Read these books in 2018

Need some help with selecting new books this year? The Monitor asked four bookstores what books they think will excite readers in 2018. These 13 recommendations are from four independent bookstores across the United States: Prairie Lights in Iowa City; the Strand in New York; Off the Beaten Path in Steamboat Springs, Colo.; and Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn. (The Monitor has not reviewed these selections.) 

9. 'White Houses' (Feb. 13) by Amy Bloom

"White Houses" by Amy Bloom, Random House, 240 pp.

Amy Bloom delves into the friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok in this novel. Ms. Hickock, a journalist, and Ms. Roosevelt meet in 1932 while Hickok is reporting on Roosevelt’s husband’s first presidential campaign. Hickok moves into the White House, takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, and her relationship with Roosevelt deepens.

"White Houses" (Feb. 13) by Amy Bloom was recommended by Jan Weissmiller, owner of Prairie Lights in Iowa City.

9 of 11

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.