What We’re Reading: January 27

What We’re Reading: January 27

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


Flash Boys

I’m a big fan of Michael Lewis. He has a way of choosing topics that seem impenetrable and making them accessible and interesting. This was definitely the case in Flash Boys. I knew almost nothing about high-frequency trading or dark pools when I started the book, and now I feel like I have a reasonable grasp on both. Lewis makes even arcane-sounding subjects human on some level: He always finds the human drama and leans into it. I think this is what makes his writing so resonant, and it’s something I really admire. —Elizabeth


The Undertaking of Lily Chen

This is a strange and dark little book. It centers on the Chinese tradition of ghost brides and a brother’s search to find a bride for his recently deceased brother. The artwork is beautiful and each chapter begins with a stunning illustration. I left craving more historical background about ghost brides, but would still recommend this for anyone interested in a slightly weird graphic novel. —Kelly

The Lost City of the Monkey God

As “research” for an upcoming cruise that stops briefly in Honduras, I decided to dig into this adventure book about searching for the elusive Lost City of the Monkey Gods. Legends have been told for centuries about this advanced civilization hidden deep in the dense rainforest and mountains of central Honduras, yet little credible evidence has surfaced that proves of its existence or location. I am in the early chapters of this book where the author, Douglas Preston, is telling the stories of the many expeditions and colorful characters that have tried to find it. It is compelling to think that a lost city still exists, even with the technology available today and the centuries of exploration that have dug for it in the past. I’ll be sure to report back as the legend unfolds! —Doug


The Bauhaus Group

This is a beautiful book. Nicholas Fox Weber tells the story of Germany’s pioneering art and architecture school, the Bauhaus. Structured as a group biography of the brilliant key players—from founder Walter Gropius to artists Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Josef and Anni Albers, and its last director, architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—the book draws on Weber’s own long experience with the Alberses (as head of their foundation) to animate his tale with vivid memories. The Bauhaus Group is full of memorable stories and characters (including Alma Mahler, the much-coveted wife of composer Gustav Mahler and Gropius’ lover for a time), and Weber has the prose gifts, storytelling talent, and art expertise to do his material full justice. His next book is a biography of Dutch modernist painter Piet Mondrian. I can’t wait. —Phil

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States tells the story of the Marquis de Lafayette’s early life, his role in the American Revolution, and his return visit to the United States in the 1820s. Unlike most history books, it also includes many details about the author’s research process—including her many visits to places where Lafayette lived and fought. These details, and her opinions about what she is learning, make the book much more entertaining and much lighter than most historical biographies. I would highly recommend the audio version, which is narrated by the author herself and many well-known comedians. —Mary

The Testing

The Testing series written by Joelle Charbonneau takes the reader through a survival-of-the-fittest plot that is full of trust, betrayal, and puzzling realizations. Charbonneau excels at developing complex and unexpected situations, which creates very interesting characters who need to find intelligent and unique ways to overcome their various struggles. Fans of The Hunger Games and Maze Runner series will like the Testing series! —Jillian

Missing, Presumed

Missing, Presumed is a thrilling mystery novel written by Susie Steiner. I am in the middle of this book right now, and it’s completely captured my attention. It starts when a woman named Edith is abducted in the middle of the night. Detective Manon learns about her disappearance and begins to work tirelessly to try to solve the case. Manon soon finds out about the complex secret life that Edith had been keeping from her family and friends. This creates many possible leads for the detective. The novel is told from multiple perspectives, which can be a bit confusing at times. Still, I can’t wait to find out what happens! —Anne Marie


Staff Reads

Staff Reads: January 5





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