2014 and older releases
James Salter is a great writer and now at age 87 he has written his best book. This novel is revealing, quitely honest, beautiful, full of life, and sometimes shocking. I read it recently but already want to read it again.
A smart, funny novel of modern New York according to two New York families -- one dominated by a famous reclusive writer, the other by his childhood/life long best friend. A cross between Rules of Civility and The Hair of Harold Roux.
Two sisters in their early thirties are faced with the unacceptable idea that their parents may sell the family summer house on the coast of France. What is to be done? Perhaps find rich husbands -- Downton Abbey goes to France!
This small fable - of love and life for a Midwest couple who face the perils of middle-age life today - is a wonderful story by one of our best writers. Highly recommended.
One of my favorite books of 2011. A memoir that is compelling, different, candid, funny, and moving. Mark Richard is a great writer.
This is one of our greatest writer's best books, "suffeused with precise and painful tenderness" (Leah Cohen in the New York Times). A sort of flipside to another of Roth's best, Sabbath's Theatre, I recommend highly to anyone "scared" of Roth, or to anyone at all.
Two of the best at their trade offer sound advice in an entertaining, highly readable book. Could be the Strunk & White of our time.
A story of love in war narrated by a young soldier in postwar occupied Japan who works in General MacArthur's office pool. A gem of a novel that appears small but reads big. Highly recommended.
First published in Europe in the 1940s, this novel fell into obscurity until a couple of years ago—when the author was 100 years old. This quiet, ironic little story takes place i Nazi-occupied Amsterdam and reads like—or is—a thriller Highly recommend.
Rodney Crowell is a gifted and accomplished songwriter. Turns out he's equally gifted as a storyteller and writer. This is a vivid and fascinating account of Rodney's tough childhood in Houston, TX and how it led to who he is today. Love this book!
A fascinating and splendidly rendered memoir. Interesting not only for its keen insights into Faulkner (and new info about him), but simply a wonderful account of growing up as a girl in the small-town south. Great read!
Two working girls in 1930s Manhattan save their weekly wages to splurge on a night out in a jazz club. In walks a handsome debonair and wealthy young man—who changes their lives forever. A well written, fast-paced read with great atomsphere and interesting history. Highly recommend.
Set in 17th cenutry rural England, this is a great tale of a boy's will to survive by his wits and knowledge of food amidst the English Civil War. Rich in religious and culinary history, with folklore, a love story, and powerful narrative. May be my favorite book this fall.
A classic of 60s literature, this entertaining account of a Vermont commune helps explain wonderful things about the 60s—and also why the 60s didn't exactly work.
Deo escapes a genocidal civil war in Burundi to New York City, nowing no one, speaking no English, with $100 in his pocket. One of the greatest biographies and most inspiring stories I have read, written by one of our very best non-fiction writers. A remarkable book.
Evan S. Connell's Mrs. Bridge (and her novel husband Mr. Bridge) form a modest but quietly profound portaiture of mid-20th century middle America that is likely to resonate in our literary canon for a good long while.
Butler's most imaginative and funniest book. Check out the titles of the stories, and try "Woman Uses Glass Eye to Spy on Philandering Husband" and you'll see what I mean. A keystone publication among modern short fiction.
Never has a better book been written about being a football fan, an alcoholic, or a writer. But it's so much bigger than that. A cult classic since it was published in 1968.
Published in 1955, this remains the best book about the most dramatic maritime tragedy in history. The author interviewed over 60 survivors. With an introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick.
This talented author's delightful first novel. The reader is never certain where the story is going but happy to follow. And the journey has its rewards, especially, perhaps, for those with even a mild curiousity about recovery.
An American poet on fellowship in Madrid neglects his work while "contemplating the profundity of art." And smoking hash. A J.P. Donleavy or Joyce Cary of what Franzen calls "our late modern moment." Clever, funny, fresh, this book is admired by great writers but remains undiscovered. Discover!