My Favorite Books of 2019
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
by Casey Cep
Casey Cep’s remarkable re-creation of the book Harper Lee never wrote, along with a moving account of why Lee couldn’t manage it.
The Library Book
by Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean uses as her starting point the disastrous Los Angeles Public Library fire of 1986, exploring the event and following the investigation of it. Beginning with this thread, she weaves a gripping story about the history, mission, architecture, culture, and many uses of the L.A. Public Library specifically and of libraries generally.
Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing
by Robert A. Caro
To be honest, this is only Part 1 of the resolution: reading about the work methods of Robert Caro, the preeminent biographer, in which Caro describes his fanatical, inspiring search for the truth in the lives of his subjects. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 involve seeking out the biographies themselves: The Power Broker, about New York public works czar Robert Moses, and the first four books of Caro’s series The Years of Lyndon Johnson. We breathlessly await the fifth and final installment.