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Weekend Reading

In this edition of Weekend Reading, doorstops (of the literary variety), two tomes from Pulitzer Prize winners, and a young adult Barkskinsnovel inspired by the Bard.

Jon Foro: There's usually one weekend a month when reading choices aren't constrained by publication month—e.g. we're wrapping up April, and May deadlines don't yet loom—so this would usually be my "free read" time to pick up some neglected tome from the TBR pile. But there's a big novel—at 700-plus pages, literally big--looming on June's horizon, one that might merit an early start: Annie Proulx's Barkskins, an epic that seems to be doing with trees what Philipp Meyer's The Son did with oil: twisting up a century-spanning, greed-fueled family saga with the ruination of the world's forests and its equally disastrous human toll.

Penny Mann: I am embracing a theme of contrast this weekend with two books with very different subject matter. The first, Imagine Me Gone, is Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, Adam Haslett's, novel about family, love, and what is most important. I am intrigued by both the fact that it is said to be gut-wrenching and hilarious, as well as Haslett's structure of alternating through the five family members points of view. Then, for a break from the love and laughter, I will be picking up Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha. 'Platoon' is the only first-hand account of the Battle of Keating, a 14-hour battle against the Taliban, which resulted in the loss of 8 United States soldiers and Romesha receiving the Medal of Honor.

Erin Kodicek: I am very excited to dig into the latest from Louise Erdrich, LaRose, out next month. I have been a fan of Erdrich's work since Tracks and Love Medicine, which I highly recommend, but I have to admit that The Round House got a bit too...cinematic for my taste (the National Book Award committee heartily disagreed). Let's just ignore for a moment that the jacket description calls LaRose a "tour de force," cause...that term is just annoying. But the themes of justice and redemption are signature Erdrich, and the protagonist is in dire need to atone for his actions, the result of a horrific accident that opens the novel.

Seira Wilson: With the end of the month looming I'm wrapping up some young adult reading for April--namely Dreamers Often Lie  by Jacqueline West, a Shakespeare-inspired novel with an unreliable narrator that sounds like it could have some of the appeal of We Were Liars. I hope so, anyway. I'm also midway through Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan and really like it so far--interesting, flawed characters, dark fantasy--so looking forward to seeing how it ends...

Adrian Liang: I have four sci-fi or speculative fiction books in my sights this weekend: Seanan's McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway, a tale about children who've gone to other realms…and what happens after they return. I'm eager to get farther into Scott Sigler's Alight, the second book in his Generations trilogy that involves children and teens who land on a once-populated planet and must fight for survival. (I enjoyed the first book, Alive, immensely.) I plan to start Camille Griep's New Charity Blues, which is a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Trojan War from a very gifted storyteller. And finally I'm going to finish Richard Kadrey's The Everything Box, which has me in stitches every time I turn a page.

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