What We’re Reading: September 30

What We’re Reading: September 30

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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Beautiful

Say it ain’t so. Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard series is coming to a close with this final installment. All of our old favorites are here, plus a new couple: the effervescent Pippa and stuck-in-the-past Jensen. I won’t spoil anything for readers, but I will say that longtime fans will find this book to be an immensely satisfying conclusion. Since it takes place on a beer and wine tour, this is a book best read while indulging in a glass of wine (or three, I won’t judge). —Kelly


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Patient H.M.

Kelly actually got me a copy of this book (Hi, Kelly!) because she knows how much I enjoy books about brains. It’s been reviewed really well, and tells the story of a lobotomy patient in the 1950s whose case changed the way the field of neuroscience understands memory. This book might as well be titled Read Me Elizabeth Rowe. —Elizabeth


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The Girl from Venice

Martin Cruz Smith has always been a favorite author of mine. I’ve read his phenomenal thriller series starring Arkady Renko and his stand-alone novels. Now I’m picking up his latest: The Girl From Venice. It’s a World War II thriller and love story set in one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Everyone has been talking about it, so I’m excited to be reading it. —Bob

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Mighty Jack

I haven’t met a Ben Hatke book I haven’t completely loved, and Mighty Jack is no different. It’s imaginative, inventive, and utterly captivating. If anyone knows where I can get a plush of the adorable onion guys, I’d be eternally grateful. —Kelly


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Dogs and Their People

The holiday season is coming and bringing with it lots of excellent books about pets. The selections are dominated by dogs and closely followed by cats. Dogs and Their People is a photo and story collection that captures how dogs truly become a very special part of their owners’ lives. —Bob

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The Collected Short Stories of Conrad Aiken

I’ve entered the world of Conrad Aiken this week, via his collected short stories. Written mainly in the 1920s and 1930s, the tales were set down during breaks between working on poems, and with hopes of making some money by placement in popular magazines. But with so brilliant and skilled a literary artist behind them, these stories, most of them, have superb staying power. Three stand out for me so far. “Strange Moonlight,” based on events in Aiken’s Savannah childhood, documents a boy’s first experience of death when a neighbor girl dies of scarlet fever. Much-anthologized “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” explores the inner world of a boy breaking with reality, perhaps the first onset of schizophrenia. And “Farewell! Farewell! Farewell!” is set aboard an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic. A young Irish woman who works as a cook in New York is headed home for a visit and meets a charming, dapper Ivy League gentleman, married and a bit mysterious, a man who seems very much like Harvard-educated Aiken. —Phil

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