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Monday, January 14, 2019

BOOKS READ IN 2018

Hosting All Sides Weekend: Books on WOSU 89-7 NPR News is always a joy. My thanks to Kassie Rose and Robin Nesbitt who are the 'regular' anchors of this program. Their passion and love for books informs everything great about the show.

The following list reflects some of their choices, and some of mine, and some of our listeners. The revival of the opera Adriana Lecouvreur had me reading a book I've owned since 1972 for the first time, Jack Richtman's Adrienne Lecouvreur. The mildew smell was my fault, not Jack or Adrienne's

This was the year the Michelle Obama worked hard to bring decency back to the political discourse with Becoming. Thank you Mrs. Obama.

Rebecca Makkai's searing The Great Believers  brought us back to the early days of the AIDS crisis. Those of us who remember got a shiver, but kept turning the pages. Makkai skillfully keeps us between the 1980s and today.

Two thousand eighteen was the year of The Great American Read. PBS provided TV specials and the opportunity to vote for favorite novels. Thousand participated, and the final vote went to To Kill a Mockingbird.  I'm grateful that my beloved A Confederacy of Dunces lasted several rounds.



TGAR encouraged me to read Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolpho Anaya, often called the first Latino novel. First or not, it is a beautiful book.
I was delighted to read for the second time John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany.  (At my age, I'm trying not to re-read. Clock's ticking)

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in Silicon Valley by John Carreyou is a real life thriller. A page turner.

My favorite of all for 2018 was The Overstory  by Richard Powers. A long and dense-in a great way-novel where trees are the protagonist. This will change your worldview for the better.


   * Favorite
    ** Great American Read (PBS)
         + interviewed author


   
    
 Origin by Dan Brown
+The Encore: A Memoir in Three Acts by Charity Tilleman-Dick
The Senator’s Children by Nicholas Montemarano (John Edwards)

*Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Hacks by Donna Brazile
*The Force by Don Winslow (Denny Malone)
Promise me, Dad Joe Biden

Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting by John Mauceri

*Homegoing  by Yaa Gyasi (Africa)

Flash and Fury by Michael Woolf

Balancing Acts: Inside National Theatre by Nicholas Hytner
Conducting Business: Unveiling the Mystery Behind the Maestro Leonard Slatkin

Sense of Occasion by Harold Prince


Exit West Moshin Hamid
The Cartel Don Winslow
+The Immortalists Chloe Benjamin

The House of Impossible Beauties Joseph Cassara

*Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music James Rhodes

Heir Apparent: Life of the Playboy Prince Edward VII Jane Ridley

Munich by Robert Harris
Reading With Patrick by Michelle Kuo
Endurance by Scott Kelly
The Seven Storey Mountain Thomas Merton

The Magdalen Martyrs Ken Bruen
Priest Ken Bruen



Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in young America by Catherine Kerrison

Reservoir 13 Jon McGregor

*And After the Fire (Bach-Mendelssohn) Lauren Belfer

*Grant Ron Chernow

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeliene L’Engle

The Perfect Nanny by Leah Slimani
The Rooster Bar John Grisham

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez James Patterson


Purgatory by Ken Bruen
Green Hell by Ken Bruen

The Savior Eugene Drucker

The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Ring-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs. Ed Asner

My Father’s Wake by Kevin Toolis

Red Hot Mama: The Life of Sophie Tucker by Lauren Rebeca Sklaroff



Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany Norman Ohler

*An American Marriage Tyari Jones

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson
A Higher Loyalty James Comey
In the Enemies House: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Codebreaker who Caught the Russian Spies by Howard Blum

Mrs. By Caitlyn Macy
Alternate Side Anna Quindlen
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein by Todd S. Purdum
Unmasked Andrew Lloyd Webber

**The Stand by Stephen King
**Little Women Louisa May Alcott

Varina by Charles Frazier (Mrs. Jefferson Davis)
**Frankenstein Mary Shelly

Sweet and Low by Nick White


*****The Overstory Richard Powers



*Property: stories between two novellas Lionel Shriver
(“The Chandelier” “The Subletter” “Domestic Terrorism”)

Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World by Eileen McNamara
Sometimes I Lie by Ann Feeney
The Woman in the Window A.J. Finn

