New recipes

Michelle Obama's Book Delayed

Michelle Obama's Book Delayed

'American Grown' will now be released on May 1 for $30

The first lady's gardening book, which was previously set for an April 10 release date, is now set for publication May 1, 2012.

Obama's book will tell, "The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America," as the subtitle says. It will include personal anecdotes, recipes, and photographs from Quentin Bacon (who has shot for Mario Batali and Ina Garten).

Reportedly, the 256-page hardcover will go for $30. Obama will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight, Jan. 31, promoting the book and getting Leno to eat some vegetables.

Check out the updated cover below, courtesy of Crown Publishing Group.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Vivian Gornick: 'I couldn’t finish Michelle Obama’s Becoming'

The book I am currently reading
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee. I had actually never read anything by Lee before. I’ve only read 50 or 60 pages, but her style is immensely appealing. The sentences are very simple, there’s no fancy writing – she somehow puts things together in such a lively way that I feel as if I’m listening to her. She hits that marvellous conversational style. I like Fitzgerald’s work and it’s a pleasure seeing how she developed. I’m enjoying it very much.

The book that changed my life
I was well into my 30s when I read The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg and as soon as I began I felt myself deeply connected. It isn’t that it’s the greatest book in the world, but for me it was vital. I felt she was showing me the type of writer I had it in me to be. One of the essays – “My Vocation” – really hit the nail on the head. I identified profoundly with the way in which Ginzburg traced her own development as a nonfiction writer. It made me realise that it was only through this kind of writing I could employ my own storytelling gifts. I reread it irregularly but quite a lot, and I’m always amazed by what she is able to accomplish with the small personal essay.

The book I think is most overrated
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter is immensely overrated. I could have picked 100 books like that, but this is the one that has been stuck in my craw for a long time.

The last book that made me laugh
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer is a brilliant book. For me, the best thing he ever wrote. A little bit of genius, it made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

The last book that made me cry
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s written by an Ivy League-educated, middle-class black lawyer who went to work for a non-profit organisation set up to defend the people on death row in the south. The story of what it means to be on death row in Georgia and Alabama is enough to break your heart 15 times over. His description makes it sound like South Africa before apartheid was ended. A nightmare. A wonderfully written book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming. Yes, she’s a very nice woman but I found the book tedious, and it just didn’t hold my interest.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I’ve started it 100 times over – I just can’t get into it. I always feel bad about that. I don’t think I’ll try again.

The book I give as a gift
This depends on who I’m giving the book to. It’s like giving any other kind of gift: you try to keep in mind what the recipient will like, not what you like. But it always has to be something I consider substantial. I would never give somebody the current fiction bestseller or anything like that. If I give a book, it’s one that I value, but most importantly one that the other person will value too.

My earliest reading memory
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Our house was full of books and my parents encouraged me to read, but I don’t remember any childhood stories like Winnie the Pooh. I remember fairytales like the Grimms’, but the first time I was really impressed with the experience of reading was Little Women. It went right into me.

My comfort read
The Odd Women by George Gissing. There was a time when I read that book every six months – usually in the winter – for quite a number of years. It’s a book that I treasure to this day.


Watch the video: The Rapture Puzzle Summary October 24, 2021 Full Overview (December 2021).