Weekend Reading

Seira Wilson on October 25, 2019
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This weekend our reading selections are all over the map.  One of us is reading a book of essays on our current cultural climate, and another is digging into to a new fantasy thriller from a bestselling young adult author.  Throw in a book of poetry, an investigation into Harvey Weinstein that has something of an All the President's Men vibe, and a beautiful debut novel that crosses continents and cultures, and you've got a look at a handful of the books we'll be bringing home. 



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The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

No, it’s not a Halloween-themed read, though there are some scary bits. Lindy West, celebrated author of the memoir and Hulu series Shrill, is known for her acerbic wit and keen appreciation of the (culturally) absurd, something on full display in her latest book, The Witches Are Coming. In it, she does a deep dive into how we got into the divisive mess we’re in right now, which requires taking a hard look at ourselves and confronting some painful, but necessary, truths. Get a mirror and brace yourself. --Erin Kodicek



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Call Down the Hawk (The Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater

I'm a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater and her upcoming book looks AMAZING.  The first in a trilogy, Call Down the Hawk (on sale November 5) is about three brothers who are dreamers. Not in the sense of big dreams, day dreams, or the Muppets' song. Rather, Ronan, Declan, and Matthew are the kind of dreamers who can manifest their dreams into reality. Sounds like a pretty good ability, right? Yes and definitely not.  The three brothers cross paths with an art forger and a woman who is terrified of what their gift can do because she's seen the dark side of it herself.  Stiefvater is blending thriller and fantasy in this one, and doing it well. --Seira Wilson



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Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow

I was mesmerized by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s She Said, their recounting of how they broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long predatory behavior. It vividly reminded me of All the President’s Men, in how the two reporters had to dig up nuggets of truth among years of cover-ups, relying on a few—and then far more than a few—brave people to break their silence. So Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill sounds like it will be a perfect second read—or a first read for those who haven’t read She Said—that explores the dirty tricks and the wallpapering of legal settlements that stopped the disclosure of sexual predation by Harvey Weinstein and, though not covered as extensively, Matt Lauer. It’s also a searing indictment of how corporations are implicated in the bad behavior as they knowingly continue to put their employees at risk by allowing a known repeat offender to continue to work among them. Chilling indeed. —Adrian Liang

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New and Selected Poems by Charles Simic

I’ve been a fan of Charles Simic for a while now, and I like to go back to his work every once in a while. No poet makes me happier, poem by poem. In 2013, I got to interview him, and this is the way I described how I felt about Simic’s work at the time: “Throughout my life, I've been introduced to many poets by teachers and friends, I've stumbled upon others, but Simic is the only poet I feel like I've discovered, because he writes in a voice that I didn't realize was in my head until I started reading his work.”--Chris Schluep



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Little Gods: A Novel by Meng Jin

I’m in the mood to read beyond our borders, so I’ve picked up Meng Jin’s debut novel, Little Gods, which opens in Beijing and crisscrosses continents, cultures, and generations. I’ve heard great things about this book, which the publisher compares to two novels that I loved, Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. Colum McCann (who also has a new novel in 2020), wrote: “Meng Jin is a writer whose sweep is as intimate as it is global. Little Gods is a novel about the heart-wracking ways in which we move through history and time. A fierce and intelligent debut from a writer with longitude and latitude embedded in her vision.” So, suffice to say, I’m very much looking forward to this weekend!--Al Woodworth


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