Culture Diary – Books


off the sidelinesOff the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World by Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand knows that all women’s voices are essential to shaping the future. If women were fully represented in politics, Gillibrand says, national priorities would shift to issues that directly impact them.
Gillibrand shares stories of growing up as the daughter and granddaughter of two trailblazing feminists in a politically active family and retraces her nonlinear path to public office. She lays bare the highs and lows of being a young (pregnant!) woman in Congress, the joys and sacrifices every working mother shares, and the support system she turns to in her darkest moments.




liarLiar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War. Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war.






the emerald lightThe Emerald Light in the Air: Stories by Donald Antrim

Nothing is simple for the men and women in Donald Antrim’s stories. As they do the things we all do—bum a cigarette at a party, stroll with a girlfriend down Madison Avenue, take a kid to the zoo—they’re confronted with their own uncooperative selves. These artists, writers, lawyers, teachers, and actors make fools of themselves, spiral out of control, have delusions of grandeur, despair, and find it hard to imagine a future.








the bone clocksThe Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.








this changes everythingThis Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein

It’s not about carbon – it’s about capitalism. The good news is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better. In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.






rosendaleRosendale by Paul La Farge

Dara lives in a ramshackle white house on top of a steep hill. She is a potter—she works at the ceramics centre in town—but her house is full of books: some novels, many thin volumes of poetry, collections of essays on feminism and psychoanalysis, Hungarian cinema, Soviet Jewry, Australian aborigines, Kant, the Kabbalah. She also has an extensive library of self-help books, which implies that, for all her intelligence and self-possession, Dara may have some problems. She is for sure a recovering alcoholic; one of the first things she told April P was that she doesn’t allow drinking or drugs in her house. Also, and she did not warn April P about this, Dara is a toucher.





the incoThe Incorrigible Optimists Club, by Jean-Michel Guenassia.

Paris, 1959. As dusk settles over the immigrant quarter, 12-year-old Michel Marini – amateur photographer and compulsive reader – is drawn to the hum of the local bistro. From his usual position at the football table, he has a vantage point on a grown-up world of rock ‘n’ roll and of the Algerian War. Past the bar, behind a partly drawn curtain, a group of eastern European men gather, where under a cirrus of smoke and over the squares of chess boards, they tell of their lives before France – of lovers and wives, children and ambitions, all exiled behind the Iron Curtain. Listening to this band of survivors and raconteurs, Michel is introduced to a world beyond the boundaries of his childhood experience: the world of the Incorrigible Optimists Club. The Incorrigible Optimists Club won the Prix Goncourt and it heralds the arrival of a major literary talent.