Weekend Reading

Adrian Liang on April 19, 2019
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While the weekend seems long—two whole days!—the Amazon editors know that our eyes are often bigger than our book stomachs.*

Deciding which books to put at the top of our skyscraper-like TBR piles can be a struggle, but these books have grabbed our full attention. An estranged father trying to reconnect with his adult sons, a rocker’s raw memoir, a cub reporter in Bagdad in 2003 during the American-led invasion, a near-future novel in which sleepwalkers are headed for an unknown destination, and a SF classic will have us flipping pages (paper or electronic) like mad this weekend.

Happy reading!

* Yes, “book stomachs” sounds kind of weird and maybe a bit off-putting. But, c’mon: Books are so yummy!

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Not that you care, but I haven't been sleeping well lately. I mention this because the book I'm going to read this weekend is a big novel about a flock of people who are sleepwalking toward an unknown destination. Throw in some apocalyptic descriptive language ("fear" and "epidemic" and "shattered world") and it looks like my sleepless nights will have even more reasons for being sleepless. This book has a great blockbuster cover and a real The Passage-ish vibe to the description ( what is mystery behind the sleepwalkers? and why is society collapsing all around them?). Wanderers (July) is even being developed for television. I am looking forward to it. —Chris Schluep

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I really liked Tim Murphy's last novel, Christodora. Named after a building in New York's East Village, it tackles topics ranging from the AIDS crisis, to activism, art, family, and the scourge of drug abuse. So I’m looking forward to digging into his spring release, Correspondents (May). This provocative and timely yarn is about a cub reporter assigned to cover the America-led invasion of Baghdad in 2003 who discovers that she and her interpreter are ill-prepared for the horrors they encounter there. —Erin Kodicek

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I think everyone remembers the artist or song that awakened them to music. For me, that artist was Ani DiFranco. I spent hours upon hours locked in my room in high school, listening to her music, reading her lyrics, and just absorbing her gospel. The first time I traveled for a concert was to see DiFranco in Columbus, Ohio, and I’ll never forget that she ended that show with the entire audience singing Prince’s “When Doves Cry” in total darkness. I’ve seen her in different countries (and not just Canada, thank you very much). I’ve introduced countless boyfriends to her music. I attended one of her shows while pregnant in the hopes that my son would absorb her feminist spirit. The word “fan” almost feels tawdry to use. I am a disciple. Religious language aside, I’ll be spending this weekend of Passover and Easter reading DiFranco’s upcoming No Walls and the Recurring Dream (May). For those of you familiar with her work, you know she’s a talented songwriter, and I’m excited to see how that translates to book form. —Sarah Gelman

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I enjoy books about nature, punk rock, and malcontents. There is probably another kind of book that I enjoy, but it's generally not father-son redemption stories, and you may insert your diagnosis here. But as the only one I know that wraps up all four of those elements, Dean Kuipers's The Deer Camp (May), merits an exception. Kuipers's dad, Bruce, wasn't a good dad, nor did he stick around for long. So when Bruce called out of the blue to announce that he had purchased 100 acres of prime hunting grounds—intended as a place of reconnecting with his three outdoorsman sons—Dean and his brothers are disinclined to take him seriously. Will it work? Hey, Father's Day is coming up, so who knows what will happen. —Jon Foro

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This is not the first time I've said I'm going to finally finish reading Frank Herbert’s masterful Dune over the weekend, but the fact that filming recently began for a big-screen remake has lit a fire beneath me again to actually do so. IMDb cites a geekalicious cast that includes Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Josh Brolin, and Jason Momoa—plus Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides— and I have my hopes up. For those who've already read and enjoyed Dune, I highly recommend Arkady Martine's mesmerizing debut SF novel, A Memory Called Empire, which has the same epic sweep (plus a good amount of ironic humor) and released only a few weeks ago. —Adrian Liang


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