Adrian Liang: My food-and-travel book club meets this weekend, so I need to quickly read Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg, about the opening of an acclaimed pizza restaurant here in Seattle. I’m a big pizza fan—a nearby pizza restaurant that delivers is one of the few numbers I have in my phone favorites—so I’m eager to get started. I’m also looking forward to eating pizza while we discuss the book. (Mmmm.) Also scrumptious (though with a sharply hilarious and profane flavor) is the upcoming memoir Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started Priestdaddy—the title and the cover makes me think of pedophile priests, which I was frankly not interested in reading about. Instead, these vignettes of growing up as the daughter of a married Catholic priest (rare but possible) is so darkly funny that I found myself hooting with laugher and highlighting passages like crazy.
Jon Foro: Robert Lennon's Broken River is described as a "sui generis psychological thriller." I haven't started it, so that complicates the task of describing it, but it sounds a little like American Beauty meets The Amityville Horror: a family struggling to recover from infidelity moves into a new house with its own dark history, while a possibly spectral presence observes the action, provoking bad behavior.
Also, did you know that today is Iggy Pop's birthday? This is an(other) excuse to mention one of my all-time favorite books, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's comprehensive account of New York's music and art scene in the late 60s and 70s, in which Iggy often behaves badly.
Erin Kodicek: I'm going to check out Paul Theroux's latest novel, Mother Land, a cheeky reference to the household a narcissistic mother rules with an iron fist. Anyone who has grown up in such a family will especially appreciate the complicated emotional dynamics, where one child is pitted against the other, casting a toxic cloud over their lives that is difficult to eschew (not speaking from experience--love you, mom!). Evidently the story was inspired by Theroux's own mother, and he was only comfortable releasing the book after she passed away.
Chris Schluep: I will be reading Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West. Word on the street is that West is being very ambitious in this book, applying the idea of scale in ways that will change my view of life itself. I will offset my reading of Scale by wrapping up Season 6 of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” #KeepingItReal.
Seira Wilson: I’m right in the middle of Scott Turow’s new legal thriller, Testimony (releasing May 16) and loving it. Former Kindle County prosecutor Bill ten Boom is lured out of retirement by a case at the International Criminal Court in Amsterdam involving a Roma refugee camp that suddenly disappeared following the Bosnian war. Now, a decade later, a lone survivor has come forward with a horrifying tale of mass execution but there are many unanswered questions about what really happened and who was involved. As always, Turow knows how to keep the story moving and keep the reader guessing as pieces fall into place or new questions arise. Can’t wait to see how it ends…
Sarah Harrison Smith: This weekend, I’m cheating on the books I ought to be reading by staying up late with Katherine Heiny’s new novel, Standard Deviation, which is out next month from Knopf. I’m one of a particular generation of New Yorker readers who remember when the magazine published her story “How to Give the Wrong Impression” back in 1992. Somehow it encapsulated, maybe in the way the TV show Girls does for young women in their 20s now, what it was to be that age, at that time. (It’s included in Heiny’s 2015 collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow.) Anyway, Heiny and I seem to have kept pace with each other, and I’m loving her funny way with dialogue and not-untrue-and-not-unkind social satire in this story about the complications of married life. What a treat to spend time in her entertaining company again.
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