A Short #FridayReads List for the End of Summer

As summer winds down, more and more people are heading out of the office and away from the city to get in some pre-Labor-Day vacation time. We’ve got a short list this week, which goes to show that people are out on the beach reading books rather than their emails. Good for them!

What are you reading this week?

After reading Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter, I’m dying to have brunch at her restaurant, Prune.
—Emily P.

I’m on vacation, so I’m reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63, as is much of Cape Cod. Looking down the beach, one  saw that enormous tome in many people’s hands. That, or Fifty Shades.

I’m less than halfway through 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, but I’m already fairly addicted to its characters as they wade, awkwardly and enthusiastically, in alternating and parallel fashion, through issues of faith, reason, morality, and purpose. It sounds heavy, and Goldstein’s approach is dense on the intellect, but her short chapters—and irreverent academic humor—make for incredibly fun(ny) and digestible subway reading. I’m looking forward to what I expect will be a very lively book club discussion…

I’ve finally gotten around to reading The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter, after a friend recommended it to me years ago. It’s a series of interconnected love stories played out by average, middle-class Americans in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2007 the book was made into a movie starring Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear. Perhaps that will be next on my Netflix queue.

I’m partway through an advance reader’s edition of the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child (A Wanted Man, coming next month). A sales department favorite—James has been overheard saying, “What would Reacher do?” Fast-paced,  well written, and the coolest good guy in print!

I’m reading Swamplandia! but I just got started and I’m not loving it yet.  I think once I get some solid reading time in that will change—for the better, I hope.  I do tend to read books all the way through one way or the other.

As for me, I’m reading We Sinners, Hanna Pylväine’s debut novel about a Finnish-American family of 11 and their relationship with their community and church. It’s a poignant family drama with lots of intricately drawn characters.

—Avery, who wouldn’t mind taking this book to the beach

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