Ayelet Waldman


Books that take their inspiration from the forbidding Maine coastline and the people who populate it.



Ayelet Waldman Long before Ayelet Waldman began spending her summers in Maine, she came to know the state's gritty beauty through the works of writers like Stephen King and Carolyn Chute. Like its predecessors, Waldman's Red Hook Road takes inspiration from the forbidding Maine coastline and its taciturn people with their quiet, acerbic senses of humor.


Books by Ayelet Waldman




Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout


"Olive Kitteridge is one of my favorite literary characters. Although she at first lacks insight into what she has done to drive her husband and son away, she's not simply or even a cold-hearted, angry woman. She's complex and deeply lonely, a woman whose life has made her harder than she has to be. In typically searing, gorgeous prose, Strout writes about Olive, "[S]he had a darkness that seemed to stand beside her like an acquaintance that would not go away." This novel in stories is set in a small town in Maine, and Strout does a remarkable job of making us feel just what life is like in a place that is narrow and constricting, yet also wildly beautiful."




Stern Men

By Elizabeth Gilbert


"Before Elizabeth Gilbert inspired millions of us to abandon our prosaic lives in search of mindfulness, emotional fulfillment, and pasta (or at least made us wish we could), she wrote this starkly beautiful novel about two islands off the coast of Maine, and the complicated, taciturn people who populate them. Ruth Thomas, just back from boarding school, is a marvelous character with a mordant wit, through whom we learn about everything from lobstering to love. "




Empire Falls

By Richard Russo


"What is it about grim and crumbling Maine mill towns that attracts me so much? In other hands, a novel set amidst this much bleakness might be depressing, but Russo manages to make us laugh, even as we cry. Miles Roby, who runs the local diner, officiates as a kind of master of ceremonies to the town's collections of misfits and neer-do-wells, many of whom are related to him. He has the same sly sense of humor as Gilbert's Ruth Thomas, the same accurate sense of being just a little bit smarter than the people around him, whom he loves nonetheless."


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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.