What We’re Reading: May 20

What We’re Reading: May 20

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 Glass Castle

Our May reading challenge is to read classics you haven’t read yet. This has been on my list for years, and many of my friends rank it as one of their favorite books. Now I see why. This is a horrifying and harrowing tale, but Jeannette Walls skillfully tells it through the eyes of her childhood self. Watching her grow from a little girl in awe of her father to a young woman ready to make it on her own is inspiring and heartbreaking all at once. I already know Walls’ story will stay with me for years to come. —Kelly

Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future

I decided to indulge my inner weather nerd and pick up this book about storm surge and Hurricane Sandy. When most people think about hurricanes, they think about heavy rain and strong wind, but often the most damaging feature of these storms is actually the surge. Adam Sobel takes a measured and authoritative look at the phenomenon of storm surge, and tells readers how climate change can have an impact on storms’ severity. This book contains some sobering revelations (particularly about the impact of sea level rise), and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of hurricanes. —Elizabeth

The Old Ways

Recently I kept running into mention of British nature writer Robert Macfarlane. When I learned he was friends with Helen Macdonald, author of my favorite 2015 book (H Is For Hawk), I figured I should check him out. I started with The Wild Places, which was tremendous (bonus: Macdonald drew the fanciful map at book’s start). The Old Ways is a follow-up. It’s a book about “landscape and the human heart,” which pretty much guarantees I’m going to like it. So far, so great. The author walks over 1,000 miles, following ancient footpaths in England, Spain, the Holy Land, and the Himalayas. He incorporates natural history, human history, cartography, and more. And sentence for sentence, Macfarlane can’t be beat. Except maybe by Helen Macdonald. But why compare? They’re both fabulous, both live in Cambridge, and it’s easy to imagine them taking walks outside the medieval city, talking writing, books, birds. —Phil

Forgive Me

I have been a major fan of Michael Palmer’s medical thrillers and his son Daniel Palmer’s suspense novels for several years. Both father and son have their own distinct style, delivering works that captivate their fans. Since his father’s passing in 2013, Daniel has written medical thrillers as a tribute to his father. I read the medical thriller Mercy earlier this year, and now have the pleasure of reading Forgive Me, a suspense novel written in Daniel’s own style. —Bob

The City of Mirrors

One of my favorite series is The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin. I was fascinated by book one, The Passage, and was excited when book two, The Twelve, hit shelves two years later in 2012. I’m thrilled that City of Mirrors is going on sale next week. To be prepared, I’ve reread the first two books in this horror/thriller series. —Bob

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