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 Spring Previews for a look at the best books of the season.
I’ve been meaning to read this book ever since it came out last year, and spring break seemed like a great time to dive into a nice long, non-assigned book. Åsne Seierstad begins with an immersive retelling of the horrifying massacre in Norway in 2011 when Anders Breivik killed 77 people. She then backs up to the very beginning of Breivik’s life, and tells the reader Breivik’s entire story. She also tells the stories of some of his victims, which makes the ending that I know is coming even more heartbreaking. —Elizabeth
This fly-on-the-wall account of the lives of tenants and landlords in Milwaukee is a ground-level view of poverty and the housing crisis in the U.S. It feels like necessary reading this year, but it’s also a riveting read, written with a clarity, rigor, and narrative empathy on par with Katherine Boo‘s Behind the Beautiful Forevers. —Anita
Scott Stossel’s book looks at the development of anxiety as a defined disorder, as well as the treatment of it over the years. Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic, has suffered from intense anxiety his entire life (your vague fear of heights is mincemeat compared to his deluge of phobias), and tells the story through his own history. Anxiety only became a subject of research in the 1950s, shortly before Stossel’s childhood. So, he’s taken every drug and therapy as it’s peaked. Bonus: you get to learn great vocab like erythrophobia, the fear of blushing in public. —Luke
This should be a movie, I have thought numerous times reading Timothy Egan‘s unputdownable account of Famine-era Irish revolutionary Thomas Meagher. Shipped off to Tasmania by England for his activities, he escaped, fled to New York City, married an heiress, became a Civil War hero, and ended up in the Wild West, serving as territorial governor of Montana. There’s even a mysterious riverboat death. Meagher was handsome, brilliant, eloquent, fearless. The Immortal Irishman also tells stories about England’s oppression of the Irish, their negligence during the famine, and the ignorance Irish immigrants faced in America, a hatred stoked by demagogues. —Phil
I wish I had waited until this entire trilogy was published before picking the first book up because I could’ve stayed in this gorgeous city for hours. Faith Erin Hicks creates a stunning and imaginative world, and ones that fans of Avatar and Korra will want to visit ASAP. This is aimed at middle graders, meaning the characters are realizing just how complicated the real world is. They’re kids who see the world in black and white until they realize that it is far more nuanced than that. —Kelly
I’ve long been interested in history, politics, and our government. This year has been one of the most fascinating, if not bizarre, in regards to how these two parties present themselves to the voters. It’s interesting to see what the parties stand for and what voters see as being important. I’m thrilled that Thomas Frank (author of What’s the Matter with Kansas?) has a new book out. I can’t wait to read it! —Bob