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Erin Kodicek on April 28, 2017

HungerIn this week's edition, a memoir from the author of Bad Feminist, two cautionary tales, and a new Agatha Christie-esque mystery.

Chris Schluep: I will be finishing The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. Much of the novel is taken up by a fictional manuscript that is introduced by a fictional editor whose life was changed by the manuscript. If that sounds slightly unclear, it isn’t in Horowitz’s telling, and I am excited to see how it’s all wrapped up. So far, so good, and many a murder seems to be on the horizon. I will also start two other books--Hunger by Roxanne Gay (I have very high expectations based on early word) and The Retreat of Western Liberalism (we’ll see where that takes us) by Edward Luce, who is the US commentator for The Financial Times. Since I can never get behind the FT firewall, I’m looking forward to reading the Luce.

Jon Foro: Based on the example of Athens, Sparta, and the Peloponnesian War, the “Thucydides Trap” states that when a rising power challenges a long-standing power, conflict becomes inevitable. Based on his article for The Atlantic, Graham Allison’s Destined for War applies the templates of ancient Greece – as well as 16 other examples - to the modern relationship between the United States and China, and finds quite a few unsettling parallels. That “only” 12 of those situations resulted in war provides a measure of hope (even if hope isn’t much of a strategy), but one wonders if any of those other equations were disrupted by something like North Korea.

Erin Kodicek: Rosecrans Baldwin's latest book isn't his first novel, but he's probably best known for Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, a chronicle of his (mis)adventures as an adman in the City of Love (fun read, by the way). The Last Kid Left (June 6) is being described as a "twenty-first century Puritan witch-hunt." In it a teenager is accused of a crime he may or may not have committed, and his girlfriend becomes collateral damage due to the town's insatiable appetite for every sensational detail. It's a cautionary tale for the type of world we now live in, where someone's misfortune becomes someone else's favorite reality TV show. This is not typically the type of story I gravitate to, but I enjoyed Baldwin's writing in 'Paris' so much, I'm excited to check out his fiction chops.

Penny Mann: Truth be told, a majority of my weekend is earmarked for binge watching The Handmaid's Tale because, well…it's one of my favorites, written by one of my favorites! Otherwise, I will be checking out Anthony Horowitz's The Magpie Murders. Horowitz has a few bestsellers under his belt, and this one is said to be of the same caliber, if not more, and written in the thread of a classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery. I am also powering through my backlist reading, having moved on from Clancy to Cussler - this weekend the Dirk Pitt adventure of Pacific Vortex!

Adrian Liang: Next Tuesday is a big day for our family because it’s the release day for Rick Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo: Dark Prophecy. I plan to reread book one of this series this weekend so I can dive right back into Riordan’s world of gods and demigods and now-mortal gods (see: Apollo) set in modern times with contemporary references and milk-out-your-nose–inducing humor. (Please, please, let there be a shout-out to Hamilton. I would literally squeal.) Another book that promises to make me laugh is Christina Lauren’s upcoming Dating You, Hating You (June 2017). When two up-and-coming Hollywood agents meet at a party, romantic sparks fly. But when their firms merge, they find themselves in direct competition. As someone who met her future husband at work, I’m a sucker for office romances, and Lauren always manages to put her finger on the moments of sheer ridiculousness, the high anxiety, and the giddy joy experienced on the rocky path to finding the right person. The weekend can’t come fast enough!


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