The first Friday of each month, Chris Hall of McNally Robinson Booksellers joins Classic 107 with his picks in "What to Read!"
Find Chris' latest suggestions below!
The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER o The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Road returns with the first of a two-volume masterpiece: The Passenger is the story of a salvage diver, haunted by loss, afraid of the watery deep, pursued for a conspiracy beyond his understanding, and longing for a death he cannot reconcile with God.
Look for Stella Maris, the second volume in The Passenger series, on sale December 6th, 2022
1980, PASS CHRISTIAN, MISSISSIPPI: It is three in the morning when Bobby Western zips the jacket of his wet suit and plunges from the Coast Guard tender into darkness. His dive light illuminates the sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats, hair floating, eyes devoid of speculation. Missing from the crash site are the pilot's flight bag, the plane's black box, and the tenth passenger. But how? A collateral witness to machinations that can only bring him harm, Western is shadowed in body and spirit--by men with badges; by the ghost of his father, inventor of the bomb that melted glass and flesh in Hiroshima; and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul.
Traversing the American South, from the garrulous barrooms of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, The Passenger is a breathtaking novel of morality and science, the legacy of sin, and the madness that is human consciousness.
True Reconciliation: How to Be a Force for Change by Jody Wilson-Raybould
From the #1 bestselling author of 'Indian' in the Cabinet, a groundbreaking and accessible roadmap to advancing true reconciliation across Canada.
There is one question Canadians have asked Jody Wilson-Raybould more than any other: What can I do to help advance reconciliation? It is clear that people from all over the country want to take concrete and tangible action that will make real change. We just need to know how to get started. This book provides that next step. For Wilson-Raybould, what individuals and organizations need to do to advance true reconciliation is self-evident, accessible, and achievable. True Reconciliation is broken down into three core practices--Learn, Understand, and Act--that can be applied by individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.
The practices are based not only on the historical and contemporary experience of Indigenous peoples in their relentless efforts to effect transformative change and decolonization, but also on the deep understanding and expertise about what has been effective in the past, what we are doing right, and wrong, today, and what our collective future requires. Fundamental to a shared way of thinking is an understanding of the Indigenous experience throughout the story of Canada. In a manner that reflects how work is done in the Big House, True Reconciliation features an "oral" history of these lands, told through Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices from our past and present.
The ultimate and attainable goal of True Reconciliation is to break down the silos we've created that prevent meaningful change, to be empowered to increasingly act as "inbetweeners," and to take full advantage of this moment in our history to positively transform the country into a place we can all be proud of.
Mussolini's Daughter: The Most Dangerous Woman in Europe by Caroline Moorehead
The bestselling author of A Train in Winter returns with the definitive story of Mussolini's daughter, Edda, one of the most influential women in 1930s Italy, whose life had more twists and turns than a spy novel.
Edda Mussolini was Benito's favourite child: spoiled and venal, uneducated but clever, faithless but flamboyant, a brilliant diplomat, wild but brave, and ultimately strong and loyal. For much of the twenty-year period of Fascist rule, she was her father's closest confidante.
In 1930, at the age of nineteen, Edda married Count Galeazzo Ciano, who would become the youngest Foreign Secretary in Italian history. Acting as envoy to both Germany and Britain, Edda played a part in steering Italy to join forces with Hitler. During this time, the Cianos became the most celebrated and glamorous couple in elegant, vulgar Roman fascist society.
Their fortunes turned in 1943, when Ciano voted against Mussolini in a plot to bring him down, and his father-in-law did not forgive him. Edda's dramatic story includes hidden diaries, her father's downfall and her husband's execution, and an escape into Switzerland followed by a period in exile. Moorehead draws a portrait of a complicated, bold, and determined woman--one who emerges not just as a witness but as a key player in some of the twentieth century's defining moments. And we see Fascist Italy with all its glamour, decadence and political intrigue, and the turbulence before its violent end.
Inciting Joy: Essays by Ross Gay
In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prizewinning poet and author Ross Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life's inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we can expand it.
In "We Kin," Gay thinks about the garden (especially around August, when the zucchini and tomatoes come in) as a laboratory of mutual aid; in "Share Your Bucket," he explores skateboarding's reclamation of public spaces; he considers the costs of masculinity in "Grief Suite"; and in "Through My Tears I Saw," he recognizes what was healed in caring for his father as he was dying.
In an era when divisive voices take up so much airspace, Inciting Joy offers a vital alternative: What might be possible if we turn our attention to what brings us together, to what we love?
Taking a clear-eyed look at injustice, political polarization, and the destruction of the natural world, Gay shows us how we might resist, how the study of joy might lead us to a wild, unpredictable, transgressive, and unboundaried solidarity. In fact, it just might help us survive.
Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders
The "best short-story writer in English" (Time) is back with a masterful collection that explores ideas of power, ethics, and justice and cuts to the very heart of what it means to live in community with our fellow humans. With his trademark prose--wickedly funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely tuned--Saunders continues to challenge and surprise: Here is a collection of prismatic, resonant stories that encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality.
"Love Letter" is a tender missive from grandfather to grandson, in the midst of a dystopian political situation in the (not too distant, all too believable) future, that reminds us of our obligations to our ideals, ourselves, and one another. "Ghoul" is set in a Hell-themed section of an underground amusement park in Colorado and follows the exploits of a lonely, morally complex character named Brian, who comes to question everything he takes for granted about his reality. In "Mother's Day," two women who loved the same man come to an existential reckoning in the middle of a hailstorm. In "Elliott Spencer," our eighty-nine-year-old protagonist finds himself brainwashed, his memory "scraped"--a victim of a scheme in which poor, vulnerable people are reprogrammed and deployed as political protesters. And "My House"--in a mere seven pages--comes to terms with the haunting nature of unfulfilled dreams and the inevitability of decay.
Together, these nine subversive, profound, and essential stories coalesce into a case for viewing the world with the same generosity and clear-eyed attention Saunders does, even in the most absurd of circumstances.