Friday, September 2, 2016

Weekend Reading



Weekend readingEvery Labor Day weekend, there is a music festival in Seattle called Bumbershoot. Considering the soggy forecast, it is aptly named, but it's perfect reading weather! This edition of weekend reading features a detective tale set in Victorian London, two Beach Boy bios, and a salve for the slovenly.

Adrian Liang: A long weekend is the best time to get swallowed up by a long book, which is why Stephen Price's historical novel By Gaslight is at the top of my TBR pile. I'm a sucker for anything involving Victorian London, Pinkerton operatives, and con artists, so By Gaslight should be right up my alley. Another book with a British hue is Rogue Heroes by historian Ben Macintyre about the genesis of the SAS (Britain's special forces) in Africa during WWII. Macintyre has a gift for propelling you along through a mix of action and memorable characters, and I'm already several chapters in and steaming right along. For lighter reading, I plan to consume Tessa Dare's Do You Want to Start a Scandal, which, hmmm, is also set in England. Looks like I'll be drinking a lot of tea and saying "cheerio" this weekend!

Jon Foro: Many people say the Beach Boys have enjoyed two careers. Phase One: The 1960s visionaries fueled by Brian Wilson's groundbreaking songwriting, whose landmark album Pet Sounds pushed the Beatles to the heights of Sgt. Pepper, before Wilson's mental illness and drug addiction sent him into the wilderness. Phase Two: The Wilson-less, Mike Love-led county fair act trading on the nostalgia of their early surfer era and corny throwbacks like "Kokomo." In any case, Love often gets a bad rap for drafting on Wilson's genius. I don't know about that. He did write the lyrics for their early hits, and there's nothing wrong with durability. (And as I often tell myself, A fella's gotta earn.) But it's a little bit of a coincidence that they both have memoirs out this fall, Wilson's I Am Brian Wilson (October 11) and Love's Good Vibrations (September 13). Even their titles seem to reflect their journeys: the former as a (re)affirmation of identity, the latter a nod to the past and the stubborn insistence that it's all still fun, fun, fun.

Seira Wilson: A nice long, potentially rainy weekend ahead I'm going to treat myself to a couple of big meaty novels I've been dying to start looking at for October's best of the month lists (that just seems wrong to speak of October when September has barely begun, but there you go…). The first is Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is the sequel to Six of Crows and picks up on the cliff hanger ending that has Kaz and his crew struggling like never before after a terrible betrayal.  

The other one I'm really looking forward to is the new Tana French novel, The Trespasser, that brings back detectives Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran from The Secret Place, but this time the story is Antoinette's to tell.

Erin Kodicek: I'm going to read Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives. Now, I know what you're thinking--That I want an expert to validate and justify my sloppy ways. But no! I'm actually a bit of a neat freak. Clean house, uncluttered mind, that's my motto (or one of them anyway). But I'm still intrigued. And I want to take comfort in those moments during dinner parties when the sink starts to fill with dirty dishes, and they're just sitting there, mocking me...

Chris Schluep: I will be reading two books this weekend. I have Truevine, by Beth Macy, which is a nonfiction account of the Muse brothers, who were albino kids born to black Southern sharecropper parents. When they were little boys, they were kidnapped by a white man who offered them candy. They would wind up in the circus, and they became quite famous. That's already a lot to digest; I plan to take it one page at a time.

I also have Paul Auster's novel titled 4321. That's right: 4321. Or maybe it's 4 3 2 1. It doesn't come out until early 2017—I suggest you search for it on Amazon under "Paul Auster."

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