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The Top of the Stack

Posted by Ralph Ranalli  April 24, 2007 12:41 PM

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Michael Thomas shares his favorite books in a new Great Writers podcast feature
(Globe staff photo by Suzanne Kreiter)

Whenever an aspiring author asks a successful one for advice, the answer is invariably: "Read."

But read what?

To help answer that question, the Globe's Great Writers podcast has been asking our participating authors to recommend the great books they've been reading lately. We're calling the new feature "Top of the Stack" - as in the books that have earned exulted status amid that pile next to their favorite reading chair.

The first installment of the new feature is already live online. We're also offering a recap and links here for those seeking more information.

Lionel Shriver, the author of the best selling book "We Need to Talk About Kevin," read last month from her new novel "The Post-Birthday World." She recommended:

"Intiution", by Allegra Goodman"
"Revolutionary Road" by Richard Yates, and
"Atonement" by Ian McEwan

Michael Thomas, the Newton native who recently published the acclaimed novel "Man Gone Down," included a collection by poet Yusef Komunyakaa among his recommendations. They were:

"Just Above My Head" by James Baldwin
"Four Quartets" by T.S. Eliot, and
"Taboo" by Yosef Komunyakaa.

Finally, Pagan Kennedy, the author of the fascinating transsexual surgical history "The First Man-Made Man," recommended:

"The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion,
"The Midnight Disease" by Alice Flaherty, and
"His Brother's Keeper" by Jonathan Weiner.

We'll bring you more recommendations as the series moves along. The next episode of Great Writers will feature Erica Wagner, literary editor for The Times of London, reading and discussing her new novel "Seizure" at Newtonville Books.

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