What public figures are reading this summer

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Jane McCafferty, Carnegie Mellon University English professor and fiction writer whose novel "First You Try Everything" was published this year by HarperCollins:

"I've started off the summer with 'A Pigeon and a Boy' by Meir Shalev, and 'Behind the Beautiful Forevers,' Katherine Boo's nonfiction about Mumbai. Not sure what I'll read next, but these two are both wonderful."

Jasiri X, Pittsburgh rapper:

"Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell.

Kathleen George, local crime novelist; her sixth novel, "Simple," will be published in August:

"Right now I'm reading 'The Newlyweds' by Nell Freudenberger. I just ordered three mysteries. They include two Edgar award winners: 'Gone' by Mo Hayder and 'Bent Road' by Lori Roy. I also ordered 'The Bootlegger's Daughter' by Margaret Maron because everybody has told me I must read her. I think next I would look for 'The Leftovers' by Tom Perrotta. I might be working myself up to '1Q84' by Haruki Murakami. Mostly I'd like to surprise myself by browsing bookstores and letting something fall to hand. Remember that?!"

Pennsylvania first lady Susan Corbett:

These are the books she has stocked up for the summer: "Cleopatra" by Stacy Schiff, "The Beginner's Goodbye" by Anne Tyler, "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks, "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese and several dog training books for her Airedale terriers, Penny and Harry.

David Conrad, actor:

"I'm reading Robert Caro's latest installment in his LBJ biography, 'The Passage of Power.' My goal is to read Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' and the just-published sequel, 'Bring Up the Bodies.' And I want to read Douglas Southall Freeman's massive three-volume work from the 1940s, 'Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command,' the big Southern version of the Civil War I have yet to know."

Stewart O'Nan, novelist and author most recently of "The Odds":

"I'm just getting started on a novel, so most of my reading is research, meaning the stack of fun new stuff is getting pretty high. The ones I'm most looking forward to are Stephen King's 'The Wind Through the Keyhole,' Richard Ford's 'Canada' and Christopher Tilghman's 'The Right-Hand Shore.' I'm also psyched for a galley of Gary Fincke's new story collection."

Sherrie Flick, Pittsburgh-based fiction writer and author of the novel "Reconsidering Happiness.".

" 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed (I've already read this amazing memoir! Highly recommend!), 'Once Upon a River' by Bonnie Jo Campbell, 'Stay Awake' by Dan Chaon, 'Theft' by BK Loren, 'First You Try Everything' by Jane McCafferty and 'Ill Nature' by Joy Williams."

Jim Krenn, Pittsburgh stand-up comedian and former radio host:

"Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting" by Wayne W. Dyer and "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History" by Chris Kyle.

Mary Frances Cooper, president and director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:

"This is the time of year when the inspiration for my must-read list comes from Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures' Ten Literary Evenings lineup. If I had to choose only one of the many great writers scheduled to visit Pittsburgh this year, I would recommend Rebecca Skloot's 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.' I found her work to be one of the most compelling and interesting books I've read in a long time."

Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra:

He generally reads more music scores than books in the summer, but the Austrian conductor said he is excited about diving into a biography of Otto von Habsburg, who tied Austria's past and present. The son of the last emperor of Austria, he was a fervent anti-Nazi and later a member of the European Parliament; he died last year at the age of 98. But even in a book about a political figure, Mr. Honeck can find a music connection: the Habsburg dynasty supported many significant composers, including Christoph Willibald Gluck and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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First Published June 3, 2012 12:00 AM


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