Nostromo By Joseph ConradJoseph Conrad’s insultingly ambitious and incredibly accurate political novel is, to my mind, the best piece of fiction ever written about Latin America outside of Latin America. The fictional republic of Costaguana watches one of its provinces secede, aided by the military intervention of the United States, in a series of events that are suspiciously reminiscent of the revolution through which the province of Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903.
In Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power Seth Rosenfeld traces the FBI’s secret involvement with three iconic figures who clashed at Berkeley in the ’60s: Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio, University of California president Clark Kerr, and Gov.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge By Ambrose BiercePeyton Farquhar, a Confederate sympathizer, is tricked by a Union spy into an attempt to burn a bridge at Owl Creek. Caught by the Union Army, he’s taken to the bridge by an execution party; they stand him up on the edge, tie a rope around his neck, and push him off.
Leaves of Grass By Walt WhitmanOne of my favorite passages in Leaves of Grass, that breathless, exuberant poem so rich and full of innocence and joy and generosity and compassion, is “Mannahatta.” It springs from a 19th-century sense of possibility, but it feels just like Manhattan now.
Blues People: Negro Music in White America By Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka)This reflection of black history, culture, music, and how they come together was published in 1963, but remains a profound insight into the development of jazz from blues, and the role of black culture in history.
Joyce, Yeats, O’Casey notwithstanding, these are my favorite Irish writers:Molly KeaneI have read and re-read Molly Keane more, I think, than any other writer. Nobody else can touch her as a satirist, tragedian, and dissector of human behavior.
With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E. Grant By Richard E. GrantJuicy, panic-stricken, fast-paced notes from Hollywood auditions and film sets. Grant starred in the British cult favorite Withnail & I and went on to L.A.
These are the five books I want to read this summer:Bad Monkey: A Novel By Carl HiaasenBecause who wouldn't want to read a book about a bad monkey? And besides, it's HIAASEN. The Andy Warhol Diaries Edited by Pat HackettBecause I recently watched the PBS show on Warhol and was intrigued by his childhood and early adulthood and how it helped shape his art.
Jill LeporeThere can’t be one book; there must be a library; that has got to be the lesson. But, for a start, to ponder the shape and rhythm and meaning of life: Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man together with Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations.
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned By Wells TowerThis is an outstanding short story collection, much of it about men on the fringes and the splendid messes they have made of their lives. There are downtrodden divorcees, narcissistic teenagers, rivaling siblings, and men struggling to reconcile with their fathers, brothers, children, and the women in their lives.
Some travel books are less about travel—that is a specific itinerary and perambulation—than about an intense experience of a particular place. I think of this as both an inner and an outer journey; what is illuminated is the landscape and the people—the place rather than the traveler or the trip.
Roman KrznaricI have a slight allergy to all those self-help books that offer tips and tricks for graduates on how to write the perfect résumé or shine in job interviews. What really matters, I believe, is delving into books that help you think hard about your values and talents, and how your career might fit into your wider philosophy of life.
As an author of narrative history, I read a lot of history books. What follows is a list of the books I find myself returning to years after I first read them.The Powerbroker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York By Robert CaroI first read this in the early 1980s when I was a sailing journalist living in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
The Female Eunuch by Germaine GreerThis was the first feminist book I ever read. It was l970 and I was in my late 20s, working as a journalist. The Female Eunuch showed me the power of articulate, smart, and humorous language to express the anger I felt at the male establishment.
Payment Deferred By C.S. Forester One of the best suspense stories ever written. The reader feels the fear and dread of the killer and the ending is a magnificent twist. Fallen By Karin Slaughter Karin Slaughter always grabs you on the first line and never lets go.
Need a book recommendation? We get asked all the time, but we've left the task to the experts: every week, great writers pick their favorite books and tell you why they are must-reads.
Bechdel Memoir May Cost S.C. College State Funding
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dies
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top of the class
Donna Tartt Wins Pulitzer
Along with Annie Baker, Dan Fagin.More
Louisiana Making Bible State Book
Just passed first hurdle.More
‘The White Queen’ author Philippa Gregory usually doesn’t read historical fiction, a genre she’s mastered. But she’s making an exception for two books.