I n this edition of Weekend Reading, lots of depressing (but utterly riveting) books! I think the happiest one on this list is about the upending of two marriages, but hey, that could be a happy thing indeed...
Chris Schluep: I’m a few chapters into Wendy Walker’s All Is Not Forgotten, which so far is feeling like it could be a BIG summer book. It’s very different from what Walker has written before. Very different. And it was very hard to put down, so I’m looking forward to picking it back up tonight. I’ll also be taking home Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter. A lot of people I trust have told me that it’s fantastic. And I have Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett. I’ve heard she’s the female Karl Ove Knausgaard—that sounds good to me. Finally, I have Fuminori Nakamura’s The Kingdom. He’s been on our Best of the Month list a few times. Noir set in Tokyo...a perfect read for what’s shaping up to be a sunny Seattle weekend. Even more perfect if it rains.
Sara Nelson: I'm eager to dig into Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow. His Rules of Civility is one of my very favorite books of the last decade. Plus this one takes place just after the Russian revolution...another favorite era, thanks to masterpieces like Robert K. Massie's, Nicholas and Alexandra.
Jon Foro: Donald Ray Pollock came to the writing game late, working in a Chillicothe paper mill until he was 50 before enrolling at Ohio State University, where he worked toward his MFA and published Knockemstiff, a slim collection of stories about the author’s hometown “holler” and its living revenants: huffers, murderers, sex fiends, and their hapless (though not innocent) victims. Grim and funny in a grand guignol way, we (well, I) picked it as a Best Book of the Month, as we did with his 2011 follow-up, The Devil All the Time, another dark ramble through backwoods Ohio. His July novel, The Heavenly Table, travels even deeper into the south of 1917 and its gothic traditions—literary and otherwise—telling a violent and pulpy tale of a nation on the cusp of modernity.
Seira Wilson: Loved last weekend’s YA novel This Savage Song but this weekend it’s all about adult and middle grade novels. I’m in the midst of Towers Falling—a middle grade story about a girl struggling to understand what’s happening in her family and her place in the community, and pieces start falling in place as they begin learning about the Twin Towers attack at school. It’s fantastic so far, so will definitely finish that one. I’m also going to try to finish All Is Not Forgotten. Really brutal beginning but I really like the narrative style and the story is looking dark but riveting. Light reading for me, eh!?
Erin Kodicek: I have watched enough episodes of The Amazing Race to know that picking the right travel companion is crucial to your success...or failure.Travel has a way of bringing out the best, or the worst, in you, something Delia Ephron explores in her novel Siracusa. You'd think a holiday in Sicily would be the perfect tonic for most anything. Instead, it just might trigger the demise of two marriages...
Adrian Liang: There are so many good books to read this weekend...Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan is at the top of my pile. Sullivan doesn’t publish his books until he’s written the whole series, which is an unusual way of doing things but shows in the quality of his writing and storytelling. I loved Christina Henry’s dark and disturbing Alice last year, and so I’m looking forward to leaping into her twisted world again with her new book, The Red Queen.
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