What We’re Reading: October 28

What We’re Reading: October 28

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 for a look at the best books of the season.


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Loner

It feels very appropriate to be reading this in the fall. Teddy Wayne’s novel is definitely one of the fall’s buzziest books, and I’m really excited to see if it lives up to the hype. So far, it feels like a campus novel, but I’ve been warned that things take a dark turn. With any luck, I’ll curl up with this book and a beer tonight—it’ll be a perfect Friday evening. —Elizabeth


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The Trespasser

Bookish readers know how much I love Tana French. Actually, I think anyone who has ever been in my presence is aware of how much I enjoy her Dublin Murder Squad series. I’ve been waiting for this installment for what feels like ages, and I cannot wait to finally dive in this weekend. I don’t know anything about the plot, meaning every twist, turn, and character will be a complete surprise. I’m fully prepared to be blown away. —Kelly


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Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

I have spent a good deal of time contemplating anger during this contentious election season. At times, the United States feels poisoned by anger—a poison which threatens to seep into our everyday life. After discussing anger with a friend, she recommended I read Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a slice of heartache to note that this book was initially published in hardcover on September 10, 2001. This pub date was either too late, too soon, or just on time, because this is a book about learning how to embrace your anger and the anger of others, thus transforming it. I was resistant to the message at first. Sometimes there’s a use for anger, I argued in my mind, and it’s ridiculous to think that we don’t often have a reason to be angry (I also think of “Rise” by Public Image Ltd., a song which has always felt very satisfying to me). As I’ve been reading, however, I’ve come to understand that Thich Nhat Hanh is not suggesting that there is no place for anger. Instead, he teaches that, yes, anger does exist and it is a powerful energy. As such we need to learn how to work with it instead of against it. We need to learn how to listen to it, cherish it, and turn it into positive energy, which is now my personal goal. With that goal in mind, I find the book endlessly helpful and I know that after I finish it I will return to it again and again for guidance. —Myf


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Ender in Exile

I’m coming back to the Ender’s Game series after too many years away. This volume (listed as 1.2) picks up a few years after Battle School, before Ender goes off on the colonizing mission detailed in Speaker for the Dead. It’s so much fun to revisit the characters and I’m hoping this pushes me to finally finish up the Ender’s Shadow series. —Annie


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What Was Contemporary Art?

As part of my ongoing quest to find books about art written with style and clarity, free of cookie-cutter poststructuralist theory and its attendant jargon, I am this week reading Richard Meyer’s wonderful What Was Contemporary Art? Though an academic art historian, Meyer writes with verve and elegance and here provides a fascinating history of the very notion of “contemporary art.” When did we start using the term? When did art history accept rather than frown upon the study of living artists? It’s a testament to Meyer’s skill as a storyteller and to his exhaustive grasp of his subject that he makes what might seem like specialized questions feel vibrant and fully relevant to any lay person with an interest in art. There’s great stuff on a Wellesley College professor in 1927 who first dared to study contemporary art—and even included print advertising, New Yorker covers, and Saks Fifth Avenue window displays as part of his omnivorous classroom look at the visual now. Those lucky young women of Wellesley! —Phil


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Belgravia

This week I am reading Belgravia by Julian Fellowes—what a wonderfully delightful story. —Alicia


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Regina’s Song

David Eddings is well known for his fantasy series The Belgariad and The Mallorean but in Regina’s Song he travels to a different fantasy world, the human mind. David and Leigh Eddings have been writing together for years, and this is the first I’ve read by the both of them. Although the plot was predictable, the character development was very good and that kept me reading to the end. What happens to the main character could be considered fantasy, but we don’t know how powerful the mind is or where it can take us. It was very interesting read. —Barbara


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My Brilliant Friend

I’m reading My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante. It’s not the type of book I usually read, but I really am enjoying it. It’s about the relationship between two friends who grow up together in Italy. I was skeptical at first—wasn’t sure I’d like that type of plot—but it really is holding my interest and I can’t wait to see what happens next! —Martha


BUY

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Prisoner of Azkaban has always been my favorite Harry Potter book. If pressed, I’ll name Half-Blood Prince as my second. I never understood why so many of my friends called Goblet of Fire their favorite, until I began rereading it. This is the book where J.K. Rowling truly begins to expand the world she’s created and it’s utterly fascinating. Also, did you guys remember that Moody has a clawed wooden foot?! I’m slowly moving through it (for some reason people seem to think reading Harry Potter at your desk isn’t real work), but loving every moment. —Kelly

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