Books We Are Talking About

Chris Schluep on February 28, 2019

The editors sit together in a "team room" at Amazon, which means that an ad hoc discussion/meeting can pop up at any moment. Everyone in the team room is very busy (it's Amazon, after all) and we try to respect each other's time. But we've been working together for years now--so we've all developed a sixth sense for when people are able to temporarily set aside what they're doing in order to work through an idea or problem communally. 

The other day one of those discussions turned into a conversation about trends in the book world. Other than books about the current Presidential administration, books about environmental and climate destruction, and books with swear words in the title, we were having a difficult time putting our finger on what readers seem to be gravitating to at this current moment. Then Seira Wilson said, "food writing." We all agreed, and since then, I feel like I've seen food writing everywhere I've looked.

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Ruth Reichl's new memoir, which publishes on April 2nd, is one of the food books we've been talking about the most. Reichl was the longtime editor of Gourmet, and this engaging, almost conversational memoir isn't only about food--although food, and restaurants, and Reichl herself, are the soul of this book. This was a big hit among the editors. We think readers are going to love it.

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The Oscars were held last weekend, and the winner for Best Documentary was "Free Solo," which features Alex Honnold's climbing talents. Our resident alpine climber, Jon Foro, is a big fan of Mark Synnott's new book on Honnold titled The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life, which publishes on March 5th. By the way, Jon saw "Free Solo." His seven-word review of the film was "My fingertips were sweating the entire time."

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One of the joys of our job is getting to spend a little time with writers whom we respect and admire. Peter Heller is one of my favorite writers, and he'll be in town soon to promote his new novel The River. I very much look forward to talking to him and to discussing his book. Another writer--I've mentioned her book before, as have many others, her latest book is Where the Crawdads Sing, maybe you've heard of it--is coming to town soon as well. I've loved Delia Owens' work since way back when I read Cry of the Kalahari (literally decades ago), so it will be fun to talk to her. We'll record that conversation for our podcast.

(If you're interested, here is our podcast archive, or you can subscribe via iTunes or TuneIn.)

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Speaking of authors whom we respect and admire, Jennifer Weiner was in Seattle last week. I was on vacation, but the people who did meet with Ms. Weiner can't stop talking about her. So shout out to Jennifer Weiner, who graced us with her presence. Her book publishes in June. And shout out to all of the authors who look us up when they are in Seattle. Being able to meet you and talk about your books is one of the true pleasures of our job, and it makes us better at doing our job, which is to connect readers with their next great read.

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