**Bless Me, Ultima Rudolpho Anaya

Robin (Williams) Dave Itzkof

**And then There Were None Agatha Christie

Rogue Lawyer John Grisham
Mary Pickford: The Woman who created the Movies by Eileen Whitfield

"The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations," by John McCain

** The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
**Goodbye Columbus Phillip Roth

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
My Girls Todd Fisher
Gray Mountain John Grisham

*On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein by Charlie Harmon

The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper

*The Great Believers Rebecca Makkai



The Outsider Steven King
Darkness Visible William Styron
Unhinged Omorosa

**Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Stranger Albert Camus

+Wallis in Love by Andrew Morton

Humboldt’s Gift Saul Bellow
Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
Unnecessary Roughness: Trial of Aaron Hernandez Jose Baez
Beethoven’s Tenth by Richard Kluger
Providence by Caroline Kempner
The Cloister James Carroll
Betty Ford by Lisa McCubbin

The Big Game: Inside the NFL in Dangerous Times Mark Leibovitch
The Girl on the Balcony Olivia Hussey
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Fear by Bob Woodward

*****A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

*Ticker: The quest to create an artificial heart by Mimi Swarz
*Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman

The First Family Michael and Daniel Palmer
Gone So Long Andre by Dubus III

*Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in Silicon Valley John Carryeou



Life in Pieces by Sally Field
Handel by Christopher Hogwood

*Hallelujah! The story of musical genius and the city that brought a masterpiece to life Stephen Bardon

*Ohio Stephen Markley

November Road by Lou Berney
*Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret Craig Brown


*Becoming Michelle Obama



Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty
Elevation Stephen King
Dinner at Camelot: Joseph Esposito
Vanity Fair Thackeray

The President is Missing James Patterson and Bill Clinton
*The Essential Composers Anthony Tommasini
There Will be No Miracles Here Casey Gerald

*Ladder to the Sky John Boyne
The Reckoning John Grisham

Novotna My Life in Song Jarmila Novotna
Gun, with Occasional Music Jonathan Lethem

Adrienne Lecouvreur Jack Richtman

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Favorite Recordings in 2018






These are the recordings that came my way in 2018 brought me the most joy. They are the performances to which I return repeatedly. Take a listen! 

In addition, by all means, post your own favorites, in any genre on this blog. I can always use more favorites.

Happy New Year to all!

Anthony Roth Costanzo with Les Violons du Roy conducted by Jonathan Cohen. Muisc by Handel and Glass.

Countertenors? God spare me. Give me a hooty mezzo-soprano any day.
And yet.

I’ve always loved wonderful singing, especially when combined with superb musicianship. Think Callas. Think Fischer-Dieskau. Think Anthony Roth Costanzo.
Gold star to whoever thought of combining Handel and Glass. Costanzo uses his voice to make beauty and project words, not to show off. Jonathan Cohen conducts Les Violins du Roy and whoever the king is, I hope he’s good to this band. I especially love the last two tracks, Handel’s Ombra mai fu (a.k.a Handel’s Largo) and theHymn to the Sun from Glass’s Akhnanten. Pharaoh, Gods, and Anthony. Winners all.






Veni Domine: Advent and Christmas at the Sistine Chapel
Palestrina: Pope Marcellus Mass
Sistine Chapel Choir conducted by Massimo Palombella.

Need a bliss out? Do you want to forget political attack ads, DJT, broccoli and the like? These two new releases from the Choir of the Sistine Chapel are for you.
Veni Domine presents chant and sacred motets by Palestrina, Josquin, Victoria and Allegri. For centuries, this music was never heard outside of the Vatican. The teenage Mozart wrote down the Miserere by Allegri and smuggled it out to the world. 
Today, we have state of the art recorded technology to make this beauty widely available.

Palestrina’s Mass honors Pope Marcellus II, who reigned for three weeks in 1555 and then dropped dead. He earned his place in history from this sublime mass that honors him.



Child Alice by David Del Tredici
Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose, with Courtney Budd, soprano

I took a composition class with David Del Tredici at Boston University over forty years ago. He was wild and naughty then, and brilliant, and during a recent interview, he was still all of those things! 

