Weekend reading

Chris Schluep on November 06, 2020

Weekend reading

It has been a fairly newsworthy week, so the Amazon editors are looking forward to a weekend of reading. Erin is seeking a book that will give her a hug. Al is eschewing hugs. Vannessa is dipping into a cozy mystery. Adrian is reading a book about abandoned cities (well-timed, I might add, as people abandon some of our biggest cities for more remote environs). As for me, I'm trying to make up for this week when I ignored my children.

Whatever book you choose, we hope you have a pleasant, relaxing weekend of reading.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

I don’t know about you, but I need a hug right now. From a golden retriever, a Canadian support human. Someone. Failing that, I need to read Fredrik Backman, because his books always make me feel a little better about the world, and this one seems especially apropos this week. In his latest novel an open house turns into a hostage situation. Which, ok, sounds anxiety-inducing but again, this is Backman, not [insert thriller author here]. Anxious People is another reassuring and endearing yarn that will expand your empathy in unlikely places. We need that more than ever right now. —Erin Kodicek

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

We named Sunil Yapa's Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist a best book of the month in 2016 when it first published, and it's a book that I have gifted widely and think about often. Coursing with energy, Yapa’s novel is a rocket ship of a book, filled with heroics, violence and the propulsive action of a heart. Over the course of a day, Yapa spools a narrative of the now infamous World Trade Organization protests that took place along the streets of Seattle in 1990—a day that started peacefully and ended in blood. Told from different vantage points, including the Chief of Police, an ardent non-violent protestor, and a UN delegate making his way to a meeting, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is an epic story of protest and a call for empathy. I loved this book then and I'm loving this book now. —Al Woodworth

The Fatal Flying Affair by T E Kinsey

This weekend I am in the mood for a cozy mystery, and the latest in the Lady Hardcastle series looks to be just the thing. I love this series. The eccentric widow Lady Hardcastle and her redoubtable lady’s maid (and martial arts expert) Flo have made a formidable team in five previous books, as they solved murders in and around the village of Littleton Cotterell. This time, a visit from Lady H’s brother kicks off a mystery that involves espionage and a tragic accident at the local aeroplane factory that may be no accident. The law may scoff, but amateur sleuths Lady H and Flo have a track record of being relentless—and hilarious—while getting to the bottom of quite a few murders in their time. Roll on the weekend. —Vannessa Cronin

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz

I’ve spoken with Annalee Newitz a number of times, and so when Newitz told me last year that they were writing a book about abandoned cities, I kept my eyes wide open for it. (I want to read everything by Newitz, if only in the hopes that their obvious intelligence and quick sense of humor rub off on me somehow.) Finally Four Lost Cities will arrive on February 2, and I’m diving into an advance copy of it this weekend. Exploring both why people left their cities as well as why people flocked to them in the first place, Newitz takes readers to Pompeii in Italy, Ankor in Cambodia, Cahokia in the U.S., and Çatalhöyük in Turkey—spanning not just continents but millennia. I enjoyed Jared Diamond’s Collapse, and I think that Four Lost Cities is going to be right up my alley. —Adrian Liang

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

I have been ignoring my kids this week, so I feel like I owe them some extra attention over the weekend. In addition, I am going to do some child-related reading. Paul Tough's How Children Succeed was a best seller when it was published in 2012, and it presaged Angela Duckworth's work with Grit. My kids were pretty young back then, and I remember thinking to myself that I should reread Tough's book when their expressions of grit involved more than eating a mouthful of sand at the beach. I'll keep that promise this weekend. —Chris Schluep

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