Weekend Reading

Al Woodworth on February 07, 2020
Share

TGIF! The weekend is nearly upon us, which means we're all stockpiling the books we want to read over the next few days. And I have to say, I'm excited about all of them. There's an electrifying psychological thriller about art, power, and lies; a novel set after the Civil War about a midwife who also conjures curses; a novel of orphaned siblings that are on the run to bury their father; a novel about second chances from a beloved writer; a foodie memoir, and more.


Print Book
Kindle Book
Audible Audiobook

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

To whet my appetite for Anne Tyler’s upcoming spring release (Redhead by the Side of the Road, April 7), I’m going to revisit her last novel, Clock Dance. It begins with a young Willa Drake, daughter of a charismatic but irascible (possibly bi-polar) mother, and placating dad. Willa and her younger sister are shaped differently by their upbringing, with Willa going with the flow, having little regard, or even knowledge of, her own needs and desires. This all changes one day when she ends up taking care of a nine-year-old named Cheryl—the daughter of her son’s ex-girlfriend. It’s an impulsive decision, one that mystifies and irks her otherwise amiable husband, but one that Willa commits to—and it cracks her life open. Looking forward to cracking this book open again. --Erin Kodicek

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book


Print Book
Kindle Book

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

C Pam Zhang's debut novel is already generating a lot of buzz, and I for one can't wait to read it. There's a certain beat to her prose, which makes the story of two siblings who must fend for themselves after the death of their father all the more poignant and fresh. Set in a re-imagined and unforgiving American West, Lucy and Sam are on the run and determined to give their father a proper funeral--but where? Part adventure, part reckoning, Garth Greenwell calls this novel "a gorgeous, broken, soulful, feral song of family and yearning, origin and earth." How Much of These Hills is Gold is publishing in April.--Al Woodworth


Print Book
Kindle Book
Audible Audiobook

Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar

You know that feeling when you’re reading and you feel this impending sense of doom? That’s how I’ve been feeling since I started reading Sara Sligar’s Take Me Apart (April 28). And while this isn’t a pleasant feeling for life events, it’s one of my favorite feelings to have while reading a book. Maybe it’s the endless rain we’ve been experiencing in Seattle, but this dark and twisty thriller about two complicated women is exactly what I want to spend my weekend with. In this debut novel, a young archivist accepts a job cataloging the belongings and work of a famous photographer who allegedly committed suicide decades ago. It’s been a slow suspenseful burn so far, and I hope to reach the satisfying conclusion this weekend.--Sarah Gelman


Print Book
Kindle Book
Audible Audiobook

Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

I just finished a harrowing but amazing 400-page biography. Now I need a palate-cleanser, something light but engrossing, and Above the Bay of Angels looks perfect: an historical mystery with a dollop of romance and royalty. When Isabella Waverly—an impoverished noblewoman reduced to working as an underpaid cook in a private home—comforts a woman struck down on a London street, it changes her life. Soon after, she’s at the tradesman’s entrance at Buckingham Palace, introducing herself as Helen Barton, there to accept an offer of employment in Queen Victoria’s kitchens. But the death of one of the Queen’s retinue means Isabella/Helen’s new life as a budding palace chef may be over before it truly begins.--Vannessa Cronin


Print Book
Kindle Book
Audible Audiobook

Eat a Peach: A Memoir by David Chang

David Chang is responsible for one of my favorite quotes, which is “Sisyphus is an aspirational story.” I heard him say it on his podcast, “The David Chang Show,” I believe when he was interviewing Angela Duckworth about grit and working hard towards one’s goals. One of the great things about this job is that we get to talk to people like David Chang and Angela Duckworth, and I’ve interviewed each of them (separately) in front of Amazon audiences in Seattle. I realize how lucky I am.

I wish I had heard the Sisyphus quote before I talked to David Chang. It would have been fun to ask him about it. This weekend I am taking home an early copy of his memoir Eat A Peach, which publishes in May, and I have a good idea he will address that quote in the book. On the cover of his memoir is an illustration of a very small man rolling a very large peach up a hill.--Chris Schluep

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book


Print Book
Kindle Book

Conjure Women: A Novel by Afia Atakora

Set during the chaotic years before, during, and after the Civil War, Conjure Women (April 7) checks off a lot of boxes for me: a historical setting, a protagonist with secrets, and the suggestion of supernatural events. I’ve been enjoying Afia Atakora’s debut novel since the first page, when a baby with strange black eyes wakens a tiny town of former slaves, and we learn that midwife Rue is privy not only to everyone’s secrets but has one of her own that she can’t bear to come to light. I can’t wait to find out what Rue is hiding. —Adrian Liang


You might also like:

Sign up for the Amazon Book Review: Best books of the month * author interviews * the reading life * and more


Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking

Authors

Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards Podcast

Editors

Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube