Books for adults
The Plague Year: America in the Time of COVID, by Lawrence Wright. A riveting account of 2020, with a month or so before and after – all of the failures, the dedication, the politics melded with deeply touching individual stories. A history (so far) of the pandemic that has now killed nearly 800,000 Americans.
Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Issacson. A long and lavishly illustrated biography of one of the most amazing human this world has ever known. Gay, vegetarian, possibly ADHD, a famous musician, engineer, inventor, diarist, and – oh yeah – ever so often he did a painting.
The Master of Ballantrae, by Robert Louis Stevenson. A sort-of psychological thriller set in 1700’s Scotland and New York's Adirondack Mountains (Stevenson lived there for a time). It's been made into a movie twice. The first one, a 1950's swashbuckler with Errol Flynn, had only a bare resemblance to the book. The second one, made in the 1980's is much truer to Stevenson's story.
William David Thomas
Like most writers, I'm a reader. Always have been; always will be. I read fiction, non-fiction, good books, bad books, books for adults, and books for young people. Books give me knowledge, pleasure, insights, and escape. Books take me places I’ve never been. Books help me better understand the world and the people in it. So I keep reading. And here, I’ll share what I’m reading with you.
Books for young people
What About Will, by Ellen Hopkins. Trace Hopkins, 14, has always looked up to his older brother, Will. But Will suffers brain damage in a football accident, and becomes a very different person than he was. A powerful and touching story of family dynamics, drug addiction, and love.
The Truth as told by Mason Buttle, by Leslie Connor. This is one of the best kids' books I've read in a long, long time. Writers often talk about finding their main character's voice. Mason Buttle has a voice you'll never forget. A 7th grader, Mason is a school outcast because of his size, his learning disabilities, and his personal hygiene. He is grieving for the loss of his parents and his best friend, whose death is still being investigated by local police. But Mason Buttle has a heart bigger than Alaska, and a story you won't forget.