Nile Rodgers

Great works of fiction to pass the time between legendary recordings.



First with his influential band Chic and then as a producer of hits by artists including Madonna ("Like a Virgin"), Diana Ross ("I'm Coming Out"), and David Bowie ("Let's Dance") , Nile Rodgers has left an indelible mark on music with a rhythm guitar sound that is often imitated and a groove that defies emulation. His new memoir, Le Freak, traces his life story from a sometimes harrowing childhood in Greenwich Village  to the heights of fame. This week, he chooses three fictions with the power to transport and enthrall.


Purchase Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny


Music by Nile Rodgers


Music by Nile Rodgers and Chic



The Count of Monte Cristo

By Alexandre Dumas


"This was the first adult book that I ever read. I was seven years old when I immersed myself in Dumas's complex revenge novel set in 19th century France. It vividly deals with cruelty, kindness, slavery, murder, and redemption. It's done so compellingly I'd bet it's even better today. It's literary fine wine."





By Frank Herbert


"Science fiction, fantasy, and magic perfectly fused. Dune even teaches you a new language. It's the story of a jealous emperor's sinister plot to eradicate a popular duke and his clan by secretly supporting a rival baron in a blood feud. The goal is to gain sole control of the most precious resource in the universe, a powerful spice called melange. This book was integral hippie gear in 1969."



Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson


"The greatest tale of pirates, mutiny, and buried treasure ever. The characters, settings, and cinematic descriptions, make this the granddaddy of all buccaneer adventures. I'm not just being nostalgic because it's the first book I ever owned. This is the one book I'd want if I were stranded on a deserted island."

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."