Bedtime Stories, Feb. 2014

  • February 17, 2014

What do literary types have queued up on their nightstands and ready to read before lights-out? We asked a few of them, and here’s what they said.

Bedtime Stories, Feb. 2014

Alan Cheuse:


Because I write and read all day, I try to reserve pride of place on my nightstand for books I hope will entertain me before I ease off into sleep. Not that I don’t take these books seriously, but they’re mostly genre books that I don’t have to write about for money. (Except these are so good that I have.) Standing out for me right now:

Chance” target=“_blank”>Chance, he turns his attention inland as he focuses on the troubled life of an obsessive San Francisco psychiatrist. How much trouble the doctor, Eldon Chance, will find for himself quickly becomes clear. Divorced, with a daughter and ex-wife who live in the Bay Area, Chance makes most of his scarcely lavish income from serving as a forensic expert. When he meets the troubled wife of an Oakland homicide detective, his own troubles increase a hundred-fold.

And crime news from Ireland: Alan Cheuse is the author of five novels, four collections of short fiction, and the memoir Fall Out of Heaven. Dubbed National Public Radio’s “voice of books,” he is a regular contributor to NPR’s “All Things Considered.” His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, the Antioch Review, and many other publications. He teaches in the Writing Program at George Mason University and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.


Rafael Alvarez:

There’s a monster on my nightstand: The Goldfinch” target=“_blank”>Goldfinch fly!

Baltimore-based writer Rafael Alvarez is the author of the new story collection, Tales from the Holy Land. His other books include Orlo and Leini, The Fountain of Highlandtown, Storyteller, The Wire: Truth Be Told, and Hometown Boy: The Hoodle Patrol and Other Curiosities of Baltimore. A longtime reporter for the Baltimore Sun, he also wrote for the popular HBO series “The Wire.”


Thien-Kim Lam:

I’ve never been a good monogamous reader, as I’m always in the middle of several books. Here are two I’m currently reading:

The Secret History of Las Vegas” target=“_blank”>The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani. I recently finished this literary thriller; it was tough to read late at night in the semi-darkness. A detective suspects conjoined twins of a series of unsolved murders and enlists the help of Dr. Singh, who studies psychopaths. The novel is creepy, yet hard to put down.

Thien-Kim Lam is the head book nerd at From Left to Write, a virtual book club for bloggers. She also writes about multicultural parenting, work-life balance, and food at I’m Not the Nanny.


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