Staff Reads: September 8

Staff Reads: September 8

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 Fall Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

The Name of the Wind

I’ve started reading Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, the first in the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. A new friend recommended it, and I have not been able to put this massive book down since! The novel begins with an attack on a charming barfly by an massive, obsidian black spider. The reader is plopped right into this world of mythical creatures, regional stereotypes, and languages with little exposition, but it’s evident something big is coming and there is only one person—the quiet redheaded innkeeper—who seems to know anything about it.

The reader is taken back into the past to hear the story of how he came to be the notorious man he is today. Rothfuss jumps seamlessly between the first person past and third person present in a way that seems like it would be jarring in the moment but is perfectly natural to the storyline. In addition to being an epic tale, we also get hints of new love, old love, and the entire novel is shaped by music and poetry. The Name of the Wind is the first day in a three-day retelling of the innkeeper’s story, and I have already ordered the second book (The Wise Man’s Fear) and am highly anticipating the third! —Amanda

The Duke

My coworkers just released their fall previews, which means that my romance picks for the next few months are likely to be guided by this list. I was craving something historical, and I decided to start off with The Duke. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far completely engrossed. The story takes place over several years, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the two leads reconnect after being separated for so long. —Stephanie

A Little Princess

I was completely enthralled by this novel as a child, and this week I’ve decided to revisit it. It’s been great to get reacquainted with Sara Crewe and settle in at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies. It will be interesting to see which parts of the story I still remember clearly, and which details have slipped through the cracks. —Elizabeth

At the Strangers’ Gate

I’ve always liked Adam Gopnik’s writing in The New Yorker. And I think I’ll always be a sucker for coming-to-New-York memoirs. I arrived in 1995, from Milwaukee. Gopnik arrived the previous decade, from Montreal. His was a pre-Internet era, and one where a certain real estate tycoon, now U.S. president, stepped onto the stage. New York in the eighties was the epicenter of the global art world, and Gopnik, who came to NYC as an art history grad student, got to know this world, and key players, personally: photographer Richard Avedon, critic Robert Hughes, sculptor/installationist Jeff Koons. At the Strangers’ Gate resurrects the city in a decade when gritty punk ethos and ultra-rich bombast coexisted, defining what came to mind when people thought of “The Big Apple.” —Phil

Defending Jacob

This was a recommended September read for the book club I’m in. It’s a thrilling suspense novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if Jacob is guilty or not. There are twists and turns throughout the book—in one chapter you are thinking he’s guilty and the next chapter you’re thinking he’s not. It also shows a father’s love for his child. Jacob’s father stands by his son’s side and defends him throughout the entire trial, even when he had moments of doubt about his son’s innocence. Plus there’s a surprise ending! I really enjoyed reading this book. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense novels! —Denise







  1. Do NOT read In the Name of the Wind”! It is an excellent, wonderful, engrossing book, followed by a second in the series every bit as good. And the long-promised third book in the trilogy? Just as available as JRR Martin’s full series. Wait until he’s completed the series unless you’re prepared to be frustrated.

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