Rachael Sage

The singer recommends three moving reads.



Singer-songwriter Rachael Sage brings a theatricality to her performances and a vulnerability to her music that have earned her comparisons to Regina Spektor and Sarah McLachlan. Her new album, Haunted by You, showcases the performer's knack for writing lush pop gems tinged with an ironic sense of humor and embellished by the work of some of the best studio musicians working today. When we asked her to recommend her favorite reading, Sage responded with an eclectic trio of books as diverse as her musical influences.


Music by Rachael Sage




The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank

By Willy Lindwer


"I visited the Anne Frank House while on tour in Amsterdam last summer and picked this up at the museum bookstore. The book comprises interviews with six female Holocaust survivors who knew Anne in the final months of her life. Each of the women's stories is a testament to courage, compassion, and sheer human endurance, and gives a chilling sense of what daily life might have been like not only for Anne, but also for other prisoners in Nazi extermination camps. The book gives both a harrowing and uplifting depiction of how these heroic women formed unbreakable bonds even as their families were torn apart. As one woman attests, 'The attempts to degrade us to just a number completely failed.' This is the most profoundly moving book about WW2 I've ever read and reminds me not to take any of my precious freedoms for granted."



The Master and Margarita

By Mikhail Bulgakov


"This is my favorite book, and I've read it over a dozen times. It was recommended by a local student I met on a high school trip to Rostov, Russia. To my young imagination Bulgakov's once-banned masterpiece was everything a novel could be: historical, political, romantic, and spiritual. Reading it in my teens helped shape the kind of songwriter I wanted to be, as it deals with so many themes that interest me as an artist: innocence/guilt, honesty/deception, courage/fear, love/sensuality. I've also always identified with the character of Margarita -- for better or worse! Every time I read this book it reveals something new to me about the human condition, and has so many different levels that it feels like you're reading jazz. As I'm also of Russian descent, I found it culturally fascinating and in college it propelled me to read works by other Russian authors, many of whom influenced Bulkagov's writing.



Beautiful Losers

By Leonard Cohen


"I'm a huge fan of Cohen's music but had never read any of his books, other than poems, until recently. Although I found most of it to be extremely disturbing, nonetheless the writing itself is explosive and perfectly captures the lust-tormented characters and their erotic betrayals. As humorous as it is painful, Cohen's hellish depiction of the degraded narrator's quest for redemption overflows with risk, pathos, and Cohen's powerful, poetic prose."

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

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

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

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.