Weekend Reading

Adrian Liang on October 19, 2018
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Sure, you could go apple picking or leaf peeping, or you could watch football or get revved up for the World Series... and while those things are sure to be a whole lot of fun, don't forget to carve out plenty of "me time" spent this weekend with a good book.

This weekend we have crime on the mindboth the true and fictional typesas well as a satirical novel about archery and yoga.

Pick your own poison, dear readers, and enjoy your "me time."

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I have two books that I'm very much looking forward to reading this weekend. The first is one that comes highly (and frequently) recommended by a curator for the Amazon bookstores. What would it be like to have a sister who was a serial killer? I guess I'll find out soon enough. The other book is an atmospheric murder mystery set in cold, cold Minnesota. It’s called The Current (January 22), and it's by Tim Johnston, who is definitely a writer to be watched. It's going to be an interesting weekend. —Chris Schluep

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This weekend I'm starting a young adult novel called The Brilliant Death. In the notebook where I keep track of books I especially want to read, I wrote three words next to the title and pub date (October 30): "Italy, mafia, fantasy." Really, what more does one need to pick up this book? The story is more complicated of course—a young woman has transformative magical powers but she's kept them hidden until she meets a young man who shows her what life could be like if she used them. There is also political intrigue, murder, and an interesting romance in store, so I can’t wait to get started! — Seira Wilson

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I’ve been talking a lot lately about one of my favorite novels of early fall—Imogen Hermes Gowar’s The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock. It’s been drawing comparisons to Sarah Waters’s writing, and that fits, which made me feel like going back and re-reading her last book, The Paying Guests. Taking place in 1922 in a genteel house in a genteel neighborhood outside of London, the widowed Mrs. Wray and her 26-year-old daughter, Frances, find themselves needing to take in lodgers. The arrival of these “paying guests,” there to simply help with bills, utterly upends their dully regimented existence, and by the novel’s conclusion you go from straight-up period piece, to love story, to edge-of-your-seat crime thriller. Even though I know how it ends, it’s just as much of a propulsive page turner as when I first dipped into it. — Erin Kodicek

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I’ve met Sam Lipsyte, but I’ve never read his books. (He taught me about the “Joe Hole,” the mental, physical, and emotional chasm that follows over-caffeination. You can’t mention it without also providing an explanation.) I’ve heard he’s funny, in a way one is funny when you use a line from the Book of Job as your epigraph. Hark (January 15) sounds like what would happen if Richard Bach dropped LSD distilled from the brain of Kurt Vonnegut: Hark Morner is an accidental messiah, a master of “Mental Archery” that blend of yoga, mindfulness, and bow & arrow sweeping a nation collapsing in every imaginable, familiar way. He’s also underqualified for the… job. Conspiracy, chaos, and satire ensue. My kind of funny. —Jon Foro

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The author of The Orchid Thief reinvigorates the concept of the library as the center of a reader's life, whether you visit one often or simply remember it fondly from your childhood. Susan Orlean breathes life and joy into an institution we take for granted—and then she demonstrates what a city suffers when one of their beloved libraries is burned to the ground. I'm only about a quarter into this tale of the intimate relationship between a city, its library, and its readers, but I'm enjoying every page. A delight for those who identify themselves as bookish and who are partial to true crime as well. —Adrian Liang


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