in Brooklyn looking for a way to express their
impulses to make art. It traces their ultimate success, each in a unique way,
and their friendship until Mapplethorpe's untimely death at the age of 43. Joan
Didion writes: "This book is so honest and pure as to count as a true rapture."
That is it. Patti Smith has burned out all the dross and ended up with a pure
diamond. There is no excess here. There is also no jealousy or self pity or
whining. There is just honesty and openness and sharp observation.
- Room, Emma Donoghue. Also by Donoghue: Slammerkin and The Sealed Letter. This is a story narrated by an intelligent
five-year-old boy about experiences most adults would have difficulty talking
about, let alone living through. Once it catches you in its spell, it is hard
to stop. And the atmosphere of the room stays with you long afterward.
- Lord of Misrule, Jaimy Gordon. Winner, National Book
Award for Fiction 2010. This is the story of the people who make their living
working cheap claiming races at Indian Downs, in her words, "a pokeweed and
poison ivy racecourse" near Wheeling, West Virginia. This is a novel that is
funny, magical and terrifying by turn. The language is sharp, idiosyncratic and
beautiful. It is a strong, rich brew—a book that gives you a taste of a world
that is as distant as Oz. I recommend it without reservation.
- The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara. Pulitzer Prize,
1974. The brilliance of this book is that it looks at the four days of
Gettysburg, perhaps the pivotal battle of the Civil War, through the eyes of
the men who were most directly involved. At the end of the book, through the
heart-breaking portrait of George Pickett's doomed charge, you know the men
involved on both sides and the complex ties between them, many coming from the
same West Point class. To my mind an utterly compelling piece of fiction that
nails the history of Gettysburg for all time.
- The New Yorker Stories, Ann Beattie. This collection
brings together stories written over four decades, from 1974-2006. In these
stories the signposts of the times, such as the drug culture, are very evident
and the stories bristle with references to Balducci's and Aristotle Onassis,
hydroponic tomatoes and Shake "n" Bake chicken, Serpico and Cyndi Lauper. The
flow of the collection is roughly like a life cycle, following the youth
culture through early marriage, children, divorce, and later the grace period
where people have an opportunity to examine their own lives. What is unique is
Beattie's ability to weave a spell. A story starts out in one direction, adds
odd characters and incidents, and ends up in a place you never expected but
experience with a small shock of recognition—an "oh, of course…that's what it
- Selected Stories, William Trevor. This is a
collection of 48 of Trevor's short stories. Trevor, the author of fourteen
novels and many collections of stories, has won multiple prizes and nominations
over the years. His work is not easy to describe. It is not flashy. It is not
stylized. It seems to lack all artifice. It is as clear and crystalline as a
mountain stream. And yet his characters, often people living lives of quiet
resignation, are vivid, and the stories resonate after you put them down.
Trevor's stories at their best give you a complete life in four or five pages.
It's an amazing performance.
Sarah Harris, NCPR news/digital reporter
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian,
- North River, Pete Hamill
- Woodswoman, Anne LaBastille
- The Adirondack Reader, Paul Jamieson, and Neal Burdick, editor
- Nobody's Fool, Richard Rousseau
- The Dirty Life, Kristin Kimball
- Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
- The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar
- A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
- An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
- The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
- The Book of Love, Rumi
- My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk
- The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk
- Other Colors, Orhan Pamuk
Poets--didn't mention them--but they are from VT and really wonderful:
- No Man's Land, Paige Ackerson-Kiely
- Crocus, Karin Gottshall
Jackie Sauter, NCPR program director
Here's what I'm looking forward to reading this summer:
- 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports,
Kostya Kennedy. Remembering the summer of 1941 and why that record might be one
of the greatest in the history of sport.
- Bleeding Heart Square, Andrew Taylor. A noir thriller
set in London in 1934.
Shadows on the Rock, Willa Cather. Set in Quebec City in the late 1700s.
- Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak. If you've only seen the
movie, you need to red the book…there's so much more. Get the
- The Inspector Gamache mysteries by Louise Penney, set
in Montreal and the Quebec Eastern Townships. Wonderful settings, characters
- The Lake of Dreams, Kim Edwards. From the author of
the wonderful The Memory Keeper's Daughter, this new one is set in the
Finger Lakes and will be irresistible to anyone who knows the lakes and western
New York. There's a historical mystery, and a subplot that picks up threads of
the suffragist movement of that part of the state.
