Our Friday Reads: July 3

Our Friday Reads: July 3

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.

The Empathy Exams

Leslie Jamison, where have you been all my life? I read “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain” recently, and couldn’t believe that it had taken me so long to find her. I’m beyond excited to read more of her essays. She teaches in my program, and if I ever bump into her on campus, it’s going to take some serious self-control not to ask for an autograph. —Elizabeth

Broken Harbor

My love and admiration for Tana French grows with every page I turn. While each story in her Dublin Murder Squad series has me itching to find out who the killer is, the thing I enjoy most is the journey it takes to get there. Every time I crack the spine, I feel as though I’ve been transported to Ireland and am sitting at the pub with my favorite detective, listening to his or her latest case. I won’t say what this one is about because I feel her mysteries are best enjoyed when you just start reading and don’t worry about the jacket copy. —Kelly

The Mask

After seeing many comparisons between Taylor Stevens and my favorite authors (Lee Child, Laura Lippman, Vince Flynn, Brad Thor), I am finally discovering this author I’ve heard so much about but never read. As a lover of thrillers, I’m looking forward to getting to know her protagonist Vanessa Michael Munroe, a brilliant information hunter who isn’t afraid of the deadly places her job takes her. —Bob



I’m a hundred pages into Belinda McKeon’s new novel Tender (out now in Ireland and the UK, with Feb. 2016 for the US), a book I picked up the day it published as I loved her debut novel Solace, and I’m loving this one as well. As in the earlier book, Dublin and rural Longford are the settings, and a relationship between two people the focus. In Solace it was a father and grown son; here, it is best friends Catherine and James, Catherine a Trinity College first-year and nowhere near as bold, as performative, worldly, and wittily irreverent as James, a photographer’s assistant, whom she meets early in the book in a classic apartment scene that will have you remembering your own first encounters with young, comedic free spirits. James, in terms of his gift for uttering hilarious lines at every turn, is like a cross between Buck Mulligan in Ulysses and Oscar Wilde. I’ve been laughing out loud at his dialogue. I can’t wait to see what happens between these two marvelously drawn characters, a relationship complicated by James’ sexuality (he’s gay in late-90s Ireland). I’ve never read a novel that has stirred so many memories of being young and being with that person who makes you laugh harder than anyone else in the world. —Phil

The Scoundrel and the Debutante

When I’m in the mood to read romance, I reach for Regency. I enjoyed the second book in Julia London’s Cabot Sisters series, so I figured picking up the third was a safe bet. There was scandal, temptation, and true love, but I had some issues with the protagonist and her poor decision making. London’s writing moves the story along smoothly though, and I do think fans of the series will enjoy this installment. —Kelly

The Oregon Trail

While traveling the modern Oregon Trail, Rinker Buck takes readers on an adventure where they’re introduced to cavalrymen, Native American tribes, female pioneers, and more. What’s been the most intriguing to me are the passages about the various characters who are left out of the history books but did play a significant role in the discovery and growth of the West. —Bob


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