What We’re Reading: July 29

What We’re Reading: July 29

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.

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Start-Up City

Anyone who has made the mistake of asking me what I think of any city, ever (and gotten an earful about walk scores, the idiocy of free parking requirements, and the coming robot-taxi utopia), knows I’ve become a bit of an armchair urban planner. I get especially worked up over transit. This book is written by a former executive at ZipCar, and talks about the power of public entrepreneurship in addressing transportation challenges in major urban centers.—Elizabeth

An Ember in the Ashes

This book was huge in the YA world last summer. With the sequel coming out at the end of August, I figured it was about time to pick this up. So far, I’m completely hooked on Elias’ chapters. The Martial Empire is fascinating to me and I really appreciate the detail Sabaa Tahir put into the structure and mythology around it. —Kelly

Whistlestop

I love politics and history. As a young person, I followed the Kennedy/Nixon race, and every race since. I am really looking forward to Whistlestop—I bet it will have some great stories in it. —Bob

Mountains of the Mind

There’s a wonderful look at Robert Macfarlane’s latest book, Landmarks, in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. I’ll be getting to Landmarks soon. But this weekend I’ll be reading the British nature writer’s award-winning first book, Mountains of the Mind. Plumbing our fascination with huge mountains, it mixes cultural history, mountaineering narratives, landscape writing, and memoir. It opens with Macfarlane’s own account of a perilous Alps climb, and broadens out to consider a long history of human perspectives on the world’s great peaks. Summits as a zone of gods and monsters; summits as sublime; summits as things to be conquered, a testing ground for bravery, personal and national—it’s all here. If the two other Macfarlane books I’ve read in recent months are any guide, this one will be smart, enthralling, and so marvelously written I’ll find myself jotting down favorite phrases and word choices on nearly every page. —Phil

A Time of Torment

I’ve been a big fan of Irish author John Connolly and his hard-boiled, supernatural Charlie Parker series for years. I am really looking forward to the 14th installment, A Time of Torment. —Bob

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