Social isolation presents lots of opportunities to catch up on some reading. Arsen Kashkashian, Head Buyer, and Liesl Freudenstein, Head of Children’s Books at the Boulder Bookstore join Maeve Conran of KGNU to talk about reading through the COVID 19 pandemic, and to share their recommendations for readers of all ages.
Listen to the segment below:
Now might be the best time in people’s lives to really devote the time necessary to read all of those classics they have put off for years and years. Whether it’s a 19th century Russian novel or one of Toni Morrison’s masterworks.
Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather. Willa Cather is perhaps the most underappreciated American novelist. Here she beautifully recreates 19th century New Mexico. The archbishops gentle nature and attention to the poorest among us is certainly soothing reading.
Arsen’s Current Favorites:
Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes. Vernon is a former record store owner who falls on hard times after his friend the superstar Alex Bleach dies. Despentes gives us a tour of contemporary Paris and an absolutely crazy cast of characters in this novel that was Short listed for the Man Booker International
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld. These stories entertainingly examine our contemporary American society. Sittenfeld’s puts gender relations and class at the center of many of these smartly observant tales. She’s never afraid to skewer her characters if that’s what they deserve.
The Wall by John Lanchester. In this near future world, a wall surrounds an entire island nation. Our narrators is one of the defenders of the wall. For every person who gets over the wall one of the defenders is sent out to sea. A thrilling novel of betrayal, Lanchester has us examining our own assumptions and society.
Arsen’s New Books Suggestions:
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez. A recently retired writer is reeling from the sudden death of her husband when a pregnant undocumented teen shows up on her doorstep in Alvarez’s first adult novel in 15 years.
Leave Only Footprints by Conor Knighton. Knighton traveled to all of America’s National Parks from Acadia to Zion. Besides for being a great travel guide, Knighton talks about his personal journey from a man with a broken heart to someone utterly changed by his encounters with nature.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson