Sarah Harrison Smith: Well, I recently enjoyed – and wept over--Future Home of the Living God, an end-times novel by Louise Erdrich that Harper is publishing next month, but I felt I couldn’t put it into literary perspective without finally reading The Handmaid’s Tale. After all, Margaret Atwood’s 1986 dystopian novel basically set the standard for grim forecasts about women’s reproductive rights. I’m not alone in reading Atwood these days, for all sorts of reasons, including the recent television series -- The Handmaid’s Tale is currently #11 on Amazon Chart’s Most Read list. I started it last night and my first thought (and probably yours) is “Why on earth did I wait so long?”
Jon Foro: I recently signed on for a climb of Mt. Rainier. The trip isn’t scheduled until next August, but in order to ensure that I can haul my task-chair physique up 14,411 glaciated feet, I’ve tossed myself into regimens to strengthen both body and mind. For the latter, I picked up Pickets and Dead Men: Seasons on Rainier, Bree Loewen’s account of her experience as a climbing ranger in the park. While I like stories with grit, it might be good to be getting this one out of the way. Loewen’s recollections are decidedly unromantic, full of shivering, hunger, blisters, and damp, smelly communal sleeping bags. And while I thought that the title referred to climbing gear (a “dead man” is a tent-anchoring technique useful in snow), it turns out that corpse retrieval was a semi-regular job requirement. Because it’s there!, am I right?
Erin Kodicek: I'm going to check out Jon McGregor’s Reservoir 13. It was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize (which George Saunders ended up winning), and explores the years-long aftershocks the denizens of a rural English village experience when one of their most vulnerable goes missing.
Chris Schluep: This week I received a copy of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. I quickly set it aside to read, because holiday chaos is just around the corner and I feel the need to get a jump on my New Year, New Me reading (the book publishes in January 2018).
The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry - I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. I’ve heard nothing about the book, but as soon as I saw the Advance Reading Copy I had a hunch that it would be something special. This is the week I find out. This book publishes January 2nd, 2018.
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