Book Club: Alice McDermott, Kate Atkinson and James Lee Burke

· Mar. 18, 2014, 6:00 am

Colorado authors Lisa Jones, Peter Heller and Helen Thorpe are close friends who’ve been gathering regularly for years in each others' living rooms to discuss the books they’re reading.

Our new Book Club segment transports their lively conversations to the CPR studio. Whether the three friends share each others' views or disagree, Book Club gives you a front-row seat as they share their literary passions.

Photo: Lisa Jones(Photo: Courtesy of Jen Frehill)
Lisa Jones

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” Jones says.

Atkinson lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and her first novel “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award.  

Jones has read four Atkinson books back-to-back. “I’m so jealous of her writing I could eat my foot,” Jones says.

Photo: Peter Heller(Photo: Courtesy of Michael Lionstar)
Peter Heller

Robicheaux is a Louisiana Sheriff’s detective working with his long-time friend and Cajun private-eye Clete Purcel.

Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf coast. “When he wrote his first book people compared him to Hemingway,” Heller says.

Photo: Helen Thorpe(Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Clark)
Helen Thorpe

McDermott also wrote “After This" and “Charming Billy." She is the winner of the 1998 National Book Award. Three of her novels were also finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.  

“McDermott is good at showing not telling,” Thorpe says. “I’ve read a couple books by her but this book is so much better. It almost feels like a different author.”

Get ready for the next instalment of Book Club! We’ll be discussing "The Hare" by César Aira, "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis" by Timothy Egan and the "Divergent" trilogy by Veronica Roth. 


Lisa Jones is the author of a memoir called “Broken: A Love Story” and she is currently at work on a novel. Peter Heller is the author of five books. His novel "The Dog Stars" was a bestseller. His new novel, "The Painter," is coming out in March. Helen Thorpe is the author of “Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America,” as well as a forthcoming non-fiction book “Soldier Girls.”

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