Weekend reading

Erin Kodicek on November 13, 2020

Weekend reading

It’s another mixed bag of reading this weekend, cause we're a mixed bag. A little sci-fi, a little mystery, a little Kristin Hannah, and two other titles that will make you ponder and think differently about the world. All of these books have the potential to do that. That's why books are cool.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

A new book is on the way from Nnedi Okorafor! Remote Control hits readers’ hands on January 19, but I’m going to take a sneak peek at it this weekend. An alien artifact, a fox companion, and a young girl who has become the adopted daughter of death…. Yep, all those good things are in Okorafor’s new short novel. I’m going to reserve several hours at the most comfortable corner of the couch and find out what happens. —Adrian Liang

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person by Frederick Joseph

This book is getting a lot of buzz and I'm eager to dive in over the weekend. Author Frederick Joseph speaks directly to the reader as a friend would, recounting his own experiences with microaggressions and "wince-worthy" moments as a Black student in a nearly all white high school—moments he now would handle differently. Joseph also includes narratives from others, including author Angie Thomas and sports journalist Jemele Hill, 12 voices in all, one for each chapter. A book that serves as a conversation starter and educator for those of us who are committed to racial justice, I have a feeling I'll be talking more about this one in the weeks to come. —Seira Wilson

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Since Erin is compiling this week’s list of Weekend Reading, I’m even more excited than I would normally be to share that I’m about to dive into Kristin Hannah’s upcoming novel, The Four Winds (February 2). I adore Kristin Hannah—her writing, her research, and her as a human being, and not only because we both share a love for white wine. If you ever wonder if the novelist you love is as delightful as their books, I can answer a resounding “yes!” for Hannah, who is a team favorite for many reasons. While Hannah broke out with her historical novel The Nightingale, her other books are just as compelling and well-researched (her training was in law). The Four Winds is set during the Great Depression, a period of time I only want to currently visit under Hannah’s insightful prose. Oh, and as for why I’m so delighted to share this with Erin? Erin is the one who keeps us band of rowdy readers on track with our Best Books reading, and she forbid me from turning to this book until I was caught up on my other reading. And then she read it herself, claiming to be trapped under her cat! I can’t wait to crack this advance copy open and spend my weekend under its spell. —Sarah Gelman

Side note from Erin: Guilty. But in my defense, I was trapped under a cat, and she is very cranky (so not the one pictured above). Safety first! No sudden movements! And The Four Winds was the only book within reach. But, you know, I wasn't mad about it.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

I don’t usually go back and read a book in the same year that I’ve first read it, but in my Best of the Month review of Caste I noted that I had underlined a lot of the book. Caste is one of those books you keep thinking about—both the words and the way the words make you think about how the world works—so I’m going back this weekend to read what I underlined (and likely what I didn’t) in an effort to more deeply understand this great book. It really has affected my perceptions of the world. —Chris Schluep

Sleep Well, My Lady by Kwei Quartey

Series debut The Missing American was one of our favorite thrillers last year, and a Best Book of the Month. It was a fascinating mystery that wove a thrilling tale of fetish priests and internet scams, all set in motion by a Ghanaian #metoo moment. So I was excited to see PI Emma Djan back in Sleep Well, My Lady. This time, the girlfriend of a talk show host—a fashion mogul—is found murdered, and her aunt has her own thoughts about who did it. PI Emma Djan: stubborn, resourceful, and quick will have to get to the bottom of it. So far, this novel is doing what the first one also did brilliantly: studding a clever plot with plenty of twists, red herrings, and suspects galore while offering a fascinating look at the cultural life of Accra. —Vannessa Cronin

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