Ridley Pearson

Recommended reading from the author of The Risk Agent and Peter and the Starcatchers.



Whether writing gripping thrillers for adults or soaring adventures for younger audiences, Ridley Pearson brings startling plot twists and vivid characters to the page. In his new novel The Risk Agent, a forensic accountant and a private investigator search for two hostages in Shanghai before time runs out. But who's behind the brazen crime. This week, Pearson points us to three favorites, including an American classic and a dynamic new voice in YA fiction.


Books by Ridley Pearson



To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee


"Before you groan, hear me out. This is a book I recently used to teach creative writing in China, an experience that inspired my writing my own thriller, The Risk Agent. In To Kill a Mockingbird you have: children at risk, a crime and a trial, enormous social issues of poverty and injustice that remain a part of any society today, mystery/suspense, heartwarming family drama, and some memorable characters. All in a package that is so superbly written I routinely reread this book at least once a year. It never, ever, grows old."



A World Lit Only by Fire

By William Manchester


"This nonfiction book about the Middle Ages began (as I understand it) with the author's desire to write about Magellan. It ended up that Magellan only occupies about the final 80 pages. Instead, we enter the forest in the Dark Ages and shiver and starve and wander into a township where the Catholic Church is arriving to sell a "free pass" into heaven. It is compelling from start to finish."




By Marie Lu


"I was asked to review this first novel for a major publication and came away a fan. Ms. Lu's YA entry is in the crowded post-apocalyptic genre. But she serves up rapid fire action, rich and unusual characters, and all in a setting of a nearly destroyed Los Angeles. Marie Lu is someone to keep your eye on."

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.