The Year of Reading Dangerously

Saw my friend Mike, from Brant Lake, last weekend. He knows I host “Readers & Writers on the Air” and the summer and winter reading list call ins. He told me he’d joined a new book club called The Year of Reading Dangerously.

Wow! That is totally cool. Great name. Who’s in it? (At this point, Mike’s daughter Hannah started smirking.)

Just me.

Funny. Very funny. So what are you, I mean, what is your book club reading?

Anything I can get for free–borrowed, found, given to me. It’s led me to some random and surprising books. (Mike mentioned a title by an author he’s currently reading and liking–I’d never heard of either and I can’t remember them now.)

I promised to send him some of the books that come across my desk–dozens and dozens each year from publishing houses and authors themselves. I have reached the point in my life where I no longer have any interest in accumulating books. If I like something, I pass it along and advise the recipient to keep the book moving. My shelves are stuffed.

This is all intended to inspire you to share titles and authors you want to recommend for our  summer reading list call-in. As we do each year, we’ll build a list from your suggestions. As soon as I receive a few, I’ll put the list up on our website as a work in progress.

On Tuesday, July 6, my reading ‘hood crew, Chris “The Tome” Robinson and Johnny “Hot Picks” Ernst, will join me in the studio to take your calls, suggestions and comments about books for summer reading. You can email suggestions to me at ellen@ncpr.org or leave your recommendations as a comment below. Live dangerously, read.

Here’s Will Smith’s take on a balanced–and successful–life:

Remember to patronize your local library (the best source for free books), and make your book purchases at the booksellers who collaborate with us on “Readers & Writers”–you’ll find the list of those stores here.

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4 Responses to “The Year of Reading Dangerously”

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  1. Martha Foley says:

    I like serendipitous “finds” as well. I picked up a book by Ward Just, “The Translator,” from a remainder pile over 10 years ago because he is married to a college classmate of mine. Little did I know what a fine writer he is. I’ve been a fan ever since. He’s a former Vietnam War correspondent (of the David Halberstram era) whose novels (16) combine politics, world events, and people in realistic, complex and quiet, humane ways. His most recent is Look for his books; I’m keeping mine!

  2. Mike says:

    The book I was telling Ellen about is ‘Thunderstruck’ by Erik Larsen. It’s a terrific telling of the intersection of two lives, Hawley Crippen (Infamous murderer) and Guglielmo Marconi (Infamous radio guy). While a great read, this book is not technically on the YORD booklist as my lovely wife Cheryl actually PAID money for it. I recommend it nonetheless. More typical is the entirety of Martin Cruz Smith. I found one of his (Polar Star, I believe) at the transfer station library (“Bring One, Take One”), fell in love with the writing, and sought out the rest.

  3. Mike says:

    Please note my corrected addee. Thanks Ellen!

  4. hmma says:

    Rereading “The Yiddish Policeman’ Union” by Michael Chabon. Got it out of the library for my SO, but I started the first few pages and got greedy.

    Synopsis: An temporary Jewish state was created in Alaska (specifically Sitka) and the 60 year term of the proclamation is almost up. A Yiddish metropolis exists in the frozen north, complete with an underworld of crime and burnt-out cops, a la Guy Noir. Chabon invented a whole dictionary of Yiddish slang – Yiddish, not Hebrew is the language of these people- inside a murder mystery and a commentary on an urban social scene. Fun!