Emily Dickinson & Stephen Cobert – What Do They Have In Common? Absolutely Nothing!

It’s snowing in the Northeast.   Again.  Perfect reading weather.  Per fect non-fiction reading weather.

At the moment I’m working my way through Lyndall Gordon’s Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson & Her Family’s Feuds.  It’s a shocking read!  I’ve learned from Gordon that the real Emily Dickinson (there’s no nice way to put this) was creepy.  And not in a cool, zombie kinda’ way. This book contradicts pretty much everything I know about Emily D. – which when I think about it isn’t much.   She’s one of those shadow figures in literature whose legend is much more pervasive than the actual facts.

400 pages is a big, thick book.  Not exactly a weekend read.  While I finish, I thought I’d share with you another (somewhat unusual) source of non-fiction book recommendations.  The satirist Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report.  I’ve only been watching the show for a month but, whether or not you agree with his politics, it is an inarguable fact that he interviews a lot of authors.  I couldn’t find a formal book club advertised,  like Oprah, so here are a few of my favorites TBR additions from recent shows.

  • Bernard-Henri Lévy & Michel Houellebecq.  Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take on Each Other and the World
  • Atul Gawande.  The Checklist Manifesto:  How To Get Things Right.
  • Fen Montaigne.  Fraser’s Penguins: A Journey to the Future in Antarctica.

2 thoughts on “Emily Dickinson & Stephen Cobert – What Do They Have In Common? Absolutely Nothing!

  1. Colbert’s show (once you get used to it) is actually a really good source for non-fiction, especially because his range is so varied. One day he might interview political/historical authors, the next he might interview a random geologist discussing an obscure kind of rock in the Andes (okay, I made that one up, but it’d be pretty cool…).


    1. Agreed – now I’m wondering what other shows might have a secret book review segment I don’t know about. I’ve tried watching Book TV on CSpan, but it was bor-ing. And I never was much of a fan of Oprah’s Bookclub (though she had picked some good books). The search continues!


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