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Eight Recommended Reads for a Long Weekend

By Zachary Lewis

So many books, so few winter weekends. A choice from this list could get your hibernation off to a suspenseful, thought-provoking or reflective start.

There There by Tommy Orange

  • Available in leisure reading collection (second floor)
  • Reminiscent of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, There There tells intersecting stories that converge at a single point in time. With a gift for realistic dialogue and an utterly unique perspective, author Tommy Orange explores what it means to be a Native American in 2018. Examining the complex identities of those whose culture has been fractured and assimilated, There There — Tragic yet uplifting, heartfelt yet cynical — demonstrates the struggle of the modern Native American. Orange’s is a voice