Three novels exploring three diverse locales around the world make for great listening this month.
The Rocks, the second novel by Peter Nichols, has everything you’d hope for in a great beach read: a vivid Mediterranean setting, complicated entanglements, adventures at sea, some hanky-panky and a little heartbreak. But its sunny exterior conceals some sharp observations on human vulnerability and how easily self-preservation can calcify into mere selfishness.
A poignant novel catches up with lifelong friends, Peter Matthiessen's remarkable final work and a look at the immigrant experience make great selections for reading groups this month.
An argument for the benefits of doing nothing, an African thriller and a dramatic family road trip make for great listening this month.
In his 2009 bestseller One Day, British actor-turned-screenwriter-turned-novelist David Nicholls traced the inevitable romantic collision of star-crossed college acquaintances via snapshots, taken on the same calendar date each year, over their 20-year journey to togetherness.
"I wanted to write about Wisconsin,” Nickolas Butler says of the genesis of his soulful first novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, which gave voice to his homesickness.
“My first semester at the [Iowa] Writers Workshop, I was down there alone. I was sleeping in this terrible apartment,” Butler says.
Maple loves her name. It’s a perfect fit for her friendship with her favorite tree. Maple sings and sways for her tree and watches its leaves dance for her in return. As Maple grows and experiences all four seasons, so does her tree. In the fall, she gives the tree a jacket to ward off the autumn chill, and in the winter she introduces it to a snowman friend . . . even if the friendship doesn’t last beyond the spring thaw.
The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen is the survival story of an orphaned boy who learns to rise above tragedy, poverty and urban evils using only his cleverness, his sense of justice and the mysterious powers of his magical clarinet. In the year 1714, Nicolo’s village is stricken by a vicious outbreak of malaria, and the plague quickly claims his entire family. Alone at 14, Nicolo deserts...
Not many people would leap at the chance to travel with a group of paper historians to the far reaches of southwestern China to witness traditional papermaking done essentially as it has been done since its invention nearly 2,000 years ago.But Nicholas A. Basbanes, “a self-confessed bibliophiliac” (the term roughly translates as someone who loves, loves, really loves books), has...
Meet Tom Bedford. Like Nicholas Evans, the author who created him, Tom grew up in England, became infatuated with the American West, worked in Hollywood and ultimately chose writing as his profession. But unlike Evans, who established a following with his blockbuster hit The Horse Whisperer and lives with his wife, our protagonist has only a moderately satisfying writing career and dwells in an...