Books About Families on The Point with Mindy Todd

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” wrote Leo Tolstoy at the beginning of his novel ANNA KARENINA. On the book show this month Dennis Minsky joined us, as we shared books about both happy and unhappy families. From a classic book of photography created by Edward Steichen to the LETTERS OF SHIRLEY JACKSON to the story behind the classic children’s book ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY by Sydney Taylor. Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite book about fictional or real families! If you missed the show, you’ll be able to listen on CAI’s website. And if you would like to join me for Cathy Prendergast’s talk about her new book The Gilded Edge: two audacious women and the cyanide love triangle that shook America on Tuesday, October 5th, at 7:00 PM, you can sign up for her Zoom talk here.


Dennis’s Picks

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
A Death In the Family by James Agee
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Naked by David Sedaris


Jill’s Picks

The Family of Man with an introduction by Edward Steichen and a prologue by Carl Sandburg
The Gilded Edge by Catherine Prendergast
The Letters of Shirley Jackson edited by Laurence Jackson Hyman
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
From Sarah to Sydney: the woman behind All-of-a-Kind Family by June Cummins with Alexandra Dunietz


Listener Pick

Defending Jacob by William Landay
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
Wild Swans: three daughters of China by Jung Chang

2 comments on “Books About Families on The Point with Mindy Todd

  1. Faith Lee says:

    I’m tickled to see Steichen’s “The Family of Man” photo essay on your list and the great novel, ”Pachinko”.

    The most compelling family book I have read is the family biography, “Wild Swans: three daughters of China” by Jung Chang. It vividly describes the lives of three generations of women in one family while China is in upheaval changing from dynastic rule to Communism. It is an uncommon perspective from a male-dominated society. I read it years ago and I still remember the punch it packed.

    1. Jill Erickson says:

      Glad you enjoyed Pachinko! I can’t wait to read it, and thanks for the reminder of WILD SWANS.

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