What You’re Reading

Herb Eckhouse, co-owner of La Quercia, is reading “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House, 2010): “Wilkerson chronicles the Great Migration of 6 million African-Americans fleeing the terrorism of Jim Crow in the South and moving to the safer but still segregated and prejudiced cities of the Northeast, Midwest and West. To help me with more historical context, my son gave me ‘Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877’ by Eric Foner, the reference historical text on the post-Civil War period. It has been fascinating to expand my meager understanding of carpetbaggers and scalawags, Radicals and Democrats, upcountry Unionists and lowland plantation Confederates.”

Pamela Bass-Bookey, philanthropist and owner of Goldfinch restaurant, is reading “Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family” by Daniel Bergner (Lee Boudreaux Books, 2016): “I first heard Ryan Speedo Green last fall on NPR recounting his story. I was immediately taken. The book is uplifting despite the complicated journey this young man was forced to take due to circumstances beyond his control—race, an unsettled family life, poverty—and yet through music and the generosity and intuition of a handful of dedicated teachers, he was able to scale his way to the rarefied world of opera. In a time where we are feeling threatened by significant cuts in the arts, this book points out the urgent importance of the arts as a way to help people communicate and literally find their voice.”

Michaela Mullin, associate editor at Nomadic Press, is reading “Objects From a Borrowed Confession” by Julie Carr (Ahsahta Press, 2017): “I have loved Carr’s poetry for years, and her new genre-defying book reinforces my adoration. ‘Objects’ manages to include epistles, lyric and essayistic prose, and memoiristic/diaristic moments, as well as philosophical investigations. Carr writes beautifully about confession, from a personal and scholarly perspective, covering desire, betrayal, envy and forgiveness. The universe she invokes includes Trayvon Martin, Amiri Baraka, Wallace Shawn, Jean-François Lyotard and St. Augustine. And with pitch-perfect diction and punctuative precision, this collection offers an intense emotional and intellectual experience, always poetic, no matter the form Carr’s works take.”

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