Recommended Reading from the McNaughton Collection

The McNaughton collection is located on the 2nd floor of the library under the staircase.

I am Radar (Penguin Press 2015)
Reif Larson
LAW-Walkover Collection (2nd Floor)  PS3612.A773I2 2015

“Set aside for the moment the black baby born to white parents, the avant-­garde puppeteers and the quantum physics that swirl around the whole kit and caboodle. The most interesting facet of Reif Larsen’s 600-plus-page novel, “I Am Radar,” is that it reads like something far more compact than its bulk might suggest. There are maps, diagrams and pictures (e.g., an elephant plummeting from a bridge, a Cambodian prisoner of the Khmer Rouge) that remind one of the visual arrangements in W. G. Sebald’s novels. Then there is a deeply patterned narrative that darts easily from small-bore domestic dramas to sweeping historical catastrophes with just the right fillip of silliness and levity to keep the whole text eminently ­approachable.” Review by Christopher Byrd, NYT Sunday Book Review

Sister, Mother, Husband, Dog (Blue Rider Press 2013)
Delia Ephron
LAW-Walkover Collection (2nd Floor) PS3555.P48S57 2013

“When Ephron’s humorous essay “How to Eat like a Child” appeared in the New York Times Magazine, her first “big success,” she knew she had found her calling. In this new collection of essays, she displays that sharply funny and compassionate voice. The author, who co-wrote the screenplay You’ve Got Mail and the play Love, Loss, and What I Wore with her sister Nora, has written novels for adults and teenagers (The Lion Is In, 2012) and essay collections (Funny Sauce, 1986). Here, her keen observations about family, friends, work and life’s small indignities and deep sorrows leave readers laughing out loud one moment and tearing up the next. In her loving essay “Losing Nora,” she grapples with grief, the complexities of sisterly love and sibling rivalry while paying tribute to her brilliant, fun-loving, tough-minded sister, who died in 2012. “Am I Jewish Enough?” describes the Ephron “sect of writers.” Her parents were Hollywood screenwriters, and all three of her sisters became authors. In their religion, “Laughter was the point, not prayer, and the blessing, ‘That’s a great line, write it down.’ ” In “Why I Can’t Write about My Mother,” Ephron reveals her madcap family’s dark side. Her parents took to alcohol like Nick and Nora Charles, and nights were often filled with “drunken brawls and raging fights.” In this alcoholic haze, her emotionally distant mother became even more elusive. Ephron knows a few things about her—e.g., she abhorred conformity and insisted her daughters would have careers—but she can never break through the surface of this accomplished woman who wore one-liners like armor. A witty and often profound look at human behavior and all its absurdities, contradictions, obsessions and phobias.” Review from Kirkus Reviews