What We’re Reading: October 5

What We’re Reading: October 5

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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Field Notes from a Catastrophe

I’ve been meaning to read Elizabeth Kolbert’s famous book about climate change for years. It’s a subject I’m fascinated and alarmed by, and I’m excited to read what is considered to be one of the best books on this phenomenon. —Elizabeth


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Ghosts

I’ve been on a middle grade graphic novel kick, and if they continue to be this good I’ll never stop. Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts is one of our picks for the best reads of the season, so I knew I had to check it out. It’s incredibly moving, sensitive, and thoughtful. I don’t have a sister, but instantly related to the close and unbreakable bond between Cat and Maya. I’d highly recommend it to all readers. —Kelly


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Hero of the Empire

The history major in me has always been fascinated by the 1900s and the men and women who contributed to events during that time. Winston Churchill is one of the men that I admire most. I am very much looking forward to reading Candice Millard’s book about his life during the Boer War. —Bob


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Ghostland

I’ve been waiting for this book all year. To me, Colin Dickey is one of our most exciting writers—a guy that can write about pretty much anything and make it interesting and revelatory. Medieval saints, giant squids, Bloomsday, opium eaters, grave robbing, melancholy, an Arctic mining town—he’s got range and a rare mix of Ph.D.-trained brainpower, superb storytelling talent, and a poet’s feel for language. In Ghostland, he takes on America’s ghosts and ghost stories. But he’s not interested in debunking or corroborating. He wants instead to tell a story about America by looking at how our ghost stories engage with our history, and change along with it, inflecting, configuring, excusing, submerging, emphasizing, aspects of the ways we have treated each other and structured society. I’m a hundred pages in and it’s the actual, not the incorporeal, that registers most strongly: architecture, terrain, and established facts about people from the past and things that happened. From Salem to San Jose, from Louisiana to the Midwest, our ghost stories divulge social truths. —Phil


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The Underground Railroad

I’ve been a fan of Colson Whitehead’s since his first novel, the enthralling, genre-bending The Intuitionist. His writing is clean and clear, yet the ideas behind it are so complex and weird and original, that his novels almost always deliver in every way you want a great book to do: They illuminate the world while entertaining the hell out of you. The Underground Railroad is no different—the story is smoothly paced and well plotted, and I was totally caught up in the characters’ struggles to change their lives.  As one character says of being able to read, it’s a “rare gift,” and that’s how I feel about this book and Whitehead’s writing. —Joe


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Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse

Our October reading challenge is to read books given or lent to you. So I’m kicking the month off with Alida Nugent’s funny collection of tips, lessons, and tales from post-grad life, which was given to me by my good friend, Nick. —Kelly


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Order to Kill

Vince Flynn was a wonderful friend of mine during my years at Barnes & Noble, and he’s also one of my favorite thriller writers. After Flynn’s death in 2013, Kyle Mills stepped in to continue his Mitch Rapp series. Mills has been successful, and I’m looking forward to reading the 15th installment: Order to Kill. —Bob

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