Baltimore authors share what they're reading

Anne Tyler, Taylor Branch and the tomes on their bookshelves

  • "The Sandcastle Girls" by Chris Bohjalian
"The Sandcastle Girls" by Chris Bohjalian (Vintage Books, paperback…)
April 21, 2013

Local authors share the titles they're enjoying right now.

Madison Smartt Bell, whose most recent novel is "The Color of Night":

"Noble Savages," by Napoleon Chagnon, back to back with "Triste Tropiques" by Claude Levi-Strauss. Sort of a bookend pair of anthropology texts, both fascinating. "Les Cloches de la Bresilienne," a magical mystery by Haitian author Gary Victor. I have a project with some other people to publish this book in the U.S.

Jessica Anya Blau, author of the forthcoming "The Wonder Bread Summer":

I'm reading "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter. The truth is, I picked up the book because I love the cover. But I've been thrilled to discover that the story is just as interesting and captivating as the cover art. "Beautiful Ruins" has all the things I love to read about: Italy, Hollywood, love, the '60s, writing, movie stars, aging and life in general. It's fabulous.

Taylor Branch, whose latest work is "The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement":

I'm reading the Venice-based mystery series by Donna Leon in preparation for an upcoming trip to Italy.

Dan Fesperman, whose most recent novel is "The Double Game":

I'm just finishing "A Long Way Down," by Nick Hornby, a favorite author of mine. I was lucky enough to attend a talk of his in New York a couple weeks ago, which inspired me to pick up the one novel of his which I hadn't yet read. Four alternating voices, each with its own appeal.

Anne Tyler, whose latest novel is "The Beginner's Goodbye":

I've just finished Kent Haruf's "Benediction" — one of the best books I've read all year. It's a novel about an aging couple facing the approaching death of the husband, and I found it both a delight to read and a heartbreaker.

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