Dog Eared

Books we love

Leslie Schnur's Reads

In the latest in our occasional series of inviting writers to tell us about what they read for inspiration -- and why -- we asked Leslie Schnur, author of Late Night Talking, to tell us about her favorite books:

"The best book by far that I've read lately is Away, by Amy Bloom. I couldn't put it down. The writing is unselfconscious and gorgeous, the characters vivid, the history fascinating, the narrative so compelling that the novel is a page-turner. Lillian Leyb's journey to find her daughter is heartbreaking and ultimately satisfying. I laughed and I cried, and had the most wonderful time. I rarely re-read a contemporary novel, but I look forward to experiencing this book again.

I also recommend The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. This is another novel that is both funny and deeply moving. Told in the voices of two wonderful characters -- an old Jewish man and a teenage girl -- it's a novel of intertwined mysteries, full of twists and turns. Tender and romantic, this is an inventive novel, beautifully written.

When Kurt Vonnegut died this past spring, I went back and re-read Cat's Cradle, a novel I hadn't read since my late teens. There's a reason it's a classic. It's a wild satirical ride, a hilarious adventure and very relevant to the concerns of today -- politics, our planet, religion, humanity. If you haven't read Vonnegut, it's a great place to begin. And then continue and be sure to read Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions, two of my other favorite Vonnegut novels."

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