Weekend reading

Chris Schluep on January 24, 2020
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I like this list of weekend reading books a lot. I can honestly say that I want to read every single book listed below. That's not possible, of course. Not this weekend, anyway. But this is a murderer's row of titles (and not one thriller, so no actual murderers). We hope you have a book set aside for the weekend, too. Happy reading.



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A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler

A Good Neighborhood is one of those buzzed-about books you almost don't want to read because how could it live up to the excellent word of mouth it's been getting? But it does. In broad strokes, it's a story about the summer two families' lives intersected, and the devastating results. The novel encompasses race, class, love, neighborliness, privilege, and the laws of unintended consequences as the summer progresses and tensions build over both small matters and more important ones. My apprehension is approaching white knuckle status as the stage is set for a bad day in the neighborhood. —Vannessa Cronin



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Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist by Celia Stahr

This new biography about the endlessly fascinating Frida Kahlo covers the time she spent in “Gringolandia” in the early 1930s (San Francisco, Detroit, and New York). Frida was only twenty-three when she made this trek, and newly married to fellow artist and infamous cad, Diego Rivera. What she experienced in these cities reshaped her in ways that would have reverberating effects on her life and career. There are many books out there about Frida Kahlo. Looking forward to seeing what new light, and insight, Celia Stahr has to shed. Erin Kodicek


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Twenty by Debra Landwehr Engle

This is the kind of book that I’m always tentative about starting, because I know I’m going to get sucked in and probably cry a fair amount. In Twenty, Meg is fifty-five years old and wondering if life is worth continuing. She takes pills that her mother’s doctor has said would cause her life to end in twenty days. But now that the end is in sight, Meg is finding life to be a lot more…lively. As anyone who has been following the news over the past several years knows, we’ve seen an increase in suicide among the older generation. This book might help readers understand why. —Adrian Liang



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Deacon King Kong by James McBride

I'm finally reading James McBride's new novel Deacon King Kong, coming out March 3. I've been patiently waiting to read this book for months and so far I'm hooked. It revolves around 'the Cause' a Brooklyn project and the larger than life personalities that make the neighborhood come to life. You've got Sportcoat, a drunken deacon of the church who has just lost his wife Hettie, his best friend Sausage, who tends to the boiler of the projects, Deems a young baseball phenom whose life is now spent by the flagpole dealing drugs, a white cop, an Italian named Elephante...well, you get the idea. When a shooting happens at the flagpole, it sets off a chain reaction, igniting drug wars and mobsters into a swirling mess that demonstrates just how vital yet fragile communities can be. The characters are better than you can imagine and once again, I find myself lucky to be reading the work of a literary master.Al Woodworth



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Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Lily King's Euphoria was a one of our favorite books of 2014garnering critical praise and becoming a best seller—which is quite a feat these days. I've been wondering for a while when I would get the chance to read another novel from her, and now the wait is over. This weekend (actually, tonight), I plan to sit back with King's new novel about a woman in her early thirties who still yearns to finish writing the novel she has been working on for six years. Most of her friends have given up on establishing a creative lifestyle, which of course brings in doubts and fears that she will be waiting tables the rest of her life. There's more to the story than that. I can't wait to get to it. For those who are interested, the book publishes in March. Chris Schluep



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