The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Alfred Molina

What do these three tremendous actors have in common? They’ve all read excerpts of Big Read books, featured below. To hear the entire audio guides to these respective novels ---The Grapes of Wrath, The Death of Ivan Ilyich , and The Call of the Wild ---head over to The Big Read website . Start May...
Billie Holiday in Down Beat magazine, 1947. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons It's autumn in New York, and Newland Archer is about to marry May Welland. [Okay, he's about to marry her in a fictitious novel set some 140 years ago. Details.] May is the woman Archer is supposed to marry according to...
Washington, DC Edith Wharton, courtesy of Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library. Edith Wharton writes like a librettist composes operas, or like a sculptor builds structures. Today, we take a look at (and a listen to) the lasting effect of Wharton's...
Washington, DC Book cover courtesy of Modern Library, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. As playwright David Ives notes on The Age of Innocence audio guide , ?sitting down with this novel is like sitting down next to the most wonderful dinner guest who knows all of the guests at the party...
Washington, DC "Leo Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana ", 1908, by Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky. This was the first color photo portrait in Russia. At the age of 82, Leo Tolstoy famously succumbed to pneumonia on November 20, 1910 in an abandoned train station. His strange death was recently put on...