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Weekend Reading



BoyleIn this edition of Weekend Reading, high-stakes Survivor, an unsung 60s icon, and the Twelve Days of Christmas (you read that right).  

Erin Kodicek: I'm going to dig into The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle. Mr. Boyle must have been intrigued by Survivor, because this novel plays with a similar theme, only, instead of a reality television show where people show off their abs and eat bugs for money, the participants in this human experiment are doing it out of necessity (climate change is wreaking havoc on earth, and folks may need to colonize elsewhere). Dystopian fare isn't typically my bag, but I trust T.C. Boyle to turn out something cheeky, and provocative, and fun to read.

Jon Foro: I'm going to cheat a little bit today and talk about a book that I read a few weekends back, one that I picked up on a whim and unexpectedly couldn't put down, Robert Greenfield's Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III. Most people with passing knowledge of 60s are familiar with the main players: the Grateful Dead, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, the Hells Angels, et al, but Stanley (aka Owsley, aka Bear), might have had the greatest influence of all. If you don't know him, there's a good reason. Bear was a weird underground polymath, the self-taught chemist who manufactured the high-grade LSD that fueled Kesey's Acid Tests, bankrolled the Dead in their early days, and designed their cyclopean stage system called the Wall of Sound, ultimately recording hundreds of their shows. And while the nickname has several possible origins, he was definitely something of a bear to deal with. Greenfield's book is not only the biography of complicated, flawed, and often brilliant man, but also a record of a key part of the era little known to those who weren't there.

Adrian Liang: It's all about romance for me this weekend (which is appropriate, since I'm going to a wedding on Saturday). At the top of my list is Debbie Macomber's Twelve Days of Christmas, which she was so enthusiastic about when we spoke with her during the summer—and the premise of the heroine who pledges to "kill with kindness" her horribly rude neighbor sounds hilarious. I'm also looking forward to Rebecca Zanetti's brand-new romantic suspense series-starter, Deadly Silence.

Seira Wilson: While I'll still be reading some middle grade and YA fiction this weekend, I'm also going to try out Food52 A New Way to Dinner. The idea behind this new cookbook is that the secret to not cooking every night is to spend some time on the weekend getting things prepped and going grocery shopping. The authors' Game Plan for each week-long menu tells you exactly what you need, how long you're going to spend in the kitchen this weekend, and what you're making. It looks seriously great for us working parents so I'm hoping it lives up to my hype.  

Chris Schluep: I've been reading The Earth is Weeping by Peter Cozzens, which is fittingly subtitled "The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West." For anyone who has read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Cozzens' book aims to give a more balanced history of the Indian Wars. I'm glad I found this book, which manages to be endlessly discouraging and depressing—and yet it's so readable and fascinating. So far, it's one of my favorite histories of the year.

Keeping to theme, I'll also be taking a look at Joe Jackson's Black Elk, which is about the Lakota medicine man who purportedly held interviews with the poet John G. Neihardt, which were translated and turned into Neihardt's controversial 1932 book Black Elk Speaks. The New Age/Spiritual set adopted Black Hawk Speaks as a totem of sorts, but the book has been rejected by the Lakota, and the contents are disputed. Will the book Black Elk get me to the truth of the matter? I have no idea, but we'll see this weekend.

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