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Every month, Roxanne's Dear Reader talks about the books she is most excited about, authors coming to the store who she can't wait to meet, and anything else that is on her mind.
The notion of spring - though it's taking its' sweet time - has extended itself to books, in that it feels like there is a plethora of great reading in all different styles, sizes and themes:
Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings:
Last night, Meg Wolitzer was here for The Interestings. I believe this book approaches the level of a masterpiece. The ways in which Meg tackles the issues of success, friendship, marriage, and aging is universal and you become so attached to the characters, feeling their humanity, their successes and failures, moments of joy and regrets as if they were dear friends. It was a welcome reminder as to why this book is the huge blockbuster it's been. It is well-deserved attention. It was even more fun to remind everyone last night about reading her extraordinary backlist. If you haven't yet read The Interestings, go for that - but if you have, and liked it as much as I did, pick up The Ten-Year Nap or The Wife or any of her other past titles.
Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure by Anna Walker
Since my son Edward has flown the coop, my assistant Stephanie is always determined to show me the latest kids books I might've missed. Simply telling you that Peggy is the story of a quiet little hen who gets swept up by a powerful gust of wind (landing her in the big city all on her own) doesn't even begin to create the sensation of reading one of the sweetest, most genuine children's book I've come across in quite a while. Check out the almost too sweet trailer here.
Ari Shavit's My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
We were delighted that Mr. Shavit has squeezed us in this Sunday after he had to previously cancel due to a personal emergency. I'm just going to come right out and say it: not many journalists can do what Ari Shavit does - especially when tackling the always provocative topic of politics in the Middle East. He uses his journalistic chops to cover the critical moments of Israel's and the Middle East's history in the last century. Remarkably, Mr. Shavit tries and succeeds in avoiding bias to pull him to the left or right. This, coupled with his personal history and its place in Israel's history add up to a riveting, informative telling of the country's complications today.
Arianna Huffington's Thrive:
Arianna Huffington may be a lightning rod for some folks in the country - and she continues to define journalism by keeping her finger on the pulse of what people really want. In her book, Thrive, she's done that again by reminding us that there needs to be a third metric beyond power and money that motivates us as people or as a society.
As you might know, Read to Grow has distributed over 1,000,000 books since its inception and with Arianna's dedication to the cause and your commitment to our mission, we look forward to distributing another cool million to Connecticut's children. Hope you can join us.
Speaking of being charmed, I found myself listening to Charlotte's Web (narrated by E.B. White) again - it doesn't get better than that. It makes any kind of driving a pure pleasure.
Roxanne J. Coady