[Editor's note: John Freeman
is president of the National Book Critics Circle. Last fall the NBCC introduced its Most Recommended List
. On the heels of their Winter Reading List
, we're pleased to offer the following author comments on titles for the list. And on Monday, February 11th, don't miss our NBCC Best Recommended Books event
at Powell's City of Books on Burnside.]
Susan Faludi, author of The Terror Dream recommends:
by Jennifer Block
In and age when lazy posturing on social issues so often substitutes for careful reporting, Jennifer Block's Pushed is a welcome affirmation of the virtues of clear thinking and thorough research.
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Ross King, author of Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, and The Judgment of Paris recommends:
by AL Kennedy
Day tells, in beautiful prose, the post-war experiences and reminiscences of the tail-gunner in a Lancaster bomber in World War II. A wonderful story in its own right, it's also a timely study of the effects of war on those who fight.
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Roxana Robinson, author of A Perfect Stranger and Other Stories and Georgia O'Keefe: A Life recommends:
The Rowing Lesson by Anne Landsman, is a strange, beautiful novel, written in a profound and mysterious voice that seems to come from somewhere deep inside the narrator. Calm, authoritative and elegant, it's an exquisite and troubling examination of one of the great passages ? the death of a parent.
Learning to Drive, essays by Katha Pollitt, is hilariously funny, self-deprecating, wildly intelligent and vertiginously wide ranging. Completely unpredictable, unsentimental and unabashed, Pollitt's curiosity about life as she knows it makes the rest of us much more informed than we could have expected on all sorts of unexpected subjects. I depend on Pollitt to tell me new things with vitality and grace.
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Rigoberto Gonzalez, NBCC board member and author of Butterfly Boy and
Other Fugitives and Other Strangers recommends:
Poet in New York by Federico Garcia Lorca
Grove Press, 2008
New translation by Pablo Medina and Mark Statman
This new translation offers an incredible, complex view of New York City of the post-911 era. Medina and Statman discovered fresh resonance in Garcia Lorca's vision of New York on the eve of the stock market crash and the Great Depression, and have made careful and strategic selections that show why this conflicted love letter continues to hold timeless and necessary truths.
187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border
City Lights Books, 2007
By poet Juan Felipe Herrera
Responding to the anti-immigrant political climate and hostility directed specifically toward the Mexican people, Herrera gathers thirty-six years' worth of protest poetry to document a history of struggle, survival and perseverance of this nation within a nation.