Our Friday Reads: June 19

Our Friday Reads: June 19

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 Lovely Bones

This is a book that I can’t believe I haven’t read given its popularity and glowing reviews. So when I saw it sitting in my gym’s Take a Book, Leave a Book library, I couldn’t pass it up. I’m halfway through and really impressed with Alice Sebold’s language and her grasp on trauma and grief. —Kelly


A pleasant read about Eilis Lacey, a young woman who immigrates to Brooklyn from her small Irish town in the early 1950s. It’s a quiet novel that explores both the pain and the excitement of being far from home with rich subtlety and excellent historical context. For a novel without much traditional action, and a level-headed, albeit somewhat naïve, main character, I’m having a lot of trouble putting it down! —Amanda

Being Nixon: A Man Divided

I was a young college student during an extraordinary time of devastating war and civil unrest. Our government was teetering on the edge of collapse. While I’ve read many books about that time and about Richard Nixon, I’ve started this in my quest to know more. I’m most interested in knowing what made a shy, introverted, tortured man tick and what was going through his mind as he reached the pinnacle of his power and, ultimately, came close to causing the collapse of the world’s most powerful democracy. —Bob

Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage

For 20 years I knew Tim Robinson as the maker of my favorite map: the celebrated hand-drawn history-rich Folding Landscape document The Burren: A Two-Inch Guide to the Uplands of North-West Clare. During 50-plus hikes in this part of Ireland, it has spent hours in my hands. I’m also discovering that Robinson is a writer of glorious gifts, and can understand why Irish novelist John Banville, British travel writer Robert Macfarlane, American environmental scholar John Elder, and many others sing so highly his praises. I’m reading Pilgrimage, the first book in his epic two-part Aran Islands walking chronicle Stones of Aran. Robinson trained in math and physics at Cambridge and spent years as a successful painter and illustrator. He brings to Pilgrimage an uncanny eye for landscape and seascape, a scientist’s command of geology and biology, a knack for conveying spatial relations in prose (so tricky, but so valuable when detailing a small, stony, ruin-rich Irish island), and the wisdom, intellect, humor, observational skills, storytelling chops, and world-class feel for language of an elite nonfiction writer. —Phil


Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

Really great, accessible, inspiring introduction to meditation by someone who has been around long enough that Martin Luther King hailed him as a great spiritual leader. —Michael

This Is How It Really Sounds

Stuart Archer Cohen wrote one of my favorite books of all time, 17 Stone Angels, about a Buenos Aires detective assigned to investigate a murder he committed. At a crossroads in his life, he takes the assignment seriously, reassessing everything he’s done and become, and he decides to make some changes. As the novel is a noir, it doesn’t turn out well for him—but he’s an amazing character, and it is an atmospheric, tango-infused ride. So I was psyched to read the new book, which is already proving to be a smart, fun, and tricky look at “the Other Life”—the life we didn’t choose for ourselves, and what we might have lost and gained in the choosing. —Joe


P.S. I Still Love You

I read both this and its predecessor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) for my interview with Jenny Han at BookExpo America. I don’t read a lot of contemporary young adult, but this duology is just like the snickerdoodles that Lara Jean bakes: sweet and leaving me wanting more. —Kelly


Positive is a fresh new entry into today’s most popular horror genre: zombies. Bestselling author David Wellington creates a thrilling tale of suspense with unforgettable characters and a storyline that challenges the definition of humanity. —Bob

The Bookish Editors
The Bookish Editors are a team of writers who aim to give readers more information about the books, authors, and genres that they love while also introducing them to new titles, debut writers, and genres they never thought they’d read.


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