Weekend reading

Erin Kodicek on October 02, 2020

Weekend reading

Heroic WWII librarians, gritty mysteries, Beverly Cleary nostalgia, a tear-jerking memoir.... What do these things have in common? Not a darn thing, just indicative of the eclectic tastes of the eclectic crew of Amazon Books editors. Autumn is here! And these are the books we're falling for this weekend (oh, somebody had to say it). 

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Sometimes you see a book coming up—the title, the cover, the story—and think this is going to work. And that's before you even read it. It doesn't always wind up working the way you think it will; but often it does. In the case of The Paris Library, which features adventure, friendship, and romance, and is based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, it feels like it will work. And I haven't even read it yet. But I will this weekend. —Chris Schluep

The Dirty South by John Connolly

The latest Charlie Parker ("Parker fears no evil, but evil fears him") novel, The Dirty South, takes us back to 1997, when he was newly-widowed, grieving, and out to avenge the murders of his wife and daughter. Passing through a small, Arkansas town stripped straight out of a Peckinpah movie, he finds a tiny police force trying to investigate the grisly murders of three young black girls. I love a good origin story, strangers who come to town and kick a little a**, and a good, juicy yarn. This weekend, The Dirty South promises to deliver all three. —Vannessa Cronin

The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty-Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books by Anna Katz

The first chapter book I read on my own was Beverly Cleary's Ramona and Her Mother, and the Ramona books hold a very special place in my bibliophile heart. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of the beautiful The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty-Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books by Anna Katz, with essays from Annie Barrows and Jacqueline Rogers. I've already flipped directly to the pages about Ramona and Her Mother, but I can't wait to learn more about Cleary's beloved characters and the illustrators responsible for enticing young readers like myself to these classic books. This is one of those books I plan to gift to many this holiday season. —Sarah Gelman

Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son by Homeira Qaderi

I like the lightheartedness of the title and the cover of this book, but I have to say, so far the contents are more tear-jerking than anticipated. I'm okay with that; everyone needs a good cry once in a while and I'm an easy mark for watering eyes when it comes to people living under violent regimes and parents separated from their children. Homeira Qaderi's memoir is structured as a letter to her son, whom she's left in Afghanistan. In between letters, she shares what it was like growing up under Russian rule in Afghanistan and coming of age under the Taliban, as well as her actions that flung her into exile in California. As I said, it's pulling at my heartstrings but I'm also inspired by Qaderi's bravery, audacity, and strength. —Al Woodworth

In the Deep by Loreth Anne White

A few years back, I picked Loreth Anne White's In the Barren Ground as the best romance novel of the year. With every new release, White has gradually moved deeper into full-on mystery territory, and all her shudderingly suspenseful stories have kept me up late, flipping pages like mad to find out what will happen. Her newest novel, In the Deep (October 27), begins with a body being pulled out from a tangle of Australian mangroves, and it's so far living up to its promise to keep readers guessing about what's going on and who's pulling the strings. For months, I've been looking forward to reading In the Deep, and this weekend I'm finally giving myself the time to savor this book. —Adrian Liang

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