Reader’s Choice

‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Written by J.D. Vance

Like thousands of others, I picked up J.D. Vance’s New York Times bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” (2016) to better understand why the white working class in the middle of the country carried a newcomer to politics and government service, of…

‘Commonwealth’ Written by Ann Patchett

“Commonwealth” (2016) is Ann Patchett’s seventh novel, but she facetiously calls it her “autobiographical first novel,” alluding to the debut novel a 20-something might write where it’s unabashedly stolen from her own life. If you’ve read other books by Patchett,…

“M Train” Written by Patti Smith

Punk rock star and multi-talented artist Patti Smith’s National Book Award winner “Just Kids” covered the early days of her New York City life, highlighting her deep friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe before his death from AIDS. “M Train” (2015),…

‘The Vacationers’

What characterizes a good summer read? I’m no expert on that since I’m generally indifferent to the season when I make my choice. But this year after a string of heavier topics, I decided on Emma Straub’s “The Vacationers” (2014).…