Weekend reading

Adrian Liang on January 17, 2020
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With snow storms charging through big chunks of the country this weekend—and many of the rest of us being doused with the dreaded “wintry mix”—it is shaping up to be the perfect weekend for staying home and reading.

The Amazon Books editors are loading up their (waterproof) book bags with a number of forthcoming novels with heart—and some blood—and one of our editors is taking home the advice he learned in How to Raise a Reader by revisiting a childhood favorite.

Here’s what we will be reading this wet weekend. So bring on the wild weather!


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Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

I feel like reading something quirky and fun this weekend, and Oona Out of Order (February 25) sounds like it fits the bill. Erin Kodicek has been talking about this one, and I love the idea of a young woman having a Rip Van Winkle experience that is so much more. Set in the ’80s, Oona wakes up after New Year’s Eve feeling like her 19-year-old self, but somehow she’s time travelled into her life years in the future. It doesn’t end there as Oona pops in and out of her own life at various times, never quite knowing what will happen next. Full of pop culture references, this novel about time and love seems like a story that will leave me thoughtful but still smiling when I reach the end. —Seira Wilson

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The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s beautifully written novel takes place in a remote Norwegian town in the 1600s. Almost the entire male population has been wiped out when a freak storm overtakes them while they’re fishing. The women must fend for themselves, and since wearing trousers is scandalous in this place and time, the fact that they are able to do so with relative ease means that witchcraft must be involved! It’s infuriating, actually timely, and a story that once I got into it, I couldn’t put down. (February 11 publication) —Erin Kodicek


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Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

I started Laura Zigman’s Separation Anxiety (March 3) a few days ago, and it is literally (and I’m using this in the correct context) laugh-out-loud funny. And while I read a lot, not a lot actually makes me laugh out loud. But it took less than 2 pages of this novel before I actually snorted out loud at this: “Like most of the mistakes I’ve made—wearing a three-piece suit brown corduroy ‘suit’ (jacket, vest and skirt) for my Bat Mitzvah instead of a dress . . . I consider wearing the dog to be something that happens ‘by accident.’” That’s not to say that Separation Anxiety isn’t sad—it’s heartbreaking, but also hilarious and hopeful… so far. —Sarah Gelman


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Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

I picked up Sharks in the Time of Saviors (March 3) yesterday and I haven’t been able to put it down, truly. I could tell you it’s about a boy who has the power to tame and to heal, but that makes it sound a little too witchy. So maybe I’ll just say that it’s about three siblings who grew up in Hawaii, dispersed to the mainland for their grown-up lives, and all the while are each trying to figure out their own identities—in relation to themselves, each other, and the legends of their childhood. From the heat of Hawaii, to the riotous banter with their parents, and then shattering disappointment of falling short of expectations, Kawai Strong Washburn’s debut beats with the complexity of familial love, and let’s just say...I am enchanted. —Al Woodworth


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The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

There’s little I love more than a clever title or a cute cover, and Mia Sosa’s new romantic comedy (arriving February 4) is blessed with both. Wedding planner Lina was left at the altar years ago, but she believes she’s put that debacle behind her—at least until she discovers that for her next big project that could land her a contract with an exclusive boutique hotel, she has to work with both her ex-fiancé and her ex-fiancé’s best man, who encouraged the groom to make his ignoble split. Too bad the former best man is awfully attractive... I’m looking forward to relaxing with this rom-com that has already charmed me with its wit and heart within the first few chapters. —Adrian Liang


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Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox

In a ripped-from-the-headlines scenario, a little boy is abducted from a hotel room while his parents dine downstairs. Disgraced cop Ted Conkaffey and convicted killer Amanda Pharrell are not the likeliest pair to turn to in the event your child is kidnapped. But the mother of the missing boy seeks Ted out and appeals to him to help find her son. Ted’s a good guy (he has foster-geese!) and readers will root for his redemption, the same way they’ll crack up at his bear-poking partner Amanda, and as always, there’s a pulse-pounding mystery to solve also. Three books in, the Crimson Lake series by Candice Fox is a must-read. (March 10 publication) —Vannessa Cronin

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Castle by David Macaulay

This week we had Pamela Paul and Maria Russo visit Amazon. Pamela Paul is the editor of the New York Times Book Review and Maria Russo is the children’s editor at the Book Review—and they have written a great book called How to Raise a Reader. This is an inspiring book to help parents navigate the various stages of childhood reading: from newborns and toddlers, all the way up to the teens. Not only is there sound (and sane) advice in this book, but there are lists of great books for all reading levels. As I read How to Raise a Reader, I found myself ordering books. And I rediscovered books from my own childhood that I had nearly forgotten. Castle is one of those. I look forward to establishing an even deeper culture of reading in our house this weekend. —Chris Schluep


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