Our Friday Reads: August 28

Our Friday Reads: August 28

Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations; have you read any of them? Tell us in the comments what you’ll be reading this weekend! If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Summer Previews.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

As I’m reading this, I have to keep reminding myself that it is nonfiction. Katherine Boo‘s writing style is so captivating that I feel immersed in the narrative much like I would with a novel. This book takes place in a slum near the Mumbai airport, and follows the lives of the slum’s inhabitants. As a work of journalism, this is totally knocking my socks off. This is an incredibly sad but hugely impressive piece of nonfiction writing. —Elizabeth

Hostage Taker

I’m always interested in reading about the FBI. If I tell you any more, though, I’ll have to kill you.—Bob

Heir of Fire

To say I am captivated by Sarah J Maas’ writing is to do her a disservice. There are twists I never saw coming and dark moments that I didn’t dare to believe Celeana could escape from alive (even though she obviously does because the fourth book comes out next week). I loved the slow unraveling of the mystery at the heart of this book, the reveal of Celeana’s past and what happened to her parents, and the cast of new characters—specifically Manon and Abraxos. Now onto Queen of Shadows. —Kelly


Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art

I love biographies of artists—especially writers and painters—and even more especially if they live long, full, well-traveled lives: the longer, the better. Saul Bellow made it to 89. Katherine Anne Porter, whose extraordinary life as told in the Joan Givner biography is my favorite of all artist chronicles, made it to 90. Abstract painter Agnes Martin made it even further: She died in New Mexico at 92. This biography has it all: a woman born on the Saskatchewan prairie, a onetime lumberyard cook, time at Teachers College up on Broadway, time on the lower East River waterfront making art with a stellar group of dockyard-neighborhood homesteading artists—Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, among them—time in Bellevue (Martin suffered from schizophrenia), and a lot of time, in the later decades of her life, in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, living early on in the most rustic way, and later, after success and money came her way, driving a Mercedes fast through the desert. This is an amazing story, well told in this first full-length biography of a woman whose work is currently featured in a major retrospective at London’s Tate Modern museum. —Phil

The Last Time I Saw Her

As a fan of the dark fantasy world of vampires, shape shifters, the walking dead, and other creepy creatures, I’ve decided it’s about time I pick up Karen Robards—one of the best when it comes to writing mystery and romance. —Bob


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