What We’re Reading: May 6

What We’re Reading: May 6

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.

Through the Looking-Glass

It’s been a long while since I’ve visited Alice, and I’m enjoying diving back into this childhood classic. This book is much funnier than I remember it being, and I’m finding myself easily charmed by Alice’s interactions with characters like Humpty Dumpty and, my very favorite, the leg of mutton. I’m still giggling over their introduction: “Alice–Mutton: Mutton–Alice.”  —Elizabeth

The Summer Dragon: First Book of the Evertide

I am always looking for a new series, especially in the science fiction/fantasy genre. So far, this high-fantasy novel is hitting the spot. —Bob

Zero K

Tuesday night I ran out to get the new Don DeLillo novel on pub day. I’m only 20 pages in, but as Joshua Ferris points out in his New York Times Book Review take, DeLillo fans savor the author’s individual sentences, and I’ve already had plenty to savor. In skimming Ferris’ review, I avoided gleaning plot details, and haven’t read any other summaries. I just know the book concerns the decision of a wealthy man and his dying wife to cryogenically preserve the woman at a mysterious facility in hopes the future holds a cure to her illness. The story is told by the man’s 40-something son Jeff. Right now I have absolutely no idea where this story is going and I love it. The prose is honed and intense, the atmosphere strange, the dialogue heightened in a way that produces greater-than-normal human reflection. It’s reminding me most of The Body Artist and Point Omega in its tautness, oddness, and hyperattention. It also made me remember an almost DeLillo-esque moment in my own life: seeing his austere play The Day Room, production design all white, staged on the 23rd floor of a Saint Louis, Missouri highrise in a theater space bounded by the floor-to-ceiling glass walls of the building itself. —Phil

The Truth About Alice

I’ve read both of Jennifer Mathieu’s books and really admire what a great job she does at giving high school students believable voices. You don’t hear from the titular Alice until the very end, but the other characters easily show readers just how the truth can become skewed and diluted. —Kelly

Fall of Man in Wilmslow

I have a thing for novels about real historical figures (see Bruce Duffy’s The World As I Found It and Jean Echenoz’s Ravel), and I also enjoy the formal structure of mysteries. So this new book about a young detective investigating the death of Alan Turing seemed right up my alley. I’m not that far into it, but I like its blend of biographical detail from Turing’s life, the political context of a post-war, paranoid Britain, and the kind of morose protagonist familiar from Scandinavian crime fiction. So far, it’s a nice balance of pacy investigation and more ruminative speculation, and I’m intrigued to see how it plays out. —Anita

Teddy and Me: Confessions of a Service Human

Some of the most fascinating stories are those between humans (often well known) and their pets (usually dogs, but have been known to be cats, birds, horses, etc.). I cannot wait to read this. —Bob

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

I’ve been reading The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. I have been going on long bike rides from Montauk to Accabonac Bay, and last week I arrived at the bay at low tide when a particularly fecund mud flat was exposed. Not only did I see great egrets and the nesting pair of American oystercatchers from Louse Point, along with a few willets and scores of delicate sandpipers, I saw another kind of sandpiper that I previously have only known as a ceramic reproduction in my parents’ house. There was one other very distinct bird poking around in the mud with a black breast, white stripe and speckled back that I’ve never seen. Hence, Sibley’s. Also, bonus, on the other side of Gerard Drive in Gardiner’s Bay, I saw a loon. Not sure if it was a Common Loon or a Ring-Necked Loon, but I saw (and heard) that lovely creature that was so prominently featured in On Golden Pond. —Mike







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