As cooler weather sets in, we’ll find out what’s new in books suited for coming days in front of the fireplace. There’s a history of Wonder Woman from New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore, a memoir from actor and director Lena Dunham, and a new book examining the old debate over vaccinations. (digital post by Faith Meixell)
- Dan Chartrand - owner of Water Street Bookstore in Exeter
- Michael Herrmann - owner of Gibson's Bookstore in Concord
TOP PICKS from Michael and Dan:
Secret History of Wonder Woman - Jill Lepore: Read the author's articles on the topic in the New Yorker and Smithsonian magazine. "The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later." (Penguin Random House)
Against Football – Steve Almond: We talked to Steve recently on The Exchange during our NFL controversies show. "Steve Almond's blistering book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto is exactly what it advertises itself to be: an exasperated, frustrated, wide-ranging argument that the time has come to abandon football — particularly but not exclusively the NFL — as a sport built on violence, racism, economic exploitation of poor kids, corrupt deal-making with local governments over stadiums, and a willingness to find it entertaining to watch people suffer brain damage." (Linda Holmes, NPR)
What If? – Randall Munroe: Listen to NPR’s interview with the author here. "Randall started a second Web comic–like series called “what if?,” where he answers readers’ weird questions by extrapolating the science as far as (and, many times, quite a bit farther than) it will go. The answers are always entertaining, funny, and display a sort of naked curiosity on Randall’s part I really admire." (Slate)
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel: "An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity." (Random House)
Complete List of Books Mentioned During Show:
- S. C. Gwynne, Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson - previous book was Empire of the Summer Moon.
- Jill Lepore, Secret History of Wonder Woman - tied in to the history of feminism
- Steve Almond , Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto - a fan lays out the problems with today's NFL; makes the argument against watching football
- Bob Ryan, Scribe: My Life In Sports - from longtime sports writer from the Boston Globe. Memoir of his career following sports.
- Julie Powell, Julia and Julia - popular book about cooking. Also Blood, Bones, and Butter (Gabrielle Hamilton) and Heat (Bill Buford)
- Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven - an indie favorite: scary, and full of hopelessness, but also tender moments, and reminder that people really are good
- Fredrik Logevall, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam - caller recommendation for a great history read
- Margaret Atwood, Handmaid’s Tale - an example of a great ‘sci-fi’ /speculative fiction writer who breaks out beyond the genre. Forerunner to Suzanne Collins.
- M.R. Carey, The Girl With All the Gifts : example of ‘genre-bending’, horror story that deliberately plays against stereotypes
- Henry Kissinger, Francis Fukuyama, Leon Panetta - new books recommended by emailer
- Dennis Lehane, The Drop - Boston story, like a great Elmore Leonard novel
- Marie-Helene Bertino, 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas - about a super-tough, smart-mouthed 9-year-old (who steals her diabetic classmate's crayons, just wants to sing in front of everyone)
- Donna Tart, Goldfinch and Prayers for the Stolen (Jennifer Clement) - caller recommendations for fiction
- Tana French, The Secret Place - a police procedural about the Dublin murder squad. Also try her other books.
- Ian McEwan, The Children Act: - set all during one day, judge has to rule about a Jehovah's Witness parent refusing life-saving care for a sick teen
- Maureen Corrigan, So We Read On: How "The Great Gatsby" Came To Be and Why It Endures
- Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire (Peter Stark) and In the Kingdom of Ice (Hampton Sides) - emailer recommendation for history
- Randall Munroe, What If? - by a retired NASA scientist, blogger & cartoonist. Smart, funny, real science answers to absurd hypothetical questions.
- Ellen Stimson, Good Grief!: Life in a Tiny Vermont Village - New England author, follow-up to Mud Season.
- Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time – ‘commercial fiction’, but great; N.H. author.
- Dennis Robinson, Mystery on the Isles of Shoals - great local book about the Smuttynose murder, full of Seacoast history
- Gail Sheehy, Daring: My Passages - memoir about journalism and writing in New York in the 60s
- Ken Follett, Edge of Eternity: Book Three of the Century Trilogy - final volume of his history of the 20th century