Weekend Reading

Adrian Liang on November 23, 2018
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It's a very long weekend as we celebrate Thanksgiving and stuff ourselves with, well, stuffing. In between deals shopping and football, there should be plenty of time for settling in with a book from our skyscraper-tall TBR piles. These are the books we're hoping to spend quality time with:


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When there is a death in the family, even a friend's family, the hope is that the loss, though devastating, will bring those left behind closer together. Alas, this is not the case for three friends in Tessa Hadley's latest novel, Late in the Day. When Zach unexpectedly dies they discover how easily their friendships fracture beneath the weight of past grievances. I’m anxious to see if some delicate balance will be restored in the end. —Erin Kodicek

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I first heard about Maid from the author Susannah Cahalan, who urged me to read it. She couldn't say enough positive things about the book, and now I see that there's a blurb from Susannah on the cover. It reads in part: "In Maid, Stephanie Land, a gifted storyteller with an eye for details you'll never forget, exposes what it's like to exist in America as a single mother, working herself sick cleaning our dirty toilets, one missed paycheck away from destitution. It's a perspective we seldom see represented firsthand—and one we so desperately need right now. Timely, urgent, and unforgettable, this is memoir at its very best." The introduction to Maid is written by Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich. In the first line of the book, Stephanie Land writes, "My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter." This is not necessarily an easy read, but it is a difficult one to put down once you've started. So far I have found it compelling and emotional. —Chris Schluep

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A long weekend is a good time to disappear, or at least disconnect. I’m going to try to do both. Strangely, two books appeared recently in the same box (both from Penguin, both due in February) that will make good companions in that effort. Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism presents a “less-is-more” strategy for managing our time spent engaged with addictive technologies. You can still do it, but if you do it with intent—more focus, less mindless scrolling and liking—you’ll spend less time online while getting more out of it. On the other hand, Akiko Busch’s How to Disappear appears less compromising as a self-described “field guide to invisibility” for our “increasingly surveilled and publicity-obsessed world.” Count me in, or maybe out. — Jon Foro

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I love music from the '80s and '90s so I’m looking forward to finally sitting down with Beastie Boys Book, written by the two living band members, Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. This music memoir is as unique and innovative as the band itself, starting with how the guys met and the music scene in New York at the time, and then moves forward into the making and evolution of the legendary Beastie Boys. Crank up the volume, friends, this is going to get interesting....— Seira Wilson

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I have the great good luck to be spending Thanksgiving with a group of friends I love cooking with and chatting with, but not everyone is going to have this experience over the holidays. Kate Leaver's nonfiction book, The Friendship Cure, talks about what we all know is true: Friends are key to a happier, longer life. But making new friends isn't easy, some people want more friends than others, male friendships are (typically) seen as different than female friendships...and can men and women be really, truly friends with each other? Leaver tackles these topics as well as the more challenging ones centered on being good friends—and needing great friends—during life's very low moments. While I will have good friends with me this weekend, this book is proving to be a sometimes breezy but never flippant reminder to keep those oh-so-important friendships strong. —Adrian Liang


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