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Weekend Reading

In this edition of Weekend Reading, buzzworthy biographies of the Godfather of Soul and the "Rough Rider," the latest from a FellsideNational Book Award winner, a book about a guy who decides to take a holiday from being human by impersonating a goat, and a debut that might as well be called, Gone Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. The Amazon editors have varied tastes indeed.

Adrian Liang: I'm finally--finally!--reading Fellside by M. R. Carey this weekend. For weeks I've been gazing longingly at this book by the author of The Girl with All the Gifts (my favorite zombie story of all time), and I can't wait to start. It's about a woman in a maximum security prison on the edge of the moors, and she's hearing voices no one else can hear.

Sara Nelson: I'm looking forward to finishing The Third Wave, the forthcoming memoir/business book by AOL founder Steve Case.   As someone working for one of the companies that launched half a decade after AOL, I find it interesting to see how it was in "the old days." And, well, I was also there, literally: Although I never met Case, one of my early jobs was at an "AOL Greenhouse project" called The Book Report. (It' now a freestanding Web site,

Jon Foro: National Book Award winner James McBride's Kill 'Em and Leave is quite possibly (at least I'm hoping) the definitive biography of the Godfather of Soul, getting beyond feeling good to illuminate the world that made him and the ways he changed it.

I love books about Teddy Roosevelt--especially those focused on his wilder side--and clocking in at just over 300 pages (with generous notes), The Naturalist looks like a reasonable commitment for a weekend.

Erin Kodicek: In the past few weeks I have received no less than four copies of Goat Man. Not sure what that says about me, but I'm taking it as a sign that I should take a peek before eight more copies arrive. It's about a (slightly) eccentric guy who disguises himself as a goat--even going so far as to fashion a prosthetic goat stomach to digest grass--and briefly joins a herd in the Alps. No, this is not fiction. Evidently an actual goat takes a shine to our hero, so it's also a love story. Of sorts. Sounds pretty whacky and fascinating. Or maybe it's just whacky.

I'm also having a look at Edna O'Brien's new one, The Little Red Chairs. I haven't read O'Brien in quite some time, not since her wonderful The Light of Evening. The buzz around 'Chairs' is that it's just as lyrical, but far more thrilling. Can't wait.

Seira Wilson: This weekend I'm finally going to start The Girl in the Blue Coat. This young adult novel has been getting lots of great word-of-mouth praise and I've been itching to read it. The story takes place in Amsterdam during WWII and involves a disappearance, the toll of war, and everyday people doing extraordinary things.

Chris Schluep: One of the books I'll be reading this weekend will be Hope Jahren's Lab Girl, which I've been hearing about for months. I don't like to know too much about a book before I start; all I really know is that it's a debut memoir by a woman who is a scientist. In my opinion, it's much better to let a story unfold by itself. Another book I'll be taking a look at is a novel called Maestra, by L.S. Hinton. Like I said, I don't like to know too much—but from what I've gleaned, it might accurately be titled Gone Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. Anyway, I'm looking forward to both these books. I'll have more to say about them once I've read them. Lastly, I'll be reading more of Spain in our Hearts, which is a big history about the Spanish Civil War that I'm really enjoying.

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