Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Toby Ball

Toby Ball was born in Washington, DC, grew up in Syracuse, NY, and attended Trinity College (CT). He has had stints in journalism (Congressional Quarterly), education (one memorable year as a high school social studies teacher), and nonprofits (the Carbon Coalition among others). He is now the Business Manager at the Crimes against Children Research Center and the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Durham, NH, with his wife and two children.

Ball's novels include The Vaults, Scorch City, and the newly released Invisible Streets.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Ball's reply:
You caught me in between books! With my new book having just come out, I haven’t cracked anything new in the past couple of weeks, though I have Megan Abbott’s The Fever – which I hear is great – on my nightstand.

The most recent book that I finished was The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. He was kind of flying beneath the radar but no longer and it’s well-deserved. If you haven’t heard of his books, the setting is Concord, NH, in the extremely near future when we have discovered that a meteor will strike earth in a year, with cataclysmic consequences. With this event essentially providing an end date for civilization, people are variously despondent (suicide rates are through the roof), apathetic, cynical, and, in the person of Winters’ detective Hank Palace, clinging to whatever normalcy they can find. The mystery is fine –a presumed suicide that Palace thinks is a murder – but the great thing about The Last Policeman is the pre-apocalyptic setting that Winters evokes.

I’ve also been reading Tenth of December by George Saunders. It’s not as if he needs another voice adding to the chorus of praise, but he really is great. His stories have a certain not-quite-real feel to them and the ones that I have read so far have had real insight into our society and values.
Visit Toby Ball's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Vaults.

--Marshal Zeringue