On the heels of Halloween, this edition of Weekend Reading features an epic battle between evil and evil-er, a performance artist who doesn't shy away from the frightening, and to temper it all, here is a picture of a cute cat.
Adrian Liang: What could be better than reading a book in which Hitler and Dracula go head-to-head, while you have a sweet kitten snuggled in your lap? Yep, not much, except maybe a debut grimdark fantasy novel, The Burning Isle, by Will Panzo. So far, The Burning Isle reminds me of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles and of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows, and I hope that promise carries all the way through as our mysterious assassin hero, Cassius, gradually unspools his plan to change the fate of the ragged, brutal town of Scipio.
Erin Kodicek: I'm going to check out Walk Through Walls, a memoir by Marina Abramovic, which promises to be just as provocative and riveting as her performance art. Ms. Abramovic has tested her physical, mental, and emotional limits by having a loaded gun pointed at her head, a live scorpion perched on her face, and she has stared strangers in the eye for 700 hours at New York's Museum of Modern Art (some of us get the same sort of harrowing rush riding the bus). I suspect this book will be much like her art, tough but impossible not to take in.
Jon For Halloween, right? I've always been a big fan of Halloween, and my reading habits used to reflect that a lot more. Some might say that 11 is too young for something like Salem's Lot, but I could handle it, except for the times I'd be running home through the woods at dusk, convinced that the clacking of the YKK zipper tab on my down parka was the sound of king vampire Kurt Barlow fast on my heels. Stupid, of course: king vampires make no sound in the woods. A long story for this context, I guess, but I'll be looking for something on the creepier side this weekend. I'll be looking at The Secret History of Twin Peaks by series co-creator Mark Frost. It's labeled "novel," but it's constructed as a "dossier" containing hundreds of documents spanning the history of the fictional town from Lewis and Clark to Laura Palmer's murder, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, classified files, medical records, police reports, and other confidential ephemera. Like the show, it will leave lots of space for speculation and maybe frustration, but it should rile up fans in anticipation of the new episodes set to resume sometime in 2017.
Seira Wilson: This weekend I'll be finishing up some November reading, including S.J. Kincaid's The Diabolic, a twisty young adult novel about corruption, rebellion and standing up for those you love, all set in a fantasy galaxy. And then for something TOTALLY different, I've gotA Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. This funny and warm-hearted story of a boy who still believes in the impossible is obviously perfect for this time of year and the book has gotten rave reviews from other well-known authors.
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