What We’re Reading: August 5

What We’re Reading: August 5

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 for a look at the best books of the season.

The Likeness

Tana French, the First Lady of Irish Crime, is one of my absolute favorite authors. She has a new book coming out this fall and, because I’m just so impatient, I’ve decided to revisit my favorite book in her Dublin Murder Squad series. It’s a twisted novel about an undercover agent blurring the lines between her true and false identity when she infiltrates the friend group of a murdered girl. And, just to further entice you, I’ll end off with my favorite quote from the book: “I wanted to tell her that being loved is a talent too, that it takes as much guts and as much work as loving; that some people, for whatever reason, never learn the knack.” —Kelly

In Defense of Food

Northern California is getting to me, you guys. First, I got obsessed with hot yoga. Then I tried (and liked) a green smoothie. Now I’m reading Michael Pollan. I’ve read Pollan before, and love his thoughtful and clear prose. I’m excited to read more about the reasoning behind his now-famous instructions: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”—Elizabeth

The Paris Librarian

Mysteries and thrillers are growing in popularity, and the subgenres are multiplying. I am completely on board with this. The Paris Librarian is one book I have been excited to read, since friends who share my interests have recommended it to me. —Bob

Hyperbole and a Half

I’m probably the most hyperbolic person on the planet, so I really connect with Allie Brosh’s sense of humor and the gravity she gives to the most mundane of situations. I like to pick up her book from time to time and flip through to favorite comics (usually the ones about her dogs). If you’re utterly unfamiliar with her work, might I recommend you start here: Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving. —Kelly

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Fool of the Family

After journeying to the Aran Islands for the first time last month, and rereading John Synge’s magnificent 1907 book The Aran Islands, I wanted to learn more about his life. W.J. McCormack’s Fool of the Family is considered the best of the small handful of biographical works, and so far it’s excellent. Synge’s tale is yet another story of an immensely gifted artist—I’d call him a genius based only on his Aran book—taken too young, but in his 37 years, before dying of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he wrote brilliant nonfiction about the West of Ireland, and wrote timeless plays as well, including The Playboy of the Western World. His take on the western Irish, insufficiently idealizing for Irish nationalists, caused riots at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. The part of his life I’m most looking forward to exploring are the years when he was shuttling back and forth between fin de siècle Paris, world-capital of culture, and the remote, windswept Aran isles, with their endless stone walls, cowhide boats and shoes, Irish language, and tiny populations, just a few hundred story-telling farmers, fishermen, sweater-weaving women, and island children. —Phil

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