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.
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.
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.
Three new story collections you want to ignore, but I recommend you don’t.
It's unheard of for me to read not just one but three short story collections in less than a month. I'm typically more into novels, but I couldn't put these down.
A milkman and slow horses: Mick Herron’s brilliant British intelligence series
“The Catch" is a perfect introduction to Mick Herron’s Slough House series about disgraced British spies. It’s a fast-paced novella and the reason I picked up “Slow Horses." Here’s what to love about these two books.
Recommendations for a book club
Often in conversation someone mentions an upcoming book club meeting, and they say they need help with suggested reading to take with them. Here's a list I created for a recent request.
Five books in these days of distraction
How to read when my concentration is shot? I'm channeling Anne Lamott. Also, you'll find here novels by Shirley Jackson, TaraShea Nesbit, Alison Moore, Anne Enright, and Mick Herron.
Classic horror with an evil twin
Thomas Tryon's "The Other" unnerved me the first time I read it when I was 16. It still creeps me out.
National Book Awards 2019 Finalists
Twenty-five nominees in five categories made it from the longlist to the shortlist of the National Book Awards. Here's a look at three of them, and also one that didn't make the cut but has an interesting scandal going on in Norway.
An astute mystery about racial injustice
"The Gone Dead," a novel by Chanelle Benz, immerses readers in the Mississippi Delta with protagonist Billie James suspecting foul play in her father's death 30 years ago. This atmospheric debut explores themes of deceit, race relations and family ties.
A Soviet spy in 1938 Germany
A secret agent's diary written in the days leading up to World War II finds its way to upstate New York in 1988 in this compelling new spy novel by David Downing.
The 100 Best Novels in Translation
We depend on translators to bring us the world's literature. We also depend on them to make the right decisions on how to bring a novel to life, wrestling with fidelity to the original versus comprehension for the reader. This book is not only a list, but a guide to those who do this marvelous work.
Books I’m talking about
Here are books I recently recommended on WOSU All Sides Weekend Books.
How to get your book of the month
Book box subscription services are many, but they’re not my preference. So here are my three choices for getting a monthly book delivery.
Finalists to talk about – and read
The Man Booker 2018 Longlist has produced a baker's dozen of novels readers can get excited about. Finally, they're back to what we want and expect.