Weekend Reading

Jon Foro on March 29, 2019
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This weekend, the Amazon Books editors are: Tucking into the memoirs of a legendary culinary magazine editor; traveling back in time to Charles Dickens's London to dig into a literary mystery; revisiting a novel about a Hollywood star from the author of a new bestseller about rock star; and pondering possible "post-human" identities through a mash-up of science fiction and action-adventure. Also, we are going on a Bigfoot hunt.

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It’s hard to believe now, but Ruth Reichl was an unlikely candidate to take the editorial reigns of Gourmet magazine. In Save Me the Plums, she chronicles her fascinating tenure there (with recipes and cameos from the likes of David Chang and Eric Ripert). My colleague Seira Wilson recommended this gem (whether you’re a foodie or no), and I have to say: I’m devouring it. —Erin Kodicek

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I've got a thing about Bigfoot, and I don't care who knows. When I was 10, I explored the woods behind my house, looking for outsized footprints on the trails. And I found one, too, even though that patch of trees was less than an acre of suburb outside of Seattle. I've written about it  here (and here), going back a number of years, even though I'm confident nobody reads it. Well, I'm going to keep on doing any time an opportunity comes around, like this one. For In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond: In Search of the Sasquatch, John Zada—who had a similar childhood obsession—explored British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, interviewing scientists, First Nations members, hunters, and conservationists about the legendary wild man. The result is less the hooting sensationalism of  Finding Bigfoot (though I love that, too) than Robert Michael Pyles Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide, another book that leans toward respectability with its emphasis on natural history. The book publishes July 2, but I can't, won't wait. — Jon Foro

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Here's a debut novel that features Victorian London, complete with pickpockets and thieves, as well as Oxford, Charles Darwin's famous tome, and a madman called "The Chorister." I'm not sure how old I was when the idea of all those components crammed into a book started sounding like fun—but it does. It's all atmosphere and mystery this weekend. Looking forward to it. — Chris Schluep

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I recently read—and loved—Taylor Jenkins Reid's new novel,  Daisy Jones & the Six, and it inspired me to go back and catch up on her last book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I'm listening to the audible edition—and loving—this tale of a reclusive Hollywood star (who reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor at the moment) who has decided the time has come to tell all about her glamorous and tumultuous life. I've heard nothing but rave reviews from those who've read Seven Husbands, and Reid is a wonderful writer, so I can't wait to see how it all plays out. — Seira Wilson

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I’m a big fan of sci-fi that blends a bracing shot of action and adventure with a long-lingering thesis on the future of humanity or post-human identity. Think Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries, Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire books, or Charlie Jane Anders’s The City in the Middle of the Night. The Quantum Magician—about a human genetically engineered to have the ability of foresight but then uses those abilities to become the galaxy’s greatest con man—seems to be right up my alley. And Yoon Ha Lee’s quote on the front cover sealed the deal for me: “An audacious con job, scintillating future technology, and meditations on the nature of fractured humanity.” I can’t wait for the weekend to begin. —Adrian Liang

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