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 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.