In mid-July, with temperatures rising and the entire CJR office dreaming of beach chairs and umbrella drinks, we asked our readers to help us compile a list of books that journalists might enjoy reading on their summer vacations. Here are a few of the titles you came up with:
The Cruel Radiance by Susie Linfield on photography and political violence. A fascinating study of the power of photography and some of the best photographers of war and disaster. —Robin Lindley
If you have not read Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn, you should. A hilarious look at Fleet Street in the late 1960s. —Jim Kelly
For anyone interested in data-driven journalism, the classic Precision Journalism by Pulitzer-winning Philip Meyer, the just-out Visualize This by Nathan Yau of the Flowing Data blog, on the grounds that graphical analysis is central both to exploratory data analysis and communicating the results to your audience, and The Tiger That Isn’t by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot. The last is an entertaining run through the use and abuse of statistics in politics and journalism. —Peter Aldhous
Norman Mailer’s Executioner’s Song to me is the high water mark of the New Journalism and Mailer’s best work. Needs to be read in one fell swoop for maximum effect. Great beach read. —T. Jackson
Blood River by Tim Butcher of The Daily Telegraph. So you considered yourself on the intrepid side did you? This tale will make even the most seasoned scribe-against-the-odds fancier blanche. Excellent backdrop too on Congolese history. —Christopher Potter
Late Edition: A Love Story by Bob Greene, wonderfully rich, detailed, bittersweet memoir of the old days at an Ohio newspaper, with a newsroom full of characters, decades ago when people depended foremost on print, very familiar to me breaking into journalism with the Providence Journal in the 1960s. —M. Charles Bakst
David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, not least for the hope that the scraps around your desk may one day be turned into art. —Stephen MurrayThe Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.