Weekend reading

Erin Kodicek on September 06, 2019
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Al is digging into a novel that's drawing comparisons to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye; Sarah is reading one that reminds her of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies; Jon prefers you don't tell anyone what he's reading; Chris is starting a cautionary tale about technology, and more.

Here is a taste of what the Amazon editors are reading this weekend:


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Opioid, Indiana by Brian Allen Carr

There are so, so many great novels coming out in September—seriously, clear your schedule, fluff your pillows, and settle in. So, this weekend, I’m diving into Opioid, Indiana by Brian Allen Carr, which is a Best Book of September, championed by Chris. While it may sound strange to want to dive into a novel about a kid in a roughshod world full of dysfunction, drugs, and pain – I’ve heard that you want to root for this kid and his wry observations on the world, however sideways and sad. Plus, I’ve had my dalliances with opioid novels – Cherry by Nico Walker, for instance, was a mesmerizingly dark, comic and often drug-fueled ride through war, romance, and bank heists that rattled my bones and opened my eyes--so my hopes are high for this one. –Al Woodworth


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Raven Lane by Amber Cowie

My colleagues from Amazon Publishing shared with me an advance copy of Amber Cowie’s Raven Lane, and I haven’t been able to put it down. I know this is the popular comparison these days—and for good reason—but this book reminds me a lot of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. I’m not sure how a book can build slowly yet still be a propulsive read, but Raven Lane manages to do just that. Esme and Benedict Werner live a seemingly idyllic life on Raven Lane, a close-knit suburban community filled with its share of glamorous artsy types. One weekend, a terrible accident occurs on their cul-de-sac, and its repercussions are felt by many. I’m about halfway through—the corruption and secrets are starting to boil, and the only thing keeping me from reading this in one sitting are those pesky obligations like work and family. I haven’t read the author’s first novel, Rapid Falls, but I’ll be adding it to my Want to Read list for a rainy day. —Sarah Gelman

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Someone Is Out to Get Us: A Not So Brief History of Cold War Paranoia and Madness by Brian Brown

After emerging from the quagmire of Poisoner in Chief — a best of the month-worthy biography of Sidney Gottlieb, mastermind of the CIA’s LSD-soaked mind-control experiments during the Cold War, among other deeds — I’m ready to sink back in. Brian Brown’s Someone Is Out to Get Us (November 5) goes beyond the drug experiments in an investigation of the myriad ways we lost our collective mind in paranoid conspiracy theories from UFOs to Communists witch-hunts, while opportunists like Hoover’s FBI filled the void of rationality. Is any of this true? I'm not sure yet, but I'm so glad that everything is fine now. —Jon Foro

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Anyone: A Novel by Charles Soule

Charles Soule is the author of The Oracle Year, which we picked as a Best Book of 2018. Soule’s combination of wit and plot, combined with his ability to think up simple-but-fascinating science fiction hooks, is what makes him special. In his new novel (12/3), the question he poses is what would it mean if you could transfer your consciousness into another person? Talk about an out-of-body experience. Back in 2002, when I worked in publishing, I acquired a novel called Altered Carbon, which posed a similar question (so obviously I like that question). I am really excited to see what a talented writer like Charles Soule does with this idea. —Chris Schluep

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Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Kids in middle school might often feel like they have no allies and that no one really understands them, but Raina Telgemeier is firmly on their side. As she did in Smile and Sisters, Telgemeier taps again into her own trials during those challenging years to tell her story about how anxiety twisted up her guts during the school year as she dealt with friends and not-friends. Available September 17 as schools kick into high gear across the country, Guts promises empathy and laughs to readers even as it offers a way forward. —Adrian Liang


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Disgraceland: Musicians Getting Away with Murder and Behaving Very Badly by Jake Brennan

I discovered the DISGRACELAND podcast recently—about musicians, the music industry, and bad behavior (the worst being murder, of course) associated with both. I thought the theme seemed familiar, then I realized I had this advance reading copy on my desk.… I’ve been reading a ton (yeah, what’s new, I know…) but right now I feel the need for a book I can pick up and put down at will. Oh, and I also want to be entertained. The stories in Disgraceland are not straight-up true crime—they’re a blend of “true crime and transgressive fiction” so you get a feel for what was happening with these musical legends at and around the time they committed their various crimes. I started the first chapter, titled Fat Elvis, and I like author Jake Brennan’s style. Looking forward to more. —Seira Wilson

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