Jonathan Tel$17.00 $15.64
Amidst the masses are real people, drawn beautifully by Tel. A series of stories that build toward each character’s connection to the billionaire Qin.
Eric Howard$16.00 $14.72
Fascinating poetry that, as the title suggests, examines California culture in a way that feels both real and hallucinatory. It’s a tapestry and it’s a trip.
Grace Schulman$17.00 $15.64
The poet writes a moving recollection of her marriage, and separation, and the balancing of both being in a relationship and maintaining one’s own sense of self as she emerges as a writer.
David Trinidad$15.00 $13.80
A broad array of work, and among my favorites are those that delve into pop culture in a way that is refreshing and surprising. I heard David read “Bedrock at Night” and it was a howl. “Ode to Buddy Holly” is a touching centerpiece to the collection.
Roger Rosenblatt$18.00 $16.56
This prolific author, whose journey has included being a newspaper columnist, essayist, commentator, and playwright, reflects on his work as a writer and the importance that has for him; the fire has never weakened, even as he examines the place of writing in his life and in the culture.
Vijay Seshadri$16.00 $14.72
This book was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, but at the center of the book is a wonderful essay about commercial fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Highly readable but also layered with detail.
My favorite book by my colleague Adam Braver. Centers on Marilyn Monroe at the late stages of her career, and during the tragic making of the film Misfit.
Paul Harding$16.99 $15.63
Another Pulitzer winner, this novel is dense with detail and imagery, a more deliberate read that is well worth the time.
Steve Almond$14.95 $13.75
The book sets as its mission an examination of John Williams’s novel Stoner, which was virtually ignored at the time of its publication and then rediscovered decades later. But it’s Steve’s story, too, a kind of memoir through literary criticism.
Charles J. Shields$19.95
This book, a biography of novelist John Williams, makes a great companion read to Stoner and to Steve Almond’s William Stoner. Shields also wrote another of my favorites, Mockingbird, a literary biography of Harper Lee.
David Abrams$16.00 $14.72
The story of a group of American soldiers in Baghdad who go AWOL to pay respects to their fallen sergeant. The writing is retrained and powerful, and it brought to mind Great War literature such as Tim O'Brien's Vietnam-era "Going After Cacciato" and the work of WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle.