Suzzy Roche

Classic works of fiction from the singer and author's library.



Vocalist and songwriter Suzzy Roche is known to folk-rock fans for her legendary performances with sisters Maggie and Terre Roche in their eponymous trio. Her debut novel, Wayward Saints, spins the story of an almost-famous musician who returns to her hometown to perform at her old high school -- a wry and wise meditation on the past and its hold on us. We asked Suzzy Roche to recommend three favorite books, and she responded, "This task almost put me right over the edge. Very hard to choose. I decided to go with the three that I have re-read the most."  Below, a snapshot of the singer's bookshelf.


Books by Suzzy Roche


Music by Suzzy Roche


Music by Suzzy Roche with The Roches



Lonesome Dove

By Larry McMurtry


"Eight hundred and some pages of pure magic. It's as if the bones of these characters are actually strewn across the Wild West, enriching the very dirt this country is built upon. What can I say? The book arouses my patriotism. You can't help but fall in love with everybody on these pages, even the bad guys. The characters have nothing to go on but what is right in front of them: the natural wonder of a world they barely understand. (Sound likes life to me.) Whether we're with the wind-whipped cowboys, the heartbroken whores, the lost Mexicans, or the exiled and downright mean Blue Duck -- it's the ultimate horseback ride into existentialism. A masterpiece."




By Toni Morrison


"'124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children.' These are the opening lines of the story of Beloved. When a baby has venom, we know we're about to hear a new kind of truth. It's clear we're into a tale of motherhood, childhood, and family never before told. To me, Beloved is a musical book, sung from the depths of ghosts' souls. Full of melodic lines and syncopated rhythms, it's a symphony of voices wailing about the brutality of slavery, and the endurance of the human spirit. A fierce and brilliant lament."



A Burnt Out Case

By Graham Greene


"Whenever I get the blues, I pick up this book. In fact, one of the epigraphs (from Dante) is: 'I did not die, yet nothing of life remained.' A famous, broken architect of cathedrals, whose life has lost meaning and for whom anonymity has become a final passion, winds up at a leper colony working side-by-side with a relentlessly dedicated doctor. A Burnt Out Case is an unsentimental examination of the end of the road, literally and spiritually. The doctor is in a crisis of science, the architect, a crisis of faith. Leprosy, a disease of deformity and mutilation, is the backdrop for this heartbreaking story of how one man finds peace through humility and, ultimately, service. Practically every sentence is austere and painful, but it makes me want to live. To me, it's a perfect book."

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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.