Del Tredici happily admits to an obsession with Lewis Carroll’s Alice. Child Alice is a huge symphony, almost too big to perform! The movement titles alone are enticing: Simple Alice, Triumphant Alice, Ecstatic Alice, Quaint Events, Happy Voices and All in a Golden Afternoon



The work holds no terrors for the accomplished Boston Modern Orchestra Project conducted by Gil Rose. Courtney Budd is Alice. Who else has the skill to sing these lines? Superb engineering and packaging. Any release by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project is worth knowing better. It a fantastic journey. Try it.

Matthew Shepard was the young gay man murdered outside of Casper, Wyoming in October of 1998. He was savagely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die. He lingered for a few days and never regained consciousness.

Craig Hella Johnson, conductor of the superb Conspirare Choir, has written an oratorio called Considering Matthew Shepard. It’s a hymn of grief and reconciliation (I wouldn’t have minded more rage) The horrible details of the murder are not shirked. The texts are by Leslea Newman, Michael Dennis Browne, Craig Hella Johnson, Judy Shepard and Rabinranath Tagore.





Here’s a work that invokes the big sky of Wyoming, the crime, the trial and the grief. It’s not a tragic work. Considering Matthew Shepard is a mediation on what happened, and what must never happen again.

TWO MORE "FROM THE VAULTS:"

Wagner: Die Walkure Act 1 and Act 3 Hans Knappertsbush and Sir Georg Solti conductors. Vienna Philharmonic, with Kirsten Flagstad (Sieglinde and Brunnhilde) Set Svanholm (Siegmund) Arnold Van Mill (Hunding) Otto Edelman (Wotan) Marianne Schech (Sieglinde)

Decca lured Kirsten Flagstad back into the recording studios in the mid-1950s. As a result, we have the sixty-year-old Flagstad in stereo sound singing some of her best roles. She may be older, but who can surpass the beauty of this voice? To the charge her Sieglinde is matronly I say, thank God for matrons.



Boito: Mefistofele (selections) Cesare Siepi, Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe di Stefano. Chorus and Orchestra of the Academy of St. Cecilia, Rome conducted by Tullio Serafin.

There’s a wonderful complete recording of Boito’s opera on the market with the above cast except with Mario del Monaco as Faust. Apparently, di Stefano was first choice but for whatever reason didn’t finish the recording. Here he is, still splendid in 1958, with Tebaldi and Siepi in their primes.  Wouldn’t you like to live in an age where a del Monaco could be brought in to replace a di Stefano?

And don't miss:

Prettye Yende, soprano:  Dreams music by Meyerbeer, Bellni, Donizetti and Gounod

Javier Camarena, tenor 'Contrabandusta'  music by Manuel Garcia,Rossi and Zingarelli




Friday, July 06, 2018

Jessye Norman Interview, Perhaps Some Controversy



"If I were to have these decisions about not going to countries because I disagree with the political situations, I think I would have stayed home a lot," Jessye Norman told Channel 1 in Israel in 2016.
"I think we need to understand, and admit, that these feelings always existed just under the surface, and what they needed was permission to be released," Norman said.
I recently stumbled upon this extended interview with the American soprano on YouTube:
was permission to be released," Norman said.
I recently stumbled upon this extended interview with the American soprano on YouTube:

Anyone who listens to Norman sing, or who has read her book, "Stand Up Straight and Sing!", knows she is very aware of the turmoil inherent in any life well lived.
I have never heard her speak so passionately — perhaps controversially — about world affairs. Norman did this interview during the last presidential campaign in the United States. She spoke about American politics, her view of the United States at the time, not performing Wagner in Israel and the worlds' continued bondage to racism.
Whether you agree with these views, this is an antidote to the stereotypical "And then I sang" interview attributed to classical singers.



