Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich immortalized the WWII siege of Leningrad with his 7th symphony. These books tell the story.
Here are a few titles I’ve gathered from my ongoing hunt for good books, including novels to anticipate in 2019, more Lucia Berlin stories, and the 2017 Prix Goncourt winner.
Lou Berney, the award-winning author of "The Long and Faraway Gone," has released a new crime novel that takes place during the days following President Kennedy’s assassination. It's intelligent and gripping.
Ken Krimstein delivers a vivid account of Arendt's life and work in "The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt." It helped me to better understand this 20th century complex thinker in a graphic (“comics”) treatment that’s creatively on the mark.
Brian Evenson’s Bookmarked personal narrative is about Raymond Carver’s short stories. I couldn’t put it down. If you love books about writers, or love to write and edit, you’ll love this, too.
Victor del Arbol's new novel "A Million Drops" is an intoxicating page-turner that knits together the crimes of darkly motivated characters. Spanning 1933 to 2002, it follows the lives of Soviet Gulag survivor Elias Gil and his children.
Laura Esther Wolfson's collected essays tell the story of her life as a translator and interpreter. They are as creative and memorable as the book's title, "For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors."
"West" is a slim, first novel written with such beautiful, captivating prose it makes a memorable impression on one's reading life. Truly a one-of-kind story.
Sloane Crosley's “Look Alive Out There” showcases this talented humorist’s ability to embrace unpredictability with wit and whimsy. The 16 new essays vary in topic and enrich us with laughter and insight.
Audrey Schulman’s new novel “Theory of Bastards” tells the story of a compelling research celebrity, the bonobos she’s observing and a catastrophic technology breakdown. An innovative story that slowly builds into an absorbing reading experience.
Mark Sarvas’s novel "Memento Park" tells the story of a Hungarian painting that was traded to the Nazis during World War II in exchange for freedom, and of its return to the rightful owner.
Truly a unique novel, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. How and why a teen-aged girl disappears becomes secondary to the impact on the nearby English village.
Published in 1945, Richard Wright's classic childhood autobiography vividly reveals what it was like growing up black and poor in the Jim Crow South long before the Civil Rights Movement. It’s an unsentimental but moving and distressing travel back in time that should not be missed.
The beauty of this memoir lies in large part with Kuo's soul-searching about the Mississippi Delta region.
"Bluebird Bluebird" is Attica Locke's exciting new crime novel, the first of a proposed trilogy.