Weekend reading

Adrian Liang on April 03, 2020

The Amazon Books editors’ weekend reading picks for April 3, 2020

In between catching up with friends and family by phone or video calls, the Amazon Books editors will be cozying up with these reads. Some stories promise escape, others provide bighearted fun, and a few will deliver much-needed comfort.

Grab a book yourself — whether a print book, Kindle book, or audiobook — and join us on a weekend reading adventure.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

I just finished my current audiobook and had to decide what to start next (so many good choices!). I landed on a book I’ve had on my stack but still haven’t read: The Glass Hotel. Emily St. John Mandel is already well known for her award-winning novel, Station Eleven, so I’m excited to dig into her new novel. The premise already has me hooked: a failed Ponzi scheme, a woman who disappears from the deck of a ship, a story that travels from luxury hotels to federal prison. In The Glass Hotel lives intersect and connect in unanticipated ways; meanwhile those faithful drivers of human behavior—love, greed, and guilt—promise to make this a story that asks larger moral and philosophical questions. One reviewer called it “…an intricate spider web of a story” which sounds like just what I’m looking for. —Seira Wilson

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Sixteen-year-old Manu and her mother are undocumented Argentinians hiding in Miami from her father’s crime family, who wants them dead. But Manu also hides behind sunglasses that conceal her strange yellow irises and star-shaped pupils. As Manu’s dreams of a mysterious citadel grow more real, and as she begins to develop both keen sight and smell, clearly she’s experiencing something more dramatic than the regular metamorphosis of adolescence. Garber’s story is chock-full of tension surrounded by whispers of magic. I can’t wait for Friday night to begin so I can settle in on the couch with Lobizona (May 5) and travel with Manu along her extraordinary path toward owning her strange powers. —Adrian Liang

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

Now, maybe more than maybe ever, I’ve been leaning on my fellow mom friends. Working full time and balancing two little kids is never easy, but right now it is its own unique flavor of impossible. So it makes sense that this weekend I’m turning to a fellow mother of young children writing about being the mother of young children: J. Courtney Sullivan and her novel Friends and Strangers (June 30). In full disclosure, I’ve been a fan of Sullivan’s since I had the opportunity to be the publicist for her debut, Commencement. I’ve admired and enjoyed her work since then, particularly Saints for All Occasions, a book I regularly recommend to friends. In Sullivan’s upcoming Friends and Strangers, new mom and journalist Elisabeth is struggling with her new small-town life after 20 years in New York City. She enlists the childcare support of Sam, a senior at a local college, and soon their lives become intertwined—only illuminating how vastly different their lives truly are. —Sarah Gelman

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls was one of our favorite books of last year and I’ve been finding myself recommending it quite a bit lately, because it’s a good palate cleanser for life right now. This bawdy, bighearted, and wise novel is set in the 1940s and finds the frivolous and fun-loving Vivian Morris arriving in New York with the goal of “becoming someone interesting” (and in short order she is, but for all the wrong reasons). If you need a great escapist read right now, Gilbert’s got you covered. —Erin Kodicek

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

Earlier in the week I posted about some of my favorite books about books, bookstores, and libraries. When I asked the Twitterverse what their favorite book about books was, someone responded with The Library of the Unwritten. Since a little escape is the order of the day today, I bought it on Kindle, and so far I'm loving this wildly imaginative novel, described by Seanan Maguire as "like The Good Place meets Law & Order: Bibliophile Crime Unit." It's a fantasy, set among books authors have left unfinished, all of which are cataloged in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell. It's the job of the librarian to hunt down characters who escape their books to go in search of their author. Nothing illustrates the heady mix of humor, fantasy, and bibliophilia in this book like the following quote: “It's a story's natural ambition to wake up and start telling itself to the world. This, of course, is a buggered pain in the arse.” —Vannessa Cronin

A Burning by Megha Majumdar

I'm going to India this weekend—well, in the fictional sense. Set in the Kolabagan slum, the commuter trains that pass through them, and a prison, Megha Majumdar's novel, A Burning (June 2), offers the story of three intersecting lives in the wake of a train station terrorist attack. Each character—one accused of the terrorist act, another her gym teacher from years ago, and a hijra she's been teaching English to—have hopes and dreams that will thrust them out of the world they live in (socially, professionally, economically, romantically), but is that even possible? Confronting notions of class, social media, fate, corruption, and justice, Majumdar's ambitious novel is alive with humanity and it's exactly what I want to keep me preoccupied right now. —Al Woodworth

The Storm by Clive Cussler

I have been slipping a Clive Cussler book into my reading rotation about once a week, ever since we were first told to stay home. I have no idea why more of his books didn't become movies. Maybe it's difficult or expensive to film at sea (and many other wild and exotic places). Maybe they just don't make as many adventure movies as I wish/think they make. But these books read like adventure movies. The one I am reading right now is The Storm, which is one I had started a while back but never finished, likely because there were other books I needed to read at the time. I still have other books to read; but I also find myself longing for a little adventure. —Chris Schluep

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