Recommendations via web, email and phone
Many people recommended this one via our pre-show
- Upcountry: A Novel, R.M. Doyon. As one person put it:
"A story of two sisters and two lives as they come back together after years of
abuse, success, heartache and trauma. Set by and large in northern NYS.
Heike Saynisch, Madison, WI (former resident of Canton)
- Hello to everybody in the North Country from Madison. I have
been recovering at home from a bike/car collision (I was the bike) and have
read 5 books so far. My favorite:
The Sweetness of Tears, Nafisa Haji.
I was off work for a month this spring, recuperating from
surgery. Here are two books that helped me pass the time.
- The Lonely Polygamist, Brady Udall. Who knew I could
empathize with a polygamist? Laugh out loud, cry a little—you won't want this
book to end.
- Room, Emma Donoghue. Thoroughly original, creepy, and
impossible to put down.
Lynn Mattot, via email
I am reading through the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Series by Alexander McCall Smith. The titles alone are
intriguing and invite you to read about life in Botswana, formerly the British
Protectorate of Bechuanaland and home to the Kalahari Desert. Mme
Ramotswe solves mysteries, ranging from a losing football club to a kidnapped
child. She is guided by her down-to-earth philosophy, e.g., "Of
course Lily Sephotho was foolish, but were we not all foolish, in one way or
another, and did we not all deserve a second, or even a third chance?"
They also provide a
glimpse of life in modern Africa, while occasionally revealing its darker
past. They also illustrate the difference between city life and rural
culture. With my interest in mental health, I was surprised to
learn Botswanans understand modern depression and even prescribe
medication. There are no witch doctors in the city, but still some in the
These books are fun, easy to pick up
and read a chapter or two, yet engrossing enough to keep on reading. I
recommend them for the long, hot summer. Once started with Alexander
McCall Smith, you can keep on going, as he has written several other sets,
including the Isabel Dalhousie and the 44 Scotland Street series. My favorites,
however, are the mysteries of Mme Ramotswe and the No. 1 Ladies' Detective
Here are the titles in order in this series:
- The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
- Tears of the Giraffe
- Morality for Beautiful Girls
- The Kalahari Typing School for Men
- The Full Cupboard of Life
- In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
- Blue Shoes and Happiness
- The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
- The Miracle at Speedy Motors
- Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
- The Double Comfort Safari Club
- The Saturday Big Tent Wedding
Anonymous, via email
- Napoleon's Gold: A Legend of the Saint Lawrence River, Thomas
Pullyblank. If you like this one, you'll also want to read Pullyblank's Cornflower's
Shaw, Middlebury College (and somewhere in
the hidden Adirondack backwoods)
from camp. While I'm thinking of it I can't recommend highly enough Colin
Thubron's To A Mountain in Tibet, about his circumnavigationing Mt.
Kaiias in Tibet. It's his best book, spare, intense, sharply visual, fast
paced, and a classic journey narrative. It moves seamlessly back and forth
between objective observation, historical and cultural exposition, and
subjective feeling, and surrounds factors in the writer's life that give it
special meaning--without those factors impinging on the story at all. I think
it's a book that will last and should be read by all trekkers, walkers, and
others who feel like there is meaning in the naked given world and in specific
Jeanne, somewhere in the
- The Lost Cyclist, David Herlihy
- Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
- Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys, James H. Madison
Fred Goss, via the ether
- That Old Cape Magic, Richard
Russo. A relative lightweight compared to Empire Falls and several
others of his, but a veteran writer in good form…fine summer read.
- Colonel Roosevelt, Edmund
Morris. A superb book, a biography that is a page-turner, the man can really
write. (If you see him on TV talk shows, try to ignore his obviously enormous
ego.) His word picture of TR's funeral with ex-President Taft crying at the
graveside had me in tears as well. But, if you've read the first two in the
series, you already know you must read this one and, if not, begin with The
Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.
- Washington, Ron Chernow.
Deserving of the awards it has won but, honestly, a bit of an 800-page slog. I
think I liked his previous Alexander Hamilton better…perhaps Hamilton's
life had more drama.
