What We’re Reading: October 23

What We’re Reading: October 23

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.

The Witches

Okay, you know how in my bio it says that I’ve never read a number of classic books? That includes anything by Roald Dahl. Seriously. I’ve never read Matilda or The BFG or anything else by him. It wasn’t a choice; our paths just never crossed. But, I recently got my hands on a copy of The Witches and decided it was the perfect thing to get me in the mood for Halloween. I’m halfway through and loving it! Dahl is funny and creepy and more adult than I expected. I’ll have to get to the rest of his collection soon. —Kelly

Five Days at Memorial

This book details the disastrous events of five days following Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. I’m only a couple of pages in, and already, it’s super harrowing: There are medical professionals and dying patients in a stairwell and a makeshift morgue down the hall. Plus, this is a massive feat of reporting. Sheri Fink says she conducted more than 500 interviews in the writing of this book, which basically makes her my hero. —Elizabeth


Since my long stay in Ireland ends this week, I thought a little more James Joyce might be in order. Back in June, I made Ulysses part of my life for a while, and now it’s Dubliners. The short, unadorned sentences exist in a different linguistic universe from the word-mad world of his epic novel, though the city remains the same. Last month, in Dublin, I stood before the brick townhouse on the Liffey where the collection’s masterful final story “The Dead” takes place. I haven’t reached that part of the book yet in this year’s visit, but I’m far enough along to marvel once again at the subtle psychological insight and social observation of these stories, and the bravery of engaging with aspects of Dublin life that don’t always flatter the city or country. As well, I’m struck again by the quiet brilliance of the clear, unshowy writing, set down at a time when elaborate, multi-clause prose was still in vogue (late Henry James anyone?). —Phil


Career of Evil

This is the third mystery featuring private detective Cormoran Strike. It’s the perfect book for fans of hard boiled crime thrillers. —Bob


Step Aside, Pops

Kate Beaton is hilarious, like, bust out laughing on the subway hilarious. She posts comics to her blog, Hark! A Vagrant, and had an adorable children’s book come out earlier this year. I periodically check the blog, but couldn’t resist the book. Her comics feature historical figures, characters from literature, and plenty of pop culture references. I’m not a huge history nerd, so some jokes flew over my head, but I was all but cackling over her version of Wuthering Heights. And nothing compares to the adventures of the Founding Fathers. —Kelly


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