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Weekend Reading

WWIn this edition of Weekend Reading, the story behind Monet's famous Water Lilies painting, a ballyhooed debut, and a miracle child (maybe).

Chris Schluep: It's going to be an artist's retreat kind of weekend for me. I have Mad Enchantment, by Ross King, which is about Monet and his paintings of water lilies. I also have a book called You Must Change Your Life by Rachel Corbett, about the relationship between the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, and poet, Rainier Mari Rilke. Finally, I have a book called John Aubrey, My Own Life, which was written by Ruth Scurr. It's published by the New York Review of Books, which I have a literary crush on. John Aubrey lived in England in the 1600s. He didn't write an autobiography (I don't think), so Ruth Scurr has written one for him. It's an interesting concept, and Aubrey apparently left behind a lot of material that he did write—the book describes him this way: "He saw himself more as collector than writer: a collector of fragments of fact that would otherwise be lost because no one else would trouble themselves to write them down and pass them on to the next generation."

Jon Foro: Should I read The Nix? I generally have a bad attitude when people tell me what to do, and there is a lot of buzz around this must-read. (Literally: Nathan Hill appeared on the Buzz Panel at this year's Book Expo America.) As far as I understand, a nix is a shapeshifter in Nordic mythology, in this case a white horse that steals children, so that sounds spooky. And John Irving calls this book "mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics." Okay, I'll do what I'm told.

Erin Kodicek: I'm going to read Emma Donoghue's The Wonder, about a nurse who is summoned to a remote Irish village to witness a supposed miracle--a child who has somehow survived for months without food or water. I'm a fan of Donoghue, but this selection might also have something to do with a certain unwelcome house guest I noticed skittering at lightning speed behind my stove this morning. The giant house spider, which I've decided to name Hank, I first mistook for someone's escaped pet tarantula. Evidently it too can go for months without sustenance. And so, between chapters, I will also be house hunting.

Adrian Liang: I'm starting Alan Moore's new novel, Jerusalem. It's 1312 (!) pages, and I fully expect his ideas to match the immensity of the page count. We'll see. In a completely different genre, I'm enjoying Sandra Brown's new sexy thriller, Sting, which has a smart heroine, a hard-to-pin-down hero (is he really even a hero?), and twists and turns galore.


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