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Weekend Reading

Nonfiction reigns supreme in this edition of Weekend Reading, with a book about the unsung heroes of the Space Race, a memoir about a man who copes with his Rise of the Rocket Girls mid-life crisis in a very unusual (read: insane) way, and a confession of sorts from one of the interrogators at a detention center in Iraq.

Penny Mann: I cannot wait to get into Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars this weekend. This is Nathalia Holt's story about an elite group of women in the 40s and 50s who broke gender and science boundaries to transform rocket design and lay the groundwork for space travel...and come on, space and smart women--what more do you need?

I will also be finishing up Bob Boilen's Your Song Changed My Life. Boilen, the host of NPR's "All Songs Considered" and "Tiny Desk Concerts," has compiled his experiences and connections into an exhibition of the eternal power of music. Reading this book has been a crazy-wonderful flashback inducing experience--repeatedly jolting me back to moments in the past when I discovered a song that would inevitably stay with me forever.

Jon Foro: In a spasm of mid-life crisis, Eric Spitznagel embarked on a Colonel Kurtz-like quest to find and reclaim all of the important records of his youth. Not just replacements (though Let It Be was on the list), but the same physical albums. In his introduction to Old Records Never Die, Jeff Tweedy writes: "The thing he did, which you're going to read about in the following pages, I don't really understand it. I don't what to spoil this for you, but seriously, something is wrong with this guy." I think this is going to be good.

Erin Kodicek: I'll be checking out the memoir Consequence by Eric Fair, which chronicles his experiences as an interrogator for a private contractor in Iraq. Fair was one of the individuals who employed the controversial "enhanced interrogation techniques" we've heard so much about in the media, acts that torment him to this day. Evidently this book is his attempt at catharsis, but is sure to ruffle more than a few feathers when it's released next month.

Chris Schluep: I'm going to finish a short book that's already out, called Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. In the book, Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli shows his near magical ability to describe complex ideas in physics, revealing what he describes at one point "a simpler, deeper order."

Adrian Liang: The TBR pile is high this weekend, and right at the top is The Last Goodnight by Howard Blum. This true story of an American female spy who worked for both the OSS and MI6 during World War II promises to be mesmerizing in the hands of Blum, who is both a New York Times bestselling author and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. Daring women doing dangerous things during WWII? Sign me up!

Seira Wilson: I'm going to start a nonfiction book that sounds at first like it could be depressing but when you look a little farther sounds really interesting to me...The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts by Laura Tillman is about a brutal murder and the aftershock effect it had on an already suffering community in Brownsville, TX.  

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