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.