Book picks from our Friday Guests

Roundtable guests come prepared to answer, “What are you reading or have recently read?”

Star Tribune political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger: “I, Claudius,” by Robert Graves.

Goff Howard vice president Mike Zipko: “The Fallen Angel,” by Daniel Silva.

Political science Prof. Barbara Palmer: “The Bean Trees” and “Pigs in Heaven,” by Barbara Kingsolver, and “The President’s Club,” by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy.

Kerri never misses a chance to find out what books and blogs might expand our scientific knowledge. Today’s science guests obliged.’s science editor Maggie Koerth-Baker recommended “Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus,” by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, and blogs curated by Scientific American.

Nature chief correspondent Ivan Semeniuk suggested “Critical Mass: how one thing leads to another,” by Philip Ball, and “Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water,” by Marc Reisner. If you’re interested in keeping up with Mars rover, read Emily’s blog at The Planetary Society.

  • Kevin

    Book recommendation: The Dream of the Celt by the Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. It’s the tragic story of Roger Casement, the Irish nationalist, who as an official in the British Foreign Office exposed the atrocities committed in the Congo and Peruvian Amazonia by European colonial and commercial concerns. Llosa is a wonderful writer. I could smell the Congo. I believed I was in the same room as the characters I was reading about. Llosa puts you there and gives you enough contextual background to make you feel you belong there. Uplifting, tragic. Fabulous read.