What We’re Reading: March 31

What We’re Reading: March 31

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.

The Winner’s Kiss

Marie Rutkoski’s writing is stunning. The first two books in this series blew me away, and I have been waiting and counting down the days until this third and final book would be released. Rutkoski’s characters are incredibly human, and she’s created a world where they’re constantly faced with impossible choices. The love between Arin and Kestrel has torn both of their worlds apart, and (a little over halfway through) tensions are high. I can’t wait to read how Rutkoski ends this phenomenal series. —Kelly

AJourneyRoundMySkull

A Journey Round My Skull

I love brains (though not necessarily in a weird, zombie way) so this book about a Hungarian writer’s experience with a brain tumor and subsequent surgery was right up my alley. Frigyes Karinthy was diagnosed and treated in the 1930s, so this book has some fascinating insight into what the field of neuroscience looked like 80 years ago. Those of you who are squeamish: You might want to skip this one. Karinthy is awake for his surgery, and he describes it in excruciating detail. —Elizabeth

The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking

Having loved Olivia Laing’s new book, The Lonely City, I went right back to her previous effort, The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking. It’s also marvelous. Focusing on greats such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Laing weaves together stories from their lives, anecdotes from their work, an informed meditation on the causes and consequences of alcohol abuse, and a portrait of her own drink-shadowed past. The book gains motion, color, and superb sentences from Laing’s decision to travel, mostly by train, to locations where these hard-living artists spent time, from New York to Key West to Washington State. Nearly all the scenery is new to Englishwoman Laing, eliciting remarkable gifts for portraiture. There’s also a subtle harmony, by design, between the escape of alcohol she explores and the sensation of travel, of uncoupling from your routine, of being transported. —Phil

The Graveyard Book: Volume 2

Admittedly, I haven’t read the original book that this graphic novel duology is based on, though it’s definitely on my TBR after reading this. I read the first installment ages ago, and finally got around to reading this second and final book. The artistry here blew me away, as did Neil Gaiman’s gift for crafting an engrossing story in a spine-tingling world. —Kelly

Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

Whew. I just finished this book, and I feel like I’m still processing it. This nonfiction read is wryly funny, moving, and a strange hybrid of metaphysics and a hard-boiled detective novel. Jim Holt has one question: Why is there something rather than nothing? He spends the entire book asking the leading thinkers alive today what to make of this question. Why does our world exist? Why is our universe (or multiverse!) the way it is? I can’t promise Holt will answer those questions, but he will make you think deeply about them. —Elizabeth

The Devil’s Diary

This book explores the diabolical mind of a man who helped create one of the most horrific times in history. —Bob

Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in America

One of the best things about being in the book business for many years is that I’m often given the opportunity to read books that interest me, such as ones about politics and current events. This week I’m reading a memoir by a woman who spent her life working in the political world. —Bob

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