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Baltimore authors share what they're reading

Local authors share the titles they're enjoying right now.

Madison Smartt Bell, whose most recent novel is "The Color of Night":

"Noble Savages," by Napoleon Chagnon, back to back with "Triste Tropiques" by Claude Levi-Strauss. Sort of a bookend pair of anthropology texts, both fascinating. "Les Cloches de la Bresilienne," a magical mystery by Haitian author Gary Victor. I have a project with some other people to publish this book in the U.S.

Jessica Anya Blau, author of the forthcoming "The Wonder Bread Summer":

I'm reading "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter. The truth is, I picked up the book because I love the cover. But I've been thrilled to discover that the story is just as interesting and captivating as the cover art. "Beautiful Ruins" has all the things I love to read about: Italy, Hollywood, love, the '60s, writing, movie stars, aging and life in general. It's fabulous.

Taylor Branch, whose latest work is "The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement":

I'm reading the Venice-based mystery series by Donna Leon in preparation for an upcoming trip to Italy.

Dan Fesperman, whose most recent novel is "The Double Game":

I'm just finishing "A Long Way Down," by Nick Hornby, a favorite author of mine. I was lucky enough to attend a talk of his in New York a couple weeks ago, which inspired me to pick up the one novel of his which I hadn't yet read. Four alternating voices, each with its own appeal.

Anne Tyler, whose latest novel is "The Beginner's Goodbye":

I've just finished Kent Haruf's "Benediction" — one of the best books I've read all year. It's a novel about an aging couple facing the approaching death of the husband, and I found it both a delight to read and a heartbreaker.

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