Part three of three of “What are you reading,” answers to a Facebook post in which I asked friends to tell me what they were reading. In these days of “home confinement” we should take the time to pick up a book or three and explore the absolute beauty and enchantment of literature. 

Perhaps somewhere in this varied collection you’ll find something intriguing. 

I’m grateful to the dozens of people who responded and impressed with their selections. We have responses from editors of significant newspapers, doctors, authors, broadcasters, educators, social workers, psychologists, farmers and laborers. 

I did not include duplications, and there were some, and I did not include names of those who responded because I never asked their permission to use their names publicly.

So, here’s the list, part three of three. If you like, add your recommendations.

  • Mayflower. by Nathaniel Philbrick.  “Vivid and remarkably fresh…Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages.”–The New York Times Book Review. Much of this book is centered in Rhode Island and gives you a new perspective of the towns we have come to This person was interested in books that had a Rhode Island or area connection. So, what follows are some of the suggestions that were offered:
    • The Mulligan series by former Providence Journal reporter Bruce DeSilva. These mystery books primarily focus on an investigative reporter for a fictitious newspaper, the Providence Dispatch
    • Any mystery by Peter Lovesey. He’s done several series; the latest, featuring Inspector Peter Diamond of the Bath police force, is a delight. 
    • The Doctor Broad by Dr. Barbara Roberts. Dr. Roberts tells her story of being the cardiologist to Raymond Patriarca, the head of the New England mafia. This is a compelling true story that takes us through her relationship with Patriarca, with the mafia, a mafia romance, her becoming the first cardiologist in Rhode Island, and an activist for women’s rights.
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. “Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.” – Goodreads 
  • Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan, based on a true story and set during World War II Italy. Filled with intrigue, this is the story of a young man who becomes a spy for the allies.
  • The End of Faith by Sam Harris. Winner of the 2005 Pen Award for nonfiction. This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in the modern world.” 
  • This is Happiness, a new novel by Niall Williams, poignant, hilarious portrait of a season in a teenage boy’s life in rural western Ireland in perhaps 1930s. Especially recommend the audio narration by Dermot Crowley.
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, set in 1666 England during a plague. “A housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer.” 
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven. Based on a Navy SEAL’s inspiring graduation speech. A #1 New York Times bestseller. 
  • Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. “This taut and terrifying book is among the most closely observed accounts of Donald J. Trump’s shambolic tenure in office to date.” –  Dwight Garner, The New York Times 
  • When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neil. “An emotional new tale of two sisters, an ocean of lies, and a search for the truth.” – Goodreads.
  • Up In the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell. It’s a collection of short stories he wrote for the New Yorker. One particularly timely story within the collection is Rats on the Waterfront, a story that originally appeared in the New Yorker in April 1944 under the title Thirty Two Rats from Casablanca. It’s a fascinating piece about New York City’s very near miss with a bubonic plague outbreak during WWII, and the health officials who handled it. 
  • Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs (on audiobook) – by epidemiologist Michael T. Osterholm. This writer has been on many morning shows lately. Book came out in March 2017.
  • American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump by Tim Alberta. A New York Times bestseller “Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent provides a rollicking insider’s look at the making of the modern Republican Party—how a decade of cultural upheaval, populist outrage, and ideological warfare made the GOP vulnerable to a hostile takeover from the unlikeliest of insurgents: Donald J. Trump.” – Amazon
  • Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the taking of the White House by Tom LoBianco. “An AP News political analyst presents an in-depth portrait of the vice president, covering Pence’s devout Christian faith, his meteoric political career, and the rumors about his ambitions to succeed Trump.” – NPR
  • The Soul of America by John Meacham. A review of the presidency with emphasis on how past Presidents addressed the major issues of their time and how their leadership formed the basis of the presidency.
  • Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin.” Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has spent decades chronicling four consequential US presidents – Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. 
  • Jesus the Magician by Morton Smith. “Drawing on obscure fragments of ancient documents, the late author of The Secret Gospel challenges the orthodox version of the life of Jesus Christ with a portrait of Jesus as a feared practitioner of black magic.” 
  • The Complete Stories of Truman Capote. “A landmark collection that brings together Truman Capote’s life’s work in the form he called his ‘great love,’ The Complete Stories confirms Capote’s status as a master of the short story…Reading them reminds us of the miraculous gifts of a beloved American original.” – Amazon
  • There are several terrific articles in the New Yorker Magazine on the history of Coronaviruses through many years of sleuthing by medical experts and its proficient attack on human body in particular the respiratory system. Connecting the related cousins Sars and Mers. Very informative.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal....