What We’re Reading: March 25

What We’re Reading: March 25

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.

His Brother’s Keeper

When I first picked up this book, I assumed it would teach me a lot about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. I did learn about the disease, but I learned even more about gene therapy, neurons, how treatments get tested before being made available to patients, and how medical research gets funded. This book is nonfiction, but the premise sounds like the stuff of fiction: When one of the Heywood boys is diagnosed with ALS, his brother becomes completely obsessed with finding a cure. Jonathan Weiner also lets the reader in on his complicated relationship with his sources, which lends the story a fascinating subplot about journalistic objectivity. —Elizabeth

A Gathering of Shadows

I finished A Darker Shade of Magic and immediately picked up the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows. Sadly, it’s been slow going because I’ve been struck down with a cold. I’m a little over 100 pages in and the tension is already mounting. I can’t wait for all hell to break loose (and for Kell and Bard to be reunited). —Kelly

A Sand County Almanac

Growing up in Wisconsin, I began hearing the name of wildlife conservationist Aldo Leopold early on, as his 1949 book A Sand County Almanac records four seasons spent exploring the woods and meadows around his small farmhouse on the Wisconsin River. A kind of Walden for mid-century Americans concerned about overdevelopment (for those who love nature, Leopold writes in sentence five, “the opportunity to see geese is more important than television”), the book influenced a couple generations of American nature chroniclers, including Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, and Rick Bass. But somehow I got this far into life without reading it. It’s wonderful. As a kid I thought the book must be boring, with that dry title reminding me of A Prairie Home Companion. And though it’s true Leopold had a Yale forestry degree and penned over 300 science articles, he writes here with a casual, imagistic, anecdotal touch, learning worn lightly, relying on his eye, sense of story, and love for the land. —Phil

Eagle in Exile

This is the second in Alan Smale’s Clash of Eagles trilogy. It combines history and fantasy, which I enjoy. Novels that mix these two genres have the ability to connect with readers who enjoy the excitement of fantasy and can appreciate the historical references. —Bob

The Conscience of a Conservative

During this election season, I recognize that a lot of the political thought comes from a much earlier time. To give myself more context, I’m reading Barry Goldwater’s book. —Bob

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