as an author, what do you read?
I'm generally reading 2 or 3 books at a time. Being a non-fiction author myself, I tend to lean in that direction but I enjoy fiction as well. I like Elizabeth George and her Detective Lynley series (although the most recent was a little weird). I still pull out old Hemingway, Lardner, Fitzgerald classics (I re-read “The Great Gatsby” before seeing Baz Luhrmann’s film because I knew he’d take some interesting twists in the interpretation and I wanted to be reminded of the nuances in Fitzgerald’s work). I like Scott Berg’s stuff: his “Editor of Genius” about Max Perkins was brilliant (but maybe that’s because I’m a writer). And I find myself re-reading Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" every few years because I still find it fascinating and so well crafted.
I’m often more interested in the subject matter than the writer. Not too long ago I read "The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy" by David Nasaw. I don’t know Nasaw at all but I’ve always been fascinated by the old man and felt this would be a rich read. I wasn’t disappointed. Followed that up with Thomas Maier's "When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys" which offers riveting reading from cover to cover. And being a political junkie, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime” was a book I just had to read by political journalists John Heilemann and Mark Helperin. I knew of Halperin because I subscribe to Time but Heilemann, who writes for New York magazine, was a stranger to me. But man, did these guys nail that story: it was an absolutely fascinating look at behind the scenes in U.S. politics and you felt like you were there at every turn! I expect they'll be doing something on the Trump phenomenon.
Since I'm writing a book about Ruth Lowe (who wrote the song "I'll Never Smile Again" that electrified the career of Frank Sinatra in 1940: ruthlowestory.com), I've been reading books about Sinatra by James Kaplan, Spencer Leigh, Chuck Granata and Randy Taraborrelli.
And so it goes...
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