Anne Perry

Mind-expanding nonfiction from the mystery writer's bookshelf.



Renowned for her atmospheric mysteries set in Victorian England, Anne Perry weaves period detail with police procedural to create thrilling crime fiction. Her most recent novel, Acceptable Loss, finds London detective William Monk and his wife Hester investigating a dockside homicide that leads to a repulsive criminal underworld of juvenile sex slavery. When we asked Perry to pick three favorites, she replied, "I have chosen three very different books, but they are all excellent company and provoke both thought and flight of the imagination." Enjoy!


Books by Anne Perry



At Home: A Short History of Private Life

By Bill Bryson


"He wanders through the rooms of his own house, and in his research and imagination the rooms of all the world. He sees the characters of history, famous and unknown, in the intimate details of their daily lives. We share their courage, laughter, stoicism, and inventiveness. After reading this, no old house will ever be ordinary to you again; instead, it will be a link between you and the rest of humanity -- a fascinating and grateful link to all that we have now, and have been given by the past."



The Secret History of the World

By Mark Booth


"It is nothing to do with war or politics, it is the history of the human mind, the great concepts and ideas that have become universal. For example -- if originally we all had telepathic connections with each other, then the one who destroyed that and caused aloneness also gave us individuality and agency! Orpheus measured the stars, created numbers and the musical octave and notation. Christ taught us that there is a cosmos within our heads as vast as that in space; to care for all men, not only our kin; and possibly the greatest of all, the nature of empathy. This is just a taste of the wealth of the mind we have inherited."



Whisper My Name to the Grass

By Doris S. Platt


"This is a first-hand account by a woman who travelled from America to the Republic of Georgia as a tourist, and who stayed as a humanitarian and an adviser to President Eduard Shevardnadze through the time of the Georgian Civil War and the fall of Communism. It was a pivotal point in history observed with wit and love for the people. It is filled with stories of unforgettable characters, their courage and resourcefulness, their long and rich history, and their triumphs of the spirit. The description of the land and its beauty will haunt you long after you close the pages."

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.