Weekend reading

Adrian Liang on December 18, 2020
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Weekend reading

Whether you’re snowbound or looking for quality me-time, reading can deliver new worlds, new ideas, and page-turning adventures.

The Amazon Editors are looking ahead at what 2021 brings as well as spending time with fall books that other readers have been happily clamoring about.

This is what we will be reading this weekend. What about you?


Humans by Brandon Stanton

I’ve always admired Brandon Stanton’s work. He has a way of both raising up individuals and making us see our shared commonality at the same time. Humans promises to be his biggest undertaking, taking stock of humans all over the globe. It seems as epic as anything he’s done to date. I’ve had the chance to meet Stanton in the past, and he has a calming nature that—no surprise—makes you want to tell him more than you might disclose to others. As the holidays approach, I’m interested in thinking about other people, people who are different than me, and I’m looking forward to having Brandon Stanton as my guide. —Chris Schluep


All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

Louise Penny may not be an author most readers associate with Christmas, but I always read one of her books this time of year. I suppose it started when I read the first in her Chief Inspector Gamache series, Still Life, over the holidays. This series cycles through the seasons and Still Life takes place in not only winter, but winter in the fictional small town of Three Pines, set south of Montreal. Penny’s latest, All the Devils Are Here, is the 16th in this series, and our own resident mystery and thriller expert, Vannessa Cronin, picked it as one of the best books of the month in September. As soon as travel is safe again, Vannessa and I have a plan to make a literary pilgrimage to the area in Quebec upon which Three Pines is based. Although I hope not to wait a whole other year, I’m picturing us having a drink—and a licorice pipe—by the fire at some Penny-esque bistro. Until then, I’ll be reading All the Devils Are Here, which takes place in Paris, and dreaming of the day when we finally make our trip. Vannessa has said that All the Devils Are Here can be read as a standalone novel even if you don’t follow the series; but if you don't, you’re missing out. —Sarah Gelman


The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick

Mix the shenanigans of Game of Thrones with the swashbuckling thrills of Zorro, and you have M. A. Carrick's new fantasy novel, The Mask of Mirrors (January 19). Everyone seems to be concealing secrets and bad decisions in this novel, but the characters are sympathetic, which is a must for me as a reader. One big secret revolves around the identity of the Rook, a black-garbed and masked avenger of the original residents of the city, who has somehow been doing this avenging gig for 200 years. I can't wait to find out who the Rook really is and what happens next. —Adrian Liang


Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks by Ina Garten

As 2020 winds down I’m looking ahead to the new year, and while I have no illusions that I will cook like a professional in 2021 (or ever—I set myself on fire making bacon once), if anyone can help improve my culinary prowess, it's Ina Garten. In this book there are scrumptious recipes but also tips and tricks that the Barefoot Contessa has perfected throughout her storied career, things like making the perfect scrambled eggs (which is an art form) and adding that impressive—but actually quite easy—chevron pattern to cakes. Hopefully it will also show me how to fry bacon without having to get skin grafts afterward. My aspirations are lofty. —Erin Kodicek


My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee

So you know that feeling when you read the first page of a book and you know you're going to love it? That, within the first minute, you know that this hilarious and haughty voice of an exuberant youth is going to make you laugh and make you hurt with the decisions he makes? Well, I'm here to say that that's the feeling I'm getting reading Chang-rae Lee's new novel, My Year Abroad. It opens with a young man who has shacked up with a woman his senior and her son. It's unclear why he's no longer in school or why he doesn't have a job, but it does have something to do with a guy named Pong, who seemingly came out of the blue and changed his life. I mean, intriguing right? —Al Woodworth


Bridgerton: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Being both a PBS junkie and an Anglophile, my TV viewing during quarantine has consisted of shows like Sanditon and Pride and Prejudice—the one starring Colin Firth, of course. I haven’t made it back to Downton Abbey yet, but it’s only a matter of time. So, seeing the trailer for the Netflix adaptation of Bridgerton, a novel about the marriage mart in Regency London, made my ears prick up. A young lady too honest to be marriageable, and a handsome duke too tormented by his miserable past to be interested in matrimony. What else can they can do but fake a courtship with one another to keep the unwanted suitors at bay? I think I see where this one is going and I’m all in. —Vannessa Cronin


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