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Weekend Reading

CrosstalkIn this edition of Weekend Reading, empathy implants, Thomas Dolby (earworm alert), and the latest by a Printz Award winner.

Adrian Liang: Three titles have caught my attention, the first being Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives. I'm about 25 pages in and I've already underlined several passages that I want to remember. I also can't wait to read Ken Liu's The Wall of Storms. It's a chunky bugger, but I expect it will be a marvelously immersive experience. If I have time, I'll also start Connie Willis' Crosstalk, a comedic near-future novel about a woman who gets an implant to become more empathetic to her fiancé-to-be but gets connected to the wrong person instead.

Jon Foro: If you were between 10 and 20 years old in the early 80s--and your house was equipped with cable TV--you are familiar with Thomas Dolby's lyric "She blinded me! With science!" and that song's Freudy, proto-Steampunk video. But his biggest contribution to mass culture probably occurred after he left pop music to launch a Silicon Valley start-up specializing in the integration of music and electronics. When he miniaturized a synthesizer that was crammed into an early Nokia phone--and loaded it with his ur-ringtone: high-pitched bits of the Spanish guitar composition Gran Vals--he set an annoyingly high bar for every digitized ditty that followed. His forthcoming memoir, The Speed of Sound recounts his unique, irreplicable career.

Erin Kodicek: I'm going to check out the highly anticipated forthcoming release by Michael Chabon, Moonglow. Described as "fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir" (I had to read that a couple times, too), it was inspired by the painkiller-fueled confessions of Chabon's dying grandfather. I hate it when something is called "a tour de force" (cause every book evidently is), but distilling a man's lifetime into a single week, covering topics ranging from madness, to war, to marriage (or maybe that's the same topic), does seem an ambitious feat. Good thing Chabon knows how to deliver.

Seira Wilson: It feels like a YA weekend to me, so I'm going to get cracking on some October books...Top on my list is Replica by Lauren Oliver. It's a really unusual book in that it's a flip book—one side is one girl's story and then flip it over and read another girl's story. Interesting concept so I'm looking forward to seeing how it works once I get going. The second one I'm going to look at is Blood Red Snow White a story of love and espionage in the old Soviet Union by Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick.

Chris Schluep: I'm starting News of the World and finishing Mercury. I just saw that News of the World, which has gotten good reads at Amazon so far, is the #1 pick for October Library Reads list . And Mercury is off to a good start. Looking forward to the weekend!


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