WLRN #FridayReads : What Are You Reading?

May 12, 2017

What are you reading? WLRN wants to know — and we'll share what we, and other people in the South Florida community, are reading every week in this space.

Tell us what you're reading by replying in the comments, or tweet us @WLRN with the hashtag #FridayReads

Arlo Haskell, Key West Literary Seminar executive director

I'm reading Sharla Fett's Recaptured Africans, a powerful investigation of what happened in 1860 when the U.S. Navy intercepted slave ships off the coast of Cuba and built internment camps to hold the slave ship refugees in Key West and Charleston. Fett introduces the idea of "recaptivity" to describe the uniquely miserable journey of these individuals and hers is the first history of these events that focuses on the experiences of the recaptive Africans themselves. This brought me back to John Hersey's historical-fiction short story "Just Like You and Me" (from Key West Tales), which succeeds in a different way in restoring humanity and dignity to recaptives who were largely denied it during their lives. (Also, Key West scholar Corey Malcom's work in this area is terrific and is cited throughout Fett's book.)

Alex Segura, writer, most recently author of Dangerous Ends

I'm reading The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn, a chilling, enthralling and comprehensive look at Jim Jones and the Peoples Church, which gained infamy after the nightmarish mass suicide in Guyana. Reads like a great novel, well-paced and impeccably researched.

 Kate Stein, WLRN environment and transportation reporter I'm reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It's about two families who live on neighboring farms in California's Salinas Valley in the early 1900s. What I love about this book is how Steinbeck uses short, detailed sentences to convey the beauty of the land and the complexity of his characters. He supposedly considered East of Eden his magnum opus, and as I get deeper into the story, I can see why.