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Julia Glass's reading list

Posted by Jan Gardner  April 30, 2007 09:17 AM

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During a session Saturday afternoon at the Newburyport Literary Festival, novelist (and Marblehead resident) Julia Glass confessed that she was "the only high school student who truly loved 'Moby Dick'" and went on to share the titles of some favorite reads:

"Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. (There was a time, she said, that she didn't read bestsellers because she assumed they couldn't be very good, but this is one of the books that changed her mind on that score.)

"Pearl" by Mary Gordon. A mother who is a child of the '60s and raised a daughter on her own gets a call that her daughter is on a hunger strike in Dublin. "It raises provocative questions about being a parent,'' Glass said.

"Unless" by Carol Shields

Two novels that detail how people deal with loss:
"The Dogs of Babel'' by Carolyn Parkhurst
"Grief" by Andrew Holleran

"The City Of Your Final Destination" by (the underrated) Peter Cameron

"The Feast of Love" by Charles Baxter

"The Position" by Meg Wolitzer (a satire with great heart)

"Love Warps the Mind a Little" by John Dufresne

"A Disorder Peculiar to the Country" by Ken Kalfus (A very dark and very funny satire)

A nonfiction recommendation:
"Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty" by Scott Turow (a short book that should be read by everyone who has ever debated capital punishment)

Tomorrow: Novelist Jennifer Haigh's reading recommendations


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Nicole Lamy is editor of the Globe's Books section.
Jan Gardner writes the "Shelf Life" column for the Globe's Books section.
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