What’s Dannye Romine Powell Reading?

If you’re looking for a good read, ask a book reviewer for a recommendation! Dannye Romine Powell of the Charlotte Observer shared a few of her favorites:

Dannye Romine Powell, Charlotte Observer

I say any book is an excellent read if it engages you as you fly from Charlotte to Dallas in a stiff, way-back-of-the-beyond seat with neither window or movable headrest.

Thank goodness for the absorbing novel, The Possible World, by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz (cq), an ER doctor who lives in Chapel Hill. Past and present merge here as a young boy witnesses a murder and a doctor brings the child from mute trauma into the sheltering warmth of her world.

Here’s a new collection of poetry that won’t frighten you. There Is a Field, by Charlotte’s Barbara Conrad, includes a dazzle of poems that will make you laugh, cry and ponder. How in the world does she make such a complicated art look so simple?

What Luck, This Life is a novel of linked short stories by Charlotte’s Kathryn Schwille. In prose at least as creamy and sophisticated as any in the New Yorker, she shows how the fallout from the disabled space shuttle Columbia into the small town of Kiser, Texas, alters the lives of its citizens. Due September 18.

I love memoir, and My Brother Moochie: Regaining Dignity in the Face of Crime, Poverty, and Racism in the American South, by former Observer editorial writer Issac J. Bailey delivers. When Bailey’s hero of a big brother Moochie knifes a man to death, nine-year-old Bailey soon develops a severe stutter. In scenes so honest they  will blister your heart, I watched Bailey first creep, then walk, and soon catapult through his fears, doubts and difficulties. A triumph of a book and a life.

I have two books on my must-re-read list. The essays in Elizabeth Hardwick’s 1979  Sleepless Nightsreviewed so engagingly in a recent New York Times Book Review, and my all-time favorite book about 20th century poets, the 1982 Poets in Their Youth, by Eileen Simpson. Simpson offers a deliciously intimate and sympathetic take on some troubled male poets – John Berryman (to whom she was married) and their close circle of friends — Robert Lowell, Randall Jarrell, Delmore Schwartz and others.

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