The Baltimore Sun

As the director of the Peabody Institute, Jeffrey Sharkey is the leader of undergraduate and graduate students in the Peabody Conservatory and Preparatory at the music school at the Johns Hopkins University. Sharkey has been the director for two years, and is an acclaimed pianist and composer as well.

Sharkey's music will be featured in a concert at the Peabody Conservatory on Sept. 24 with Jonathan Carney, violinist and concertmaster for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

"A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth

It's a panoramic novel of India just before independence. It captures so many facets of Indian life; a life I knew nothing about. The author is not only an author, but a poet as well.

"Birdsong" by Sebastian Faulks

It's a searing portrayal of World War I in the trenches. Growing up in the '70s in America, I knew much more about World War II. This novel talks about a war I knew little about. It brings you right into the trenches and symbolizes a life of human waste in World War I.

"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon

It's the thrilling story of two immigrants to New York City achieving fame and fortune by setting up a comic book publishing company. It just really captures the part of American history when immigrants were coming to America.

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