The New York Times

By the Book: Calvin Trillin

Hold for release: This article may not be posted online, broadcast or published before 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Sunday, July 23, 2017.

THE HUMORIST, MEMOIRIST AND JOURNALIST

Q: What books are on your night stand now?

A: “The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead; “My Darling Detective,” by Howard Norman; and “The Sellout,” by Paul Beatty.

“The Underground Railroad” has been on my night stand for a while. It had a terrific reception, but I hesitated about beginning it because of reading that it has some elements of magic realism. As a reader, I’m pretty earthbound — resistant to the magical or to changes in history or to leaps into the next century. (Yes, of course, there are books that have broken through that resistance — Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America,” for instance, and W.P. Kinsella’s “Shoeless Joe” and Alan Bennett’s “The Uncommon Reader.”) Now my reading group has selected “The Underground Railroad” as our next book,

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The New York Times

The New York Times2 min read
Gwyneth Paltrow on Goop and Beyond: 'It's a Process'
What’s next for Goop? A line of food, perhaps. Or maybe a broader push to emulate the brand power of a company like Disney, which has served as “a bit of a North Star for Goop,” said Gwyneth Paltrow, the Oscar-winning actress who runs the lifestyle-a
The New York Times6 min read
A Last Dance for Leonard Cohen
The last time Leonard Cohen appeared in public was in mid-October 2016 at a Los Angeles news conference for his 14th studio album, “You Want It Darker,” just a few weeks before his death. Behind him hung a Canadian flag and beside him sat his son, Ad
The New York Times4 min readPsychology
CORRECTION: How to -- Literally -- Sound More Confident and Persuasive
Speak up, it’ll help. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Believe me? O.K., I’m sorry, that was a cheap trick. But new research suggests that when we’re trying to seem persuasive, the volume of our words — when vocalized, of course — can have