Weekend Reading

Jon Foro on December 14, 2018
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In this week's additions to the Amazon Books editors To Be Read piles: A debut novelist unafraid to "venture into thorny personal and political territory"; a sprawling family saga about a Pacific Northwest logging family, so big that it that might require a little deforestation just to print enough copies; a bit of escapism involving "elite boarding school, illegal cloning, and a potentially very awkward love story"; and a suspenseful romance that "may make your stomach twist with butterflies."


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Madhuri Vijay isn’t afraid to venture into thorny personal and political territory in her impressive debut novel, The Far Field. In it Shalini, bereft after the loss of her mother, journeys to Kashmir in search of Bashir Ahmed, a merchant who may be able to help her find closure. But the upheaval there threatens this quest, and the people she has grown close to along the way. — Erin Kodicek

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Back in 2010, though it seems like much longer ago than that, Karl Marlantes released Matterhorn, a novel about the Vietnam War that was a literally massive book with figuratively massive sales and accolades. His new book—also huge, with a freaking fantastic jacket—is Deep River, a novel about a family of Finnish immigrants who settle near the Columbia River in Oregon, just as the logging boom is taking off. On one hand, there's a story of a family trying to reinvent itself while maintaining a sense of heritage; on the other a tale of the West of the 1900s, at the moment it’s changing from wilderness and becoming more integrated with industry and the wider American culture. (By the way, I chose this when I thought it was coming in January. We'll have to wait for its actual release in July.)— Jon Foro

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I've been looking forward to reading this young adult novel since first hearing about it months ago when January seemed laughably far away. The Similars releases January 1st and the story sounds like a great escapist read—just what I'm looking for right now! An elite boarding school, illegal cloning, and a potentially very awkward love story. What's not to like? P.S. I finished The Last Mrs. Parrish audio and it was fantastic! Can't wait for the new book coming in the spring... — Seira Wilson

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Colleen Hoover's thoughtful, emotionally concentrated contemporary romances have often moved me to laughter or tears. (Once, while crying on the bus, I almost rethought the wisdom of reading a Hoover novel while surrounded by strangers, but even then, I couldn't put the book down long enough to grab a tissue.) So I'm especially fascinated by how she's going to handle her first foray into romantic suspense with Verity, which came out this month. The customer reviews have been intriguing so far. "I got truly creeped out at times with this one," said one reader. Another warned, "If you’re looking for hearts and butterflies, you’ve come to the wrong place. While Verity may make your stomach twist with butterflies, it’s definitely not the sweet kind but more like the kind you have to choke down and hold inside." It's in the Kindle Unlimited program, which is a boon for readers who consume more than a few books a month. Can't wait to dive into this one! —Adrian Liang

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