A monthly book club for Lopate Show listeners.
Recently in The Leonard Lopate Show Book Club
Friday, July 26, 2013
What are your favorite books/who are your favorite authors?
More than favorite authors, I have favorite works. And I’m not sure I would distinguish between films and books in that category: The Death of Ivan Ilych. Seize the Day. Annie Hall. GoodFellas. The Human Stain. The Invisible Man. Bringing Up Baby. Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson. A Bend in the River.
What are your favorite plays and why?
I think all of my favorite plays share the same qualities of dramatic impact, social commentary, and an almost classical purity of form: "Hedda Gabler." "Look Back in Anger." "Glen Garry Glen Ross." "All My Sons."
What authors or works do you think are underappreciated or overlooked?
Harold Brodkey. One of the finest writers of our American language. And likely the greatest long short fiction writer we’ve had.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits? Where, when, and how do you write?
9 to 2 every day. In my office. I tend to work in intense spurts followed by short periods of relaxation. When I’m working on a play, having an upcoming reading is helpful, and I love to write in the midst of workshops, while I have the chance to hear actors work with the new material. As a novelist, the deadlines are more internal, and the work obviously much more solitary.
Do you have favorite or least favorite words? What are they and why?
I’ve always adored the French word, oiseau. Which means bird. I love that it uses every vowel. And I love that you add an “x” for the plural: oiseaux.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Persistence. It can take a very long time to get anywhere, artistically, professionally. Be open to criticism, and continue to do it. Persist.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Ayad Akhtar’s novel American Dervish is our pick for the July Leonard Lopate Show Book Club! It’s a coming-of-age novel about Muslims in America that follows a young man named Hayat who has a romantic and spiritual awakening as he’s growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ayad Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize this year for his play “Disgraced,” and American Dervish is his debut novel. We hope you've been reading the book along with us. Leave your comments and questions!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Writer and translator Lydia Davis was awarded the Man Booker International Prize in May. Here she talks about her favorite books, the challenges of translating Madame Bovary, and why she likes the often overlooked city of Dijon, France. Listen to her discussing Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary for the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The author of The Power of Habit talks about his own habits—from reading to reporting. Listen to him discussing The Power of Habit, the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club selection for February 2013, on the Leonard Lopate Show.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Hilary Mantel joins us for the next Leonard Lopate Show Book Club to talk about Bring Up the Bodies, which won the 2012 Man Booker Prize.
Monday, May 06, 2013
We're broadcasting a discussion recorded in the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in March. The Leonard Lopate Show Book Club joined the BBC World Book Club for a conversation about The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, with writer Jay McInerney and literature professor Anne Margaret Daniel. They answer questions from around the world about what makes The Great Gatsby one of the great classics of 20th-century American literature.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Madame Bovary, one of the most celebrated novels ever written, defined the novel as an art form when it was published in 1875. Lydia Davis’s landmark translation of Flaubert’s work breathes new life into it. When it was first published, Madame Bovary was embraced by bourgeois women who felt it illuminated the frustrations of their lives. It tells the story of Emma Rouault, whose dreams of a passionate life crumble when she marries a dull, provincial doctor Charles Bovary. She struggles to escape the tedium of her days as a wife and mother. She has a series of disappointing affairs and spends money getting into debt, with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Our habits—good and bad—shape our lives, and understanding how habits work is key to losing weight, being more productive, exercising regularly, and achieving success.
Monday, January 07, 2013
Joyce Carol Oates has been called one of the most quintessentially American writers. She’s also one of the most prolific, with more than 70 books to her name. The Leonard Lopate Show has selected her 2007 novel "The Gravedigger’s Daughter" for the next Book Club read.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The author of The Bonfire of the Vanities and the new novel Back to Blood sings a little, praises Michael Lewis, and cringes at the word issues. Listen to his conversation about The Bonfire of the Vanities, our November Book Club pick.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tom Wolfe’s bestselling novel The Bonfire of the Vanities is a portrait of New York in the late 1980s—a city seething with racial tension in Harlem and the Bronx while traders were raking in huge profits on Wall Street. Wolfe’s sharp observations skewer New York society’s greed and arrogance, and highlight the simmering resentment between the haves and have nots. The New York Times Book Review called it “A big, bitter, funny, craftily plotted book that grabs you by the lapels and won’t let go.” Read it now and get your lapels grabbed!
Get the conversation started now by leaving your comments and questions about the book!
Friday, October 19, 2012
The author of Cloud Atlas (and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, among others) talked about his favorite words and a few of his favorite authors.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
David Mitchell, two-time finalist for the Booker Prize, joins us to talk about his 2004 novel Cloud Atlas. The story is told through six separate but related narratives, each set in a different time and place, and written in a different style. Novelist Michael Chabon called it “not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too.”
If you have a question for David Mitchell, leave a comment below!
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Julia Child is widely credited with single handedly teaching America about the pleasures of good cooking with her groundbreaking cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef. She would have turned 100 years old on August 15, and to celebrate her contributions to cooking and culture, the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club selection for August-September is her memoir, My Life in France, written with her grand-nephew Alex Prud’homme. He joins us to talk about her life, how she learned to cook in France, and how she became a brilliant teacher and writer. When she passed away in 2004, she and Alex were working on the book, about what Julia Child described as the best years of her life, and Alex finished it and published it in 2006.
Join the conversation—leave your comments and questions below!
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The monthly newsletter fills you in on our Book Club selections, author interviews, and links to literary news and events. When you sign up for the newsletter now through February 14, you'll be registered for a drawing to receive a 3-month membership to Audible.com! Sign up now!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it’s the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club’s selection for July! It tells the story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus to Detroit, then to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe. Calliope is not like other girls—she has to uncover a family secret and piece together her genetic history in order to reveal who she truly is. Jeffrey Eugenides joins us to discuss the novel.
Get the conversation started now by leaving a comment or question about the book!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Chad Harbach’s novel The Art of Fielding is the next pick for the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club! It was named one of 2011’s best books by the New York Times and The New Yorker. Set at a midwestern college where a star shortstop has transformed the school’s baseball team, it follows five characters grappling with the consequences of one wild throw.
Get the conversation started now—leave a comment or question below!
Monday, May 07, 2012
Monday, May 07, 2012
Teju Cole's debut novel, Open City, is about a young Nigerian doctor who wanders around Manhattan reflecting on his relationships, recent breakup, and his past. Although it's set in busy, crowded New York City, the novel explores themes of isolation, dislocation, and identity. The New Yorker called Open City "Beautiful, subtle—and original...A prismatic debut," and it was awarded the 2012 PEN/Hemingway Award.