Weekend Reading

Erin Kodicek on February 15, 2019
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In this edition, Mark Bowden revisits a cold case he originally encountered as a cub reporter, a rom-com of a read that'll have you laughing and crying, the latest by Colson Whitehead, and an ode to nature.

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The Last Stone by Mark Bowden

I’m just over 100 pages into Mark Bowden’s The Last Stone (April 2), and since I’m feeling a little under the weather, there’s a good chance I’ll excuse myself early today to go home and finish it. In 1975, Bowden (Black Hawk Down, among others) was a young Baltimore reporter covering the disappearance of two sisters, 11 and 13. The investigation dead-ended until 2013, when a cold case detective chanced upon a curious statement given by a man named Lloyd Welch, who was serving time for a series of unrelated but similar crimes. Welch is also a compulsive liar, but not a skilled one—and as five detectives untangle his ever-changing stories, they get closer to solving an unspeakable crime. The outcome might not be a total surprise (readers will be compelled to conduct their own internet-based research along the way), but the ride-along is well worth the time. —Jon Foro

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The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Annika and Jonathan are each other's person (in Grey's Anatomy parlance). So when the quirky librarian and handsome financier reunite in the frozen foods section of a grocery after a ten year separation, you wonder how their relationship could have gone off the rails. In Tracey Garvis Graves's rom-com read, The Girl He Used to Know, they try to find their way back to each other again. But first they’ll have to confront a painful episode from their past, and Jonathan will come to realize that Annika is no longer the girl he used to know (and that's not such a bad thing). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. --Erin Kodicek

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The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

I'm a big fan of Colson Whitehead's books. He has always sort of fallen into the category of wunderkind, but having now won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer he's entered "esteemed author" territory. I purposefully don't know much about the new book; I am excited to learn more this weekend. --Chris Schluep

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The Nature Instinct by Tristan Gooley

I've had this book on my TBR pile for a few months now. When I finally started reading it earlier this week, I had to kick myself for not picking it up sooner. Gooley is a "writer and natural navigator," according to his bio on his Amazon Author page, and he marries the two vocations perfectly in this collection of his adventures in the English hinterlands as well as more exotic locations. It'd be easy (too easy!) to call the chapters meditative, because there is a quiet power to each of them as he talks about how to tell south by the placement of Orion's sword or how to sense where hidden hills are based on the sight of clouds. Just as moving is Gooley's joy in the discrete moments of hearing birdsong that heralds the edge of a wood, the brisk smell of the ocean, and the papery feel of bark as he rambles through semi-wild places. I'm looking forward to reentering Gooley's world this weekend—and maybe getting out of the house. --Adrian Liang

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