Weekend Reading

Mischling

Here's what some of the Amazon editors are planning to read over the long weekend...

Sara Nelson: I just opened Affinity Konar’s novel Mischling, which is coming out in September. So while it’s nice to have a head start on the weekend, I doubt it will take me all three days of this Memorial Day vacation to finish it. Ten pages in, I’m riveted, and mildly shocked at how readable and terrifying, all at once, this debut is. When I tell you that Konar spent ten years writing about twins who were singled out by Josef Mengele in Auschwitz, you’re going to think it couldn’t possibly be an easy read. What it depicts is grim and shocking and horrible; but so far at least, it is written in such a way as to “[carry] the lightness of a fairy tale,” to quote from Anthony Doerr’s impassioned blurb on the galley cover. 

W1Jon Foro: There’s a moment that keeps me coming back to "Gimme Shelter," the Maysles brothers’ documentary of the Rolling Stones’ free concert at Altamont Motor Speedway that led to the death of Meredith Hunter--and as many say, the 60s--at the hands of a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. The Stones are running through a tense rendition of “Under My Thumb” and the stage is Pandæmonium—a crowd too big, too close, and too high; Evil-Eyed Angels keeping them at bay; a stray dog—when camera locks onto a man just feet to Mick’s right, a mess of hair and denim and anguish seemingly transforming into a werewolf before our eyes. It’s a moment of total unpredictability: mindless and physical and banal, and as awful spectacles often go, completely spellbinding. It’s also the long way of saying that I’m looking forward to Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day, Joel Selvin’s meticulous account of events that led to the fiasco—including the decision to hire the infamous biker gang as security—and its aftermath.

W2Adrian Liang: Even with a three-day weekend, I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to read everything I want to! But these are on my weekend TBR pile: Susan Mallery’s Daughters of the Bride, a novel about a woman who gets remarried in her sixties and how her three daughters are dealing with the run-up to the wedding. I love the cover to bits. I’ve started The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, a thriller narrated by a young woman named Elka who is on the run from a serial killer in post apocalyptic British Columbia. The story is gripping, and Elka’s voice is striking, radiating a toughness yet vulnerability that reminds me of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. Finally, I want to dive into The Devourers by Indra Das, which I’ve been looking forward to ever since Pierce Brown (Red Rising, Morning Star) recommended it in our “New Year, New Authors” post about talented up-and-coming sci-fi and fantasy writers.

W3Chris Schluep: My reading list is too optimistic, but we'll see: it's a three-day weekend. I've got Teddy Wayne's novel Loner, about a withdrawn Harvard freshman who falls in love with a girl, and then things go bad. It comes well-recommended. I'm not sure what to expect, although I'm expecting to be disturbed. I've also got Ben Winters' new book Underground Airlines. The publisher is really excited about this one, and I've liked Winters' other books. Here's the blurb: "It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred." Tin House Books (I'm a big fan of Tin House) sent me Joy Williams' Ninety-Nine Stories of God. I've got a really good feeling about this one—in fact, I'm feeling pretty good about all the books on this list, the last of which is Jonathan Rabb's Among the Living, about a Holocaust survivor moving to Savannah in the 40s.

 

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