What We’re Reading: November 13

What We’re Reading: November 13

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 Fall Previews.

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A Wild Swan

Elizabeth read this a few weeks ago and thought I might enjoy it. I am a sucker for anything inspired by fairy tales, and really enjoyed Angela Carter’s Bloody Chamber, so I had high hopes for this book. I did like it. This is the first book I’ve read by Michael Cunningham and it definitely made me want to read more. But there were times when I felt like the ideas presented were too big for such short stories. I wanted more detail, more insight, and more time with these characters that he was reinventing—especially the old witch who built a candy cottage. —Kelly


The Gift

I am an unabashed Nabokov super-fan. I loved Lolita, Pale Fire, and Speak, Memory, so I’m very excited to pick up The Gift. Nabokov’s books often remind me of puzzles or games, so I’m eager to see what kind of tricks Nabokov has up his sleeve in this one. (Psssst! Kelly! Read The Hours.)—Elizabeth



Speaking of fairy tales… Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles concludes this week with an epic, beast of a book. It’s over 800 pages of danger, disaster, tension, and kissing. I started the series this year, but I think long-time fans are truly getting the thrilling and dynamic finale that they hoped for. The series weaves in the tales of “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Rapunzel,” and Meyer has a talent for placing Easter eggs that call back to those original tales for the observant readers who notice them. For a full and detailed look at my reaction to this book, check out of Week of Winter celebrations where I provided my reactions to every captivating moment. —Kelly


Home by Nightfall

Charles Finch is a talented historian and a mystery author with a classic writing style. I’m a fan of his works and am very excited about this new installment in his Charles Lenox series.—Bob


One of my favorite details about the life of the great British landscape and seascape painter JMW Turner: He was the son of a barber. James Hamilton’s biography of the man is wonderfully written, deft on the art, rich with connections between Turner’s innovative work and his historical setting, and develops an indelible portrait of this stocky, irascible, ferociously hard-working genius with a brush. “The greatest painter of sunlight the world has ever known,” Hamilton, a Turner expert, calls him early on. This book helped anchor the fine 2014 Mike Leigh biopic Mr. Turner, starring Timothy Spall as the hawk-eyed Londoner. —Phil


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