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 Times6 min read
Lessons on Living From My 106-Year-Old Aunt Doris
My Aunt Doris recently passed away, exactly two weeks before her birthday. She would have been 107. I have been involved in health care for my entire professional life, as a hospital executive, consultant and professor of health care management. But
The New York Times4 min read
Recordings by Elton John, Nirvana and Thousands More Lost in Fire
Eleven years ago this month, a fire ripped through a part of Universal Studios Hollywood. At the time, the company said that the blaze had destroyed the theme park’s “King Kong” attraction and a video vault that contained only copies of old works. Bu
The New York Times6 min read
Practical Ways to Improve Your Confidence (and Why You Should)
Self-confidence is a bit like the running water in your house. You may not know every detail about how it works or where it comes from, but it’s painfully obvious when it’s not there. Like when your water is shut off, a dearth of self-confidence has