In this edition, some recommendations for audiobook fans, a chilling treatise on a timely topic, and Christmas tales for any time of year.
Seira Wilson: Yesterday I finished listening to The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of J.K. Rowling) on audio and LOVED it! Fifteen hours of housework in headphones and making traffic bearable. Now I’ve started listening to A Little Life, which so many of the other editors loved when it first came out, and it was a finalist for the National Book Award. So far, so good and this one is almost 32 hours. Sounds long, but with a good book it goes fast… There is also, of course, the enormous stack of books on my to be read pile, and on the top is Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince. It comes out January 2nd and is the start of a new young adult series about a mortal girl entwined in an increasingly dangerous faerie world. I’m a huge fan of Holly Black’s novels and the book is getting fantastic reviews by some of my other favorite YA authors, like Leigh Bardugo. Can’t wait to start!
Jon Foro: Six years ago, journalist Vegas Tenold embedded himself deep within the world of white supremacist groups, and what and who he found there—Wizards, White Knights and Little Führers, along with disillusionment, resentment, and deep paranoia—was weird and unsettling. At the time, it seemed chaotic, fringe, and disorganized. Unfortunately, that’s just what it seemed like; a better word might have been inchoate. The book produced from that research, Everything You Love Will Burn, is now timely and prescient. So who are these people in white Polos, “Fashy” haircuts, and Swastika’d faces? Let’s find out.
Erin Kodicek: My friend’s boyfriend, a musician, was going through a bit of a creative slump, so she suggested he record a Christmas album. The holidays were approaching so it seemed the perfect time. He scoffed, “A Christmas album?! That’s what people do when they’re washed-up.” Though we didn’t agree (and neither does Mariah Carey), I have to admit that I shared the boyfriend’s skepticism. It just seemed, well, cheesy. This probably explains my dubiousness when I discovered that Jeanette Winterson had penned a collection of holiday stories, despite the fact that she is one of my favorite authors. But I am not ashamed to say that Christmas Days warmed the cockles of my cynical heart. There are twelve tales, of course, every one infectious with Winterson’s enthusiasm for the season. This is not to say that all of the stories are joyful. She slips a couple delightfully spooky ones into the mix, and there are accompanying holiday recipes as well. In the introduction, Winterson writes: “I know Christmas has become a cynical retail hijack but it is up to us all, individually and collectively, to object to that. Christmas is celebrated across the world by people of all religions and none. It is a joining together, a putting aside of differences.” I know the holidays are almost over, but with New Year's fast approaching, and on the heels of such a contentious year, the whole putting aside differences vibe is one I want to ride into 2018.
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