Subscribers at the Friends level recently had the pleasure of dining with and listening to the Emeritus Poet Laureate of Great Britain, Andrew Motion. Those who attended also received a copy of Andrew Motion Selected Poems 1976-1997(Faber & Faber). A must read.

More poetry…Cornelius Eady writes of the black man in white America: Brutal Imagination (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2001).

The post-apocalyptic novel by the Canadian writer, Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (Vintage Books, 2014).

And another Canadian (love those northerners) Lawrence Hill writes the narrative of the slave Aminata Diallo in the novel Someone Knows My Name (W.W. Norton, 2007).

And if you can’t get enough Aminattas, a personal favorite, can’t-put-down, The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna (Grove Press, 2013).

From a master storyteller, try Hakawati (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008) by Rabih Alameddine. Who could resist a novel dedicated to Demon Destroyer and Luscious Dove. Oh, to be that dove.

Non-fiction lovers, you are not forgotten: Titan: His Life (HarperCollins, 2012) by Sheila Hale. If you just can’t put those long reads down, try Napoleon: A Life (Viking, 2014) by Andrew Roberts.

Perhaps you’re feeling a bit peckish: From Scratch: Inside the Food Network (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013) by Allen Salkin.

And from the 2016-2017 season, a book that has the power to change lives, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams (Vintage Books, 1991).

If you feel a tune coming on or you’re just feeling plain nostalgic, Dylan Goes Electric by Elijah Wald (Dey Street Books, 2015).

By the author of Old Filth comes Flight of the Maidens by Jane Gardam.

Two books by the Pakistani writer, Nadeem Aslam: Maps for Lost Lovers has all the sadness of immigration and relocation but is a beautiful read. The Blind Man’s Garden is another Aslam must read.

Susan Feinstein is mentoring us still: Dominique Browning, of The New York Times Book Review, called The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Weinstein Books; original edition, 2012) “[A] strong quiet novel [of] eloquent mystery,” wherein two strong characters, Yun Ling Teoh, a retired Supreme Court judge and sole survivor of a Japanese wartime camp, and Aritomo, the former exiled gardener of the Emperor of Japan, come to terms with painful histories as their intersecting stories softly unfold in 1949 Malaya.

Two suggestions from a Board member: a fast-paced novel of the East India Company set in the early 19th century by MJ Carter, The Strangler Vine (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015). And because we are all book lover’s…

Browsings: a year of reading, collecting, and living with books by Michael Dirda (Pegasus Books, 2015)

There are days like these: Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (St. Martin’s Press, 2015). Tipping in at 4.75 stars.