Staff Reads: August 4

Staff Reads: August 4

Do you wonder what the Bookish team is reading? Do you want to take a peek at our bookshelves? You’ve come to the right place. Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations. Tell us what you think in the comments!

If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Summer Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

The Girl on the Train

I know that I am seriously late to the party (or train) but I can now count myself among the fans of The Girl on the Train. I sat down to read a few chapters last weekend and ended up spending the day completely and utterly hooked by this book. The plot is obviously gripping but I was also taken by the way the book was written—this psychological thriller felt like a throwback to hard-boiled crime novels. As I read, I thought of writers like David Goodis, Jim Thompson, and Patricia Highsmith. I also thought that the book presented a master class in gaslighting, but here not only the characters are the victims but the reader is as well as we begin to believe all of the horrible possibilities about Rachel, Anna, and Megan. It’s a brilliant, gripping read. —Myf


BUY

Artemis

I just finished Artemis by Andy Weir. Who can resist a “near-future heist story set on the moon”? Jazz Bashara is equally as brilliant and funny as The Martian‘s Mark Watney, with a hefty dose of rebelliousness and risk-taking. The story itself is a bit predictable, but watching Jazz get out of all the predicaments she finds herself in is highly entertaining. It’s her fast-talking and fast-thinking character, and the intricate relationships with friends and family that will keep the pages turning. —Kristina

The Winner’s Curse

This past week I read the Winner’s trilogy written by Marie Rutkoski. One thing I loved about this series was the juxtaposition between the social classes of the two main characters. The readers got to see the POV of both the upper class and the lower class, and the changing POV allowed for the readers to experience each of the characters’ thoughts. This created more unique, complex characters as a whole. The Winner’s Curse also includes a lot of puzzles and plotting. Kestrel, the main female character, has a knack for figuring out puzzles and the strategies of others. It’s always fun to read a book where a female character can best others simply by her wits. Overall, Rutkoski created a very interesting world where her characters were constantly in a game of who can outsmart the other. —Jillian


BUY

A Prince Without a Kingdom

This week I’m reading a historical fiction series set in WWII with pirates, secret monks, zeppelins, Scottish castles, mysteries, and a hint of the magical. I am currently reading the second book, A Prince Without a Kingdom, in Timothée de Fombelle’s Vango duology, and am looking forward to spending the weekend immersed in this world. This beautifully written and compelling series was translated from the original French and has an almost lyrical tone to it, which seems to instill a sense of the fantastical into what is really a historical adventure novel. I am both looking forward to seeing what the conclusion will be and, at the same time, am a bit sad to leave this world. —Susan


BUY

Some Bright Morning, I’ll Fly Away

This weekend I’m going to spend some quality time with Alice Anderson‘s forthcoming memoir, Some Bright Morning, I’ll Fly Away. Anderson is also a poet, which is clearly evident within the first few sentences. She has a gift for language. The book opens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and promises to tear the reader’s heart out not only with the large-scale destruction post-Katrina but also with the devastation within the writer’s own life as her marriage comes to a violent end. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time and I can say wholeheartedly that it has been worth the wait. —Myf

The Decibel Diaries

Carter Alan is a DJ and the program director for the classic rock radio station WZLX in Boston. Over his career he has been on the forefront of the music industry. He was instrumental in getting U2 to the United States, when DJs had that kind of influence over programming. This book is a collection of essays that chronicle 50 years worth of concerts Alan has attended. These stories are both anecdotal and critical. He has chosen to write about the top names in music, beginning in the 1970s. Although he is a fan of all of the artists included, he has not sugar coated any of the mistakes that they may have made during their show. One has to remember it is one night in their career, and we all don’t have good days all the time. Alan’s anecdotes are funny and entertaining as well as informative. It may bring you back to your own similar concert experiences. If you don’t like a particular artist you can skip over as each concert is its own chapter. This was a thoroughly entertaining book. —Barb

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