Welcome to another installment of a collaboration between the Chicago Review of Books and the Your Favorite Book podcast. Malavika Praseed, frequent CHIRB contributor and podcast host, seeks to talk to readers and writers about the books that light a fire inside them. What’s your favorite book and why?
Our guest is Adam Levin, author of multiple novels and most recently, the author of Mount Chicago. This sprawling novel features the city of Chicago in the midst of natural disaster and centers two lives, comedian and writer Solomon Gladman, as well as his biggest fan, Apter Schutz. The book delves into grief, metafiction, publishing, parrots, and so much more that really defies a conventional summary.
Levin chose another book difficult to summarize, J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Following the youngest siblings of the Glass family, Salinger explores themes of spiritual emptiness, creativity, and social isolation in a novel that feels very much like a stage play in its form and construction. We reflect on how there’s always more to discover in reading and rereading a novel, even generations after its initial publication.
Sula by Toni Morrison (with Saeed Jones, Author of Alive at the End of the World) – Your Favorite Book
- Sula by Toni Morrison (with Saeed Jones, Author of Alive at the End of the World)
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (with Joe Meno, Author of Book of Extraordinary Tragedies)
- Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (with Adam Levin, Author of Mount Chicago)
- The Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Wang Anyi (with Belinda Huijuan Tang, Author of A Map for the Missing)
- A Death in the Family by James Agee (with Jean Thompson, Author of The Poet's House)
Listen to this episode of Your Favorite Book at the link above and stay tuned for more episodes with other writers in the weeks to come. If you enjoy this episode, check out other episodes of Your Favorite Book on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other major podcast platforms. Reviews on Apple Podcasts and other platforms are also very much appreciated.
Malavika Praseed is a writer, book reviewer, and genetic counselor. Her fiction has been published in Plain China, Cuckoo Quarterly, Re:Visions, and others. Her podcast, YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and various other platforms