Tracy Kidder


Three works of genuine mastery.




From his early bestseller The Soul of a New Machine, a groundbreaking chronicle of the birth of the computer, Tracy Kidder has brought both broad cultural perspective and intense human interest to his studies of the rapidly changing contexts of modern life. His newest book, Strength in What Remains, traces one man's journey from war-torn Burundi to the U.S., and back again, with characteristic concentration and compassion. What are his three favorite books?


Books by Tracy Kidder




The Thing Itself

By Richard Todd


"Wit is a word that a number of contemporary artists inaccurately apply to their own work. For an example of the real thing, I suggest The Thing Itself, a haunting and often very funny meditation on authenticity. The author, Richard Todd, taught me how to write a book, but I don't think this fact has colored my admiration for the one that he has written. If anything, I ought to feel reluctant to praise it, since I wouldn't want him to give up editing. "





The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

By Ernest Hemingway


"At some point during my first year at college, I discovered Hemingway, and began ardently trying to imitate him. I don't re-read his novels now, for fear of finding they have aged as gracelessly as I have. I do re-read his short stories, though, with pleasure and admiration, and also with nostalgia. Even today, I believe, aspiring writers could find much worse places to begin."





Moby Dick

By Herman Melville


"My favorite novel, which resembles no other novel I've ever read. A very funny and haunting book. But, I believe, no one under forty ought to attempt it."

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.