Colum McCann. Photo by Rich Gilligan

Author Colum McCann recommends what to read and listen to this weekend


Colum McCann. Photo by Rich Gilligan

Here at the NewsHour Arts desk, we regularly go to figures in the arts to ask for their recommendations on what we should be reading, listening to, or watching this weekend.

Now that it's Friday, Irish author Colum McCann, who wrote the National Book Award-winning "Let the Great World Spin" and "TransAtlantic," shares his perfect afternoon:

I'd sit in some quiet room with a fire blazing.  I'd pour myself a couple of fingers of Jameson in a nice heavy glass. I'd put on Colm Mac Con Iomaire's most recent album, "And Now the Weather." It's a beautiful album from one of the world's great fiddle players, as simultaneously experimental as Phillip Glass and as traditional as the great Irish band Planxty. I'd crack open "Lincoln in the Bardo," the new novel from George Saunders. Anything from Saunders is sure to brighten my world. He's one of the great voices of our times. He is the sort of writer who is always there when the bread comes out of the oven. I would sit and read and read and read, while the album played on auto-repeat. And I would watch absolutely nothing at all. No television, no movies, no screens of any sort.  Not a damn thing. I would pretend that this world of Trump does not exist for a while and I would luxuriate in the sound and rhythm of music and literature. And then I might pour myself yet another glass…

"Lincoln in the Bardo," the first novel from American writer George Saunders, who is known for his essays and short stories, was released last month. Saunders sat down with with NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown to talk about the book, a ghost story about grief and love. See that interview below:

And then listen to "The Finnish Line," from Colm Mac Con Iomaire's 2015 album "And Now the Weather":


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