A handful of reading opportunities to consider for different moods -- from mystery to epic drama, the Sistine Chapel to the Vietnam War. Two novels, two nonfiction, one crime mystery -- all recently published.
Category: Good Books
Recommended novels set in Rome, Norway, and England
Here you’ll find books I talked about on the most recent WOSU All Sides Weekend Books, a live radio show that’s all about finding your next best read. I’ve not yet mentioned them on the blog, three novels of varied plotlines. One is inspired by the true story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, an official in the Vatican's Holy Office who saved the lives of escaped WWII Allied POWs.
A woman’s secret, a moving epic, and a glacial adventure
I thought I’d share the three novels that are keeping me company right now and giving me something to look forward to. They’re very different in their plots, from introspective journaling to a villager's storytelling to an Alpine search. Here's why I've chosen them.
Three novels, one reminiscence
I told myself I wouldn’t add to my reading table during December, and yet these new books sound irresistible. They take place in varying worlds, such as North Korea, an Irish shirt factory, ballet, and the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. I’ve already dipped in to two of them. What’s here, I believe, is intriguing, funny, engaging, and moving, promising memorable good reads.
Rudolf Vrba’s escape from Auschwitz and an unputdownable whodunnit
Two very different books, both written with expert style and intrigue guaranteed to fascinate: "The Escape Artist" by Jonathan Freedland and "The Enigma of Room 622" by Joël Dicker. Here's what they're about and why they're so immersive.
“The world does not know that you are here.”
The world certainly knows Cormac McCarthy's new novel "The Passenger" is here. A 16-year wait for his fans, of which I have not been one until now, hooked irrevocably. His characters herein are geniuses, and so is this author. Here's what “The Passenger” is all about.
New discoveries for spring reading
I was pretty excited to discover Audrey Schulman published a new novel. I loved her last book, “Theory of Bastards,” which gets a praiseworthy blurb on the new book’s cover. You’ll find more about both in this new blog post. Also, a novel about a wealthy couple in 1920’s New York City whose phenomenal fortunes create a mystery. And then an Appalachian novel about ecoterrorism.
These good books: from gripping to inspiring
Here you'll find stories to savor and characters you'll love so much you'll have to put the book down and walk away, to get ready, when things get tense. Also, a memoir about growing up on the largest block of unfenced wilderness in the lower 48 states, and a new novel I'm thinking may just be a spring break beach read.
Now reading: poetry, nature, true crime, and J.S. Bach
For too long, Ilya Kaminsky’s “Deaf Republic” sat on my reading table, a story told in poems that’s not only profound but now so very timely. Also in this blog post you’ll find a compelling mix of fiction and nonfiction, with authors writing about love for the natural world, truth in a murder investigation, and the St. Matthew Passion.
Nonfiction coming to my reading table
Three books, three intriguing topics: stolen art, a musician’s performance anxiety, and a deep look into the interviewing process. Here’s why I’ve chosen to read them.
What I’m reading, plus promising new books
I’m deep into the fictional lives of Guy and Harriet Pringle in Olivia Manning’s classic trilogy, but I'm also looking forward to some interesting new books out this month and next. They include a novel narrated by a book (the narrator being Joseph Roth’s “Rebellion”), a small gem exploring 19th century women hysterics, a psychological thriller, a reissued story collection from the 1970s, and more. Read about the books here.
My 10 favorite books of 2021
A surprising mix of novels became my year-end favorites for their morally conflicted and inspiring characters: from scientists to petty thieves, French Algerians to Chilean dictators, an Indiana farm woman to a Black female executive. And then one book, simply put, I didn't want to end.
What to read next: books now and to anticipate
Here you’ll find an intriguing mix of fiction, memoir, and graphic nonfiction. One of the novels is by an internationally acclaimed Irish author. Another is by “the other Elizabeth Taylor,” a British author whose writing career unfortunately began just as the American Elizabeth Taylor came to fame in Hollywood. Her novels are considered to be a well-kept secret.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winners 2021
Since 2006, this significant prize in literature has celebrated the power of the written word to promote peace. Here are the 2021 winners: one adult fiction and one adult nonfiction, both of World War II and lives revealed, both riveting reads.
Books to anticipate this September: part two
More books this month promising page-turning and thoughtful involvement, from a mesmerizing story about genius scientists to a piercing narrative about a British Black woman’s climb up the corporate ladder. Here’s the second list of five (see part one), including a replacement for “City on Fire” by Don Winslow, who changed his mind about a September pub date (find out why).