With more than 40 writers scheduled to speak during our Seminar this January, it can be difficult for a reader to know where to start. Sure, there are the classics and prize-winners, like William Kennedy’s Ironweed and David Levering Lewis’s two-volume biography of W.E.B. DuBois; and there are the most recent books, like Joyce Carol Oates’s Wild Nights! and Gore Vidal’s Selected Essays. But what of the hundreds you won’t have time for? The exquisite pastime of reading can suddenly grow so stressful.
With this in mind, we’ve asked our panelists which books they would recommend from among their own works and those of their peers. We kick off this recurring feature with historians Eric Foner and Jill Lepore, and novelist and critic Thomas Mallon