books

Internal Medicine by Terrence Holt is a compilation of nine stories that loosely reflect Holt’s experience as an internal medicine resident. Each story is a compositely drawn case, just as Holt’s protagonist, “Harper,” is an amalgamation of his fellow residents. Holt remolds the medical cases, he says, “according to the logic not of journalism but of parable, seeking to capture the essence of something too complex to be understood any other way.”

Helen Thorpe profiles three women who joined the Indiana National Guard before 9/11 in her compelling new book, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War.

The Leary family—Eileen, a nurse; her professor husband, Ed; and their ordinary son, Connell—are like most families. Their upward trajectory in economic status results in a move to the New York City suburbs from their working class Brooklyn. Things continue pretty much as expected until the arrival of a debilitating illness: Ed develops early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which they face with perseverance and dignity.

www.history.navy.mil / Google Images / Creative Commons

Hampton Sides is an editor-at-large for Outside Magazine and a master of narrative non-fiction. His latest book, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, combines just the right amount of adventure, meticulous research and remarkable characters with lofty dreams.

A good novelist weaves a gripping story out of small details, big emotions and just the right words to transport us into the mind of and emotional terrain of his or her characters. Good writing draws me into tragedy before I know it, and two new releases did just that.

Books To Make You Feel

Jun 30, 2014

Salman Rushdie said, “literature opened the mysterious and decisive doors of imagination and understanding. To see the way others see. To think the way others think. And above all, to feel.”

Two new novels will grab you at your core, getting hold of your empathy, sympathy and humanity, as only good stories can.

In the mid-1990s, when the Grande Dame of Literary Agents could still-- possibly, even credibly-- think that computers in the workplace were a passing fad, Joanna Rakoff, at age 23, took a job as her assistant.

My Salinger Year is Rakoff’s irresistible memoir of the year she assisted this unnamed legendary agent whose clients included Judy Blume and, most importantly, the elusive and private J. D. Salinger—known as "Jerry" to those in the office.

Meet Jim Stegner: mid-40s, a fly-fisherman, painter and killer.

He is the masculine protagonist in Peter Heller’s new novel, The Painter. The opening line is masterful and captures our attention-- 45-year-old Jim reflects, “I never imagined I would kill a man.” From then on, Heller holds us until the very last sentence.

I have two cartoons clipped from the New Yorker displayed on my fridge door.

One is by Roz Chast, with the caption, “When Moms Dance”-- you know what we look like. And one is by Bob Mankoff, with the caption, “How about Never—is Never good for you?” Haven’t you ever wanted to say this to a persistent salesperson?

In one frame, Chast and Mankoff capture life’s telling moments with hilarity, brilliance and poignancy. Now, each has a new memoir for fans to relish.

Wichita native Matthew Vines has good news for gay Christians, especially those who are theologically conservative, in his groundbreaking book God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex Relationships.

While in his second year at Harvard, Vines determined the correct answer when he asked himself, “Am I gay?” His affirmation inspired four years of meticulous research of the most common uses of Scripture in admonishing same-sex relationships as sinful.

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