Michael McClelland viola

Books that Move Us

  • Cry to Heaven

    Cry to Heaven

    Written by Anne Rice

    I read this book when I was on a concert tour back in the 80s. What I find compelling is how the main characters come to understand the nature of their musical abilities and the role those abilities play in their personal lives. The book is beautifully written and very descriptive of the lives of musicians in the 18th century.

    Synopsis

    In a sweeping saga of music and vengeance, the acclaimed author of The Vampire Chronicles draws readers into eighteenth-century Italy, bringing to life the decadence beneath the shimmering surface of Venice, the wild frivolity of Naples, and the magnetic terror of its shadow, Vesuvius. This is the story of the castrati, the exquisite and otherworldly sopranos whose graceful bodies and glorious voices win the adulation of royal courts and grand opera houses throughout Europe. These men are revered as idols—and, at the same time, scorned for all they are not.

    Picked by Image

    Picked by Michael McClelland, viola
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  • Station Eleven

    Station Eleven

    Written by Emily St. John Mandel

    I started reading this book back in May as the world was in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it was written five years ago, there are some very eerie similarities to what is happening in our world today. One of the themes running through the book is how performers deal with their craft under these dire circumstances.

    Synopsis

    An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

    Picked by Image

    Picked by Michael McClelland, viola
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