One of my favorite NPR personalities is Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air’s book critic. She has the perfect librarian voice, and, whether I read her recommended books or not, her reviews are a treat to listen to.
Tonight on Fresh Air, Ms. Corrigan wrapped up the year with a her list of Best Books of 2009, including five fiction and five non-fiction books. Corrigan seems to have found a number of sleepers, books that haven’t gone unnoticed but haven’t been on the top of the best seller lists.
Two non fiction recommendations that will definitely end up on my to-read list are Fordlandia by Greg Grandin and The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience by Kirsten Downey.
Corrigan’s recommendations are in part based on her sense that the zeitgeist of the times harkens back to the Great Depression, an era brought to mind everyday in the financial headlines. I like the fact that these true stories focus on the shadows of history, the first a story of a behind-the-scenes confidant and advisor to FDR, the other the story of Henry Ford’s alternative to the Bolshevik revolution, a worker’s paradise in Brazil modeled on his utopian vision.
More books to look forward to!