Weekend Reading

Erin Kodicek on December 07, 2018

This edition of Weekend Reading reveals that we're in a New York state of mind, and one of us dips into a self-help book that has dominated the Charts Most-Sold list in 2018.

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The Downtown Pop Underground by Kembrew McLeod

Plenty of books have romanticized the dirty old New York and the artists, musicians, writers who lived, worked, and generally transgressed there. And while I’ll never tire of them, they frequently cover much of the same ground. The Downtown Pop Underground (and its epic subtitle: New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock n roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture) takes a slightly different tack. All the usual suspects and storylines are here, but it’s also a kind of walking tour through lower 1960s and early 1970s Manhattan, a street guide—with actual maps—for the nexus of bars, coffee shops, dingy flats that played as influential a part as any other character. Hey ho, let's go. —Jon Foro

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The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash

Author Fiona David has made a career for herself penning stories that are inspired by iconic New York buildings (The Dollhouse, The Masterpiece). Tom Barbash has done the same with The Dakota Winters. When the twenty-something son of a washed-up talk show host returns from a stint in the Peace Corps, he decides to move into a small apartment on one of the top floors of the storied Dakota building to help his dad and rebuild his life. I'm excited to see what happens with this family, and to find out how Barbash weaves in a cameo by one of the Dakota’s more famous real-life residents, John Lennon. --Erin Kodicek

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Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Apparently I'm one of the few people who hasn't read Rachel Hollis's Girl, Wash Your Face. It came in #2 on Charts' list of the Top 10 Most Sold Nonfiction Books of 2018--quite a feat in a year when she was going head-to-head with a number of political books. An enormously successful entrepreneur with a lifestyle focus, Hollis takes the stance that everyone fails all the time, but you're the only one who can overcome failure. You can't expect anyone else to do it for you, and you can't make excuses for yourself either. She's funny, she's self-deprecating, she talks about her mommy tummy...and she shares the hard lessons she's learned along the way. I do enjoy self-help books, and while I'm only a few chapters in to Girl, Wash Your Face, I've already had one aha moment. I won't say which chapter made me blink and then rethink, but apparently I'm not the only one out there who's absorbing good advice from this book. I'm looking forward to discovering more this weekend. And readers who have already consumed Girl, Wash Your Face will likely be thrilled that her next book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, hits shelves in March 2019. --Adrian Liang

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I.M.: A Memoir by Isaac Mizrahi

I have been reading up a storm over the past few days, so I'm looking for something a little different this weekend. That different thing is going to be Isaac Mizrahi's memoir. I don't really know what I am getting into (I love that feeling). I've only read the epigraph, which is from Susan Sontag: "Just wait until now becomes then. You'll see how happy we were."-- Chris Schluep

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