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Ann Patchett’s Book Recommendations

ann patchett's book recommendations

Illustration by Mia Feitel and Yousra Attia

Welcome to Shelf Life, ELLE.com’s books column, during which authors share their most memorable reads. Whether or not you’re on the hunt for a e-book to console you, transfer you profoundly, or make you snigger, take into account a advice from the writers in our collection, who, such as you (because you’re right here), love books. Maybe considered one of their favourite titles will turn into considered one of yours, too.

Ann Patchett has a paperback out at the moment: The Dutch House, a 2020 Pulitzer Prize finalist in fiction, NYT bestseller, and her eighth novel. (Enjoyable reality: She requested Tom Hanks to learn the audiobook, and he stated sure. One other one: She threw the primary draft out and began over.) In different brushes with Hollywood, her 2001 novel, Bel Canto, was made into a film in 2018 starring Julianne Moore. She’s also written three works of nonfiction and two image books.

The Nashville-based self-described introvert has an inner medicine-practicing husband, shelter canine named Sparky, a blog called Notes From Ann, and a love for Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, “Revisionist History.” She went to Catholic faculty for a dozen years; waitressed at a TGIFriday’s; and interviews authors like Roxane Homosexual and Zadie Smith for her bookstore, Parnassus Books. The identify comes from Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels, a couple of spinster who buys a horse-drawn roving bookstore—and sure, Patchett’s retailer has a bookmobile. It’s a blue bus purchased on-line known as Pegasus, or Peggy for brief. Let’s get this present on the highway!

The e-book that:

…helped me via loss:

The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham. When somebody advisable it to me, I believed there was no manner I might learn it, but it surely turned out to be the one e-book that helped. I later went on to learn Wickersham’s stunning e-book of quick tales, The News from Spain.

…saved me up manner too late:

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke. I don’t learn many mysteries however I’d comply with Texas Ranger Matthews wherever.

…made me cry:

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. I used to be crying so laborious on the finish I couldn’t see the web page.

…I like to recommend time and again:

This might be the beginning of a really lengthy record, however I’ll say The All of It by Jeannette Haien. It’s sensible, engulfing, will be learn in a single sitting. Everybody I give it to is amazed by it.

…I preserve making an attempt to complete (I’ll, I swear):

Middlemarch by George Eliot. Each time I get 300 pages in, one thing comes up that I’ve to learn so I cease.

…at present sits on my nightstand:

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante. I began it final night time. Thus far, so good.

…I’d go onto my child:

I don’t have a child however I preserve stacks of Kate DiCamillo books round to present to any child which may be strolling previous the home. I particularly love The Magician’s Elephant and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

…I’d reward to a brand new graduate:

The Story of More by Hope Jarhen. It’s a e-book about save the planet by consuming much less.

…made me snigger out loud:

Every part by David Sedaris makes me bark like a seal. His diaries, Theft By Finding, isn’t his funniest e-book but it surely’s my favourite.

…I final purchased:

Unforgettable by Scott Simon. It’s a memoir about his stunning mom and rising up in Chicago. It’s so loving. By the point I used to be completed I used to be in love with Patricia Simon.

…has the perfect title:

Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy. It occurs to be a extremely nice e-book however the title alone is motive sufficient to purchase it.

…has the best ending:

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. I received’t spoil it for you. It’s so stunning, so good, that after I completed I began the e-book once more.

…ought to be on each school syllabus:

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. It’s a historical past lesson about our authorities’s ongoing makes an attempt to seize Place of birth, a lesson in writing as a result of there isn’t a higher author alive at the moment, and only a terrific learn.

…I’ve re-read probably the most:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s put collectively like a Swiss watch.

…I take into account literary consolation meals:

Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. It’s a must to learn each of them. You’ll by no means discover anything that good.

…options probably the most stunning e-book jacket:

The Dutch House by me. My pal Noah Saterstrom painted the quilt portrait for me in 4 days. It’s a portrait of the primary character within the novel. It’s gorgeous.

…everybody ought to learn:

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson as a result of it explains how this nation was made and what the implications are for all of us.

…I might solely have found at a bookstore:

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic edited by Eugenie Tsai with an essay by Connie H. Choi. I like artwork books, however I’ve to see them so as to fall for them. This one is a treasure.

…shocked me:

Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall. It’s the story of 52 real-life Black saints from Detroit. It’s a treasure chest. Each time I opened the e-book all of it however emitted mild.

Bonus query: If I might dwell in any library or bookstore on this planet, it will be…

Parnassus Books, an unbiased bookstore of unbiased folks in Nashville, Tennessee. And I do kind of dwell there since I’m the co-owner.

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