- The Captain: The Journey of
Derek Jeter, Ian O' Connor. If, like me, you have champagne on ice waiting
for hit #3000, you'll enjoy this…if not, to paraphrase James Thurber, this book
may tell you more about Derek, his life and career, than you wanted to know.
- George Vecsey of the NY Times has
written a new biography of my boyhood hero, Stan Musial (Stan Musial: An
American Life) that got a nice review in Sports Illustrated. This will be
my fifth biography of Stan (one dates back to the mid-fifties when Stan was
mid-career). Stan was a great ballplayer and was and is, by all accounts, a very
nice person (married to the same girl for over 70 years now), but his life
hasn't been that "interesting"—never feuded with writers, spit at fans, married
a movie idol, etc.
Chris Bigelow, Chazy Lake
- The Glass Room, Simon Mauer.
A novel about what happens over the years from 1920-1990 in a house with a
beautiful glass room. It is based on an actual house designed by a famous
- Lucy, Ellen Feldman. This is
a novel about FDR's affair with Lucy Mercer. According to the book cover, it is
"based on recently discovered materials."
- Bitter in the Mouth, Monique
Truong. Only read this if you have time to read carefully and are not bothered
by the intrusion of the "taste words" that the narrator uses to tell her story.
The line of truth in this novel is, "We all need a story of where we came from
and how we got here. Otherwise, how could we ever put down our tender roots and
- Heidegger's Glasses, Thaisa
Frank. Historical fiction about Jews who saved themselves by being able to translate
and write in different languages. Frank illuminates the Nazi interest in the
occult to create an almost mystical society of scribes.
Jim Tracy, Old Forge
- Life, Keith Richards. This
surprising book is much more than the usual celebrity b—t. It's not self
serving, it's pure. Keef satisfies our prurient curiosity by delivering plenty
of amusing anecdotes, but he also gives us a peek at the creative process
behind The Stones' earth shattering music! And…Life answers the burning
question, "Did Keef have his blood changed?"
Ginger Dunlap-Dietz, via the
- The Hare with the Amber Eyes,
Edwin De Waal. British ceramist Edwin de Waal writes engagingly about his
family's historical connection to a collection of netsuke from the late 19th century acquisition through Japonism in France, Impressionism, the Second World
War, the Jewish diasporo, to Tokyo and finally to England. I am captivated by
the history of the Ephrussi family.
June McKenney, via phone
- Through These Doors: The Story
of a Small Business in the Adirondacks
- Corpse in Armor, Martin
- The Help, Kathryn
- Of Time and An Island,
We're doing cookbooks:
- Man With a Pan,
- The Improvisational
Cook, Sally Schneider
Linda Cohen, Old
In the Adirondack
- Adirondack Nature
Notes: An Adirondack Almanac Sequel, Tom Kalinowski
- Brandreth (author
unclear, and probably out of print)
- The Hare with the
Amber Eyes, Edwin de Waal
- Prodigal Summer,
- Bossypants, Tina
- Poems: Old and New,
Blue Mountain Lake
- Juliet, Naked,
- Night After Night, Diane Starr Cooper
- Disappearances: A
Novel, Howard Mosher
- Walking to Gatlinburg:
A Novel, Howard Mosher
Leslie Ann, Cranberry
- The Bastard of
Istanbul, Elif Shafak
- Forty Rules of Love,
- Infinite Jest,
David Foster Wallace
- The Pale King,
David Foster Wallace
- The Greater Journey:
Americans in Paris, David G. McCullough
Jane, North Creek
- My Faraway One:
Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One,
1915-1933, Georgia O'Keeffe
- Georgia's Bones,
Jen Bryant and Bethanne Anderson
- This Life is in Your
Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone, Melissa Coleman
- My Life and Hard
Times, James Thurber…or anything else by Thurber or Calvin Trillin
- The Last Mall Rat,
Erik E. Esckilsen
Want to add more titles to this list, or talk about books,
or have me post a book-related entry to our ALL IN blog? Contact me: email@example.com.
You can always contact me at:
Ellen Rocco, North Country Public Radio, St. Lawrence
University, Canton, NY 13617.