Anyone who listens to Norman sing, or who has read her book, "Stand Up Straight and Sing!", knows she is very aware of the turmoil inherent in any life well lived.
I have never heard her speak so passionately — perhaps controversially — about world affairs. Norman did this interview during the last presidential campaign in the United States. She spoke about American politics, her view of the United States at the time, not performing Wagner in Israel and the worlds' continued bondage to racism.
Whether you agree with these views, this is an antidote to the stereotypical "And then I sang" interview attributed to classical singers.
TAGS: 
Anyone who listens to Norman sing, or who has read her book, "Stand Up Straight and Sing!", knows she is very aware of the turmoil inherent in any life well lived.
I have never heard her speak so passionately — perhaps controversially — about world affairs. Norman did this interview during the last presidential campaign in the United States. She spoke about American politics, her view of the United States at the time, not performing Wagner in Israel and the worlds' continued bondage to racism.
Whether you agree with these views, this is an antidote to the stereotypical "And then I sang" interview attributed to classical singers.
TAGS: 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

See this movie! RBG

The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court is as disconcerting to many of us as is the current Presidency. That the man now in office will have the power to name a Supreme Court justice is alarming.

That news broke the week after I had seen the new film about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBG.

"All I ask of our brethren, is that they take their feet off of our necks"


Filmmaker Betsy West discusses her attraction to Justice Ginsburg's career. "In the 1970s, as a young lawyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued cases before the supreme court that changed women's lies for ever."

The charm and the 'adorable' quotient ' of a tiny elderly lady is a small part of the take away. These alone would be patronizing and miss the point. Justice Ginsburg, it seems to me, is a jurist who cannot abide a lack of fairness. Not favor, fairness. What is available to men should be available to women. Careers, advancement, position, if you can work for it you should be able to attain success.

She may be the first woman to articulate this so clearly-and simply-since Joan of Arc.

I'll say no more. Go see the film.

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER by Eileen McNamara

EUNICE: The Kennedy who Changed the World by Eileen McNamara. Simon and Schuster

"If that girl had been born with balls, she would have been a helluva politician."
So was quoted Joseph P. Kennedy about his fifth child, Eunice, who was born in 1921.





Eileen McNamara's new biography of Eunice Kennedy Shriver shows that a lack of physical appendices in no way deterred this driven woman from promoting and politicizing not only compassion but tangible, measurable help for those with "special needs."

'Retarded' or Mentally Retarded' are terms used throughout McNamara's book, citing Eunice Kennedy Shriver as a woman of her time. The "mentally retarded" were ignored or warehoused, even if they came from families of means.

Eunice would  know. Her older sister Rosemary Kennedy was the victim of a botched lobotomy in 1941. She lived sixty- five more years in complete custodial care, not visited by her family until Eunice made the trip in 1961. This was after a stoke incapacitated Joseph Kennedy, upon whose orders the family had not visited Rosemary.


There are threads throughout this book. Eunice's passion and energy seems to have been a product of rage. Rage that she was born female, thus "less than". The opportunities for a political life, a life of decision making, a life as a power broker. It was not the life Joseph Kennedy dictated for his daughters. They were to marry and their families would live to support the political careers of the  Kennedy men. Anything else was nice, okay, but not the point.

Coupled with this was the Rosemary's exile from the family. Specialists at the time dictated the complete separation of the "special" from their families. Why upset the routine?

Joseph Kennedy arranged for Rosemary to live and be cared for at St. Coletta 's School in Wisconsin. She had her own house, and two nuns lived with her full time. That's care few could afford. It also precluded a return to any sort of useful and satisfying life.

Rosemary had more self awareness than was assumed. She new enough to resent this exile. Rosemary's rage became Eunice's.





Eunice Kennedy Shriver turned that rage into a long life of service. The Special Olympics began, literally in her Maryland back yard. The inspiration for the games came from the Chicago Parks  Authority. The games began lakeside, but the public and press swarmed to Maryland. Shriver invented "no child left behind" except she really meant it. Kids and young adults were introduced to competitive sports, each to his/her ability.

The Shriver family made the Special Olympics possible. When Mrs. Shriver wasn't in the pool or throwing a football, she stalked the halls of congress, demanding-and getting-funding. So forceful was she that the political mantra became "Give Eunice what she wants. It's just easier." She was happy to influence or nag her bother, President John F. Kennedy.

Generations benefited from Special Olympics. They still do. Generations continue to benefit by not being locked away. Opportunities were created for people who a few years earlier were warehoused and ignored. Mrs. Shriver saw that happen to her sister Rosemary. Damned if it was going to happen again.

Make no mistake, Mrs. Shriver was no sweet ladylike creature. She was a skinny, intense, hyper bulldozer. Get in her way and get run over.  Help her,  and she'll have a list for you of projects yet to be funded.  She was plagued by health problems, but nothing stopped her.

At her death in 2009 at the age of 88, Eunice Kennedy Shriver left disgruntled employees, several exhausted staffs, politicians who loved her and feared her, and decision makers who had learned to take her calls, pronto.

There was a long and happy marriage to R. Sargent Shriver. He was no slouch himself as a businessman, political candidate, and presidential appointee. Sargent Shriver was the first to lead JFK's Peace Corps,  and was chief cheerleader to the cyclone that was Mrs. Shriver.

Her children continue the work of Special Olympics, Best Buddies and advocacy for any of the less fortunate on their radar, and said radar seems to be ever expanding. At the end of Eunice Kennedy Shriver's life, the "special' had lives far removed from institutions. That is a legacy.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

BOOKS READ IN 2017

What did you read in 2017?
What were your favorite reads?
Please tell!
We'll talk about favorite reads on WOSU's All Sides Weekend: Books

I've listed books read below. 
A few left over from 2016, the rest from 2017.
* indicates I especially liked this book
** indicates I loved this book
+ indicates I was able to interview the author,.

These were my favorites read in 2017:
(in order of when read)

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
A harrowing  upbringing as a bi -racial child in South Africa

Lincoln in the Bardo Dan Saunders
Completely original, well at least since Edgar Allen Poe died. 

+No one Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers

Non-fiction. Two adult sons with schizophrenia. One survives. The other doesn't. The parents find a way to live on.

+Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
The unconventional life of a college wrestler

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Because as a white guy who was raised in a pricey suburb I had no idea.

Defending Jacob by William Landy
The teen age son of a  D.A. is accused of murder. A devastating twist near the end. Just as you were getting comfortable...

+Toscanini: Musician of Conscience by  Harvey Sachs
Mr. Sachs's second, greatly expanded biography of conductor Arturo Toscanini (1865-1957). An artist with a messy private life, a searing musical talent who stood up to Mussolini and Hitler.


The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
Unconditional love.

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
A journey in Ireland with the Irish from 1945 to today. Infuriating and redemptive.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Vietnam, being there and living with the repercussions. Required reading for anyone who lived through the 1960s but was too young-or clueless-to understand at the time.


2016

Middlemarch George Eliot
The Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens
The Idiot Fyodor Dostoevsky
I’ll Take You There Wally lamb
Moonglow Michael Chabon
Last Girl on the Freeway: Joan Rivers Leslie Bennett
Patient HM Luke Dittrich
The Heavenly Table Donald Ray Pollock
In the Darkroom Susan Faludi
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
His Final Battle: FDR’s Last Year  Joseph Llelveyd
How to Survive a Plague David France
Eleanor and Hick by Susan Quinn
Conclave Robert Harris
When Paris Sizzled Mary McAuliffe
Eileen Otessa Mostfegh
The Reactive Masande Ntsghenga
Valiant Gentlemen Sabina Murray (Roger Casement)

2017

Do Not Say We Have Nothing  Madeleine Thien
Absolutely on Music conversations with Ozawa
*North Water Ian McAuliffe
The Sleepwalker Chris Bohjalian
*Commonwealth Ann Patchett
Victoria The Queen Julia Baird
Rasputin Douglas Smith
*Born a Crime Trevor Noah
Two by Two Nicholas Sparks
*Class Lucina Rosenfeld
Sandcastle Girls  Chris Bohjalian
Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler
Private Lives of the Tudors  Tracy Broman
The Paris Architect Charles Belfoure
God’s Kingdom Howard John Mosher  Kinneison family Vermont

*The Dry Jane Harper murder mystery Australia
Emma Alexander McCall Smith
Revolution in Color: John Singleton Copley Jane Kamensky
Robert Lowell: Setting the River of Fire Kay Redfield Jamison
The Bone Orchard Paul Doiron
*+The World Will be Saved by Beauty: An intimate portrait of my Grandmother, Dorothy Day  Kate Hennessy
Idaho Emily Ruskovich
Days Without End Sebastian Barry
The Long Loneliness Dorothy Day
Host Robin Cook
The Devil in Webster Jean Hanff Gorelitz
Home Harlan Coben
You Can’t Go Home Again Tom Wolfe
On the Edge of Gone Corinne Duyviss
*The Inheritance Nikki Kapsembellis Alzheimer’s DeMoe family
*Ill Will Dan Chaon
*Lincoln in the Bardo Dan Saunders
Elizabeth Bishop Miracle for Breakfast Megan Mullaly
Life with Judy Garland Sid Luft
Easy Essays Peter Maurin
Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion Robert Coles
One of the Boys Daniel Margariel
The Book of American Martyrs Joyce Carol Oates
Stranger in the Woods: The Story of the Last True Hermit Michael Finkel
Loaves and Fishes Dorothy Day
*Tenth of December (stories) George Saunders
* No one cares about crazy people Ron Powers
Mockingbird Songs Wayne Flynt
Dr. Knox Peter Spiegelman
The Whistler John Grisham
Since We Fell Dennis Lehane
*House of Names Colm Toibin
*Anything is Possible Elizabeth Strout
Inga (Arvad) Scott Faris
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Fact of a Body Alexandria Marzano Leznevich
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign Jonathan Allen and Amie Parness
Jesus Sons (stories) Denis Johnson
Angels Denis Johnson
Anne Boleyn A King’s Obsession Alison Weir
*Rebel Mother Peter Andreas
*+How to Survive a Summer Nick White
When the world stopped to listen: Van Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph  and the Aftermath Stuart Isaacoff
The End of Eddy Edourard Louis
*Trajectory (stories) Richard Russo esp. “Voices”
Isadora Amelia Gray
*Saints for All Occasions J. Courtney Sullivan
The Child Fiona Barton
The One Man Andrew Gross
Prince Charles Sally Bedell Smith
We Could be Beautiful Swan Huntley
Sometimes Amazing Things Happen Elizabeth Ford, MD
*+Stephen Florida Gabe Habash
*+Toscanini Musician of Conscience Harvey Sachs
Al Franken Giant of the Senate
Modern Gods Nick Laird
You Should Have Left Daniel Kehlmann
He’s Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly by Sara and Cynthia Brideson
Mighty Jack Ben Hatke
**The Hate U Give Angie Thomas
  T-H-U-G L-I-F-E
(They Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody)
We Were the Lucky Ones Georgia Hunter
The Hue and Cry at Our House Benjamin Taylor
*The Accusation Bandi
    ( short stories smuggled out of N. Korea)
Friedelind Wagner: Richard Wagner’s Rebellious Granddaughter Eva Rieger
The Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate Christopher Andersen
This is my face, try not to stare Gabourey Sidibe
There Your heart lies Mary Gordon
See What I Have Done (Lizzie Borden) Sarah Schmidt
Jackie’s Girl Kathy McKeon
*Mrs. Fletcher Tom Perrotta
Making Rent in Bed-Stuy Brandon Harris
Roots Alex Hailey
Less Andrew Sean Greer
*Defending Jacob William Landay
Dying Cory Taylor
The Last Place you Look Kristen Lepionka
What Happened Hillary Clinton
Camino Island John Grisham
The Last Tudor Phillippa Gregory
Mission Flats William Landay
Liner Notes Loudon Wainwright III
Wonder RJ Palacio
*Crimes of the Father Thomas Kenneally
Submission Michel Hollebecque
**The Return of the Prodigal Son Henri Nouwen
Growing up Kennedy Laurie Graham
Turtles all the Way Down John Green
Column of Fire Ken Follett
My Life with Bob Pamela Paul’
**The Heart’s Invisible Furies John Boyne
Love, Henri: Letters of Henri Nouwen
Adam Henri Nouwen
*The Ninth Hour Alice McDermott
Unbelievable My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History  Katy Tur
Bed Stuy is Burning Brian Platzer
 Victoria and Abdul Sharbani Basu
Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal history of the Zapruder Film Alexandra Zapruder
Prague Sonata Bradford Morrow
American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover FBI Agent Tamer Elnoury
*The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien
 *A History of Loneliness John Boyne
Overweight Sensation:  The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman Mark Cohen
*Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
Our Mutual Friend Charles Dickens
Birdcage Walk Helen Dunsmore
Oriana Fallaci Cristina DiStefano
Broken Irish Edward J. Delaney

Priestdaddy Patricia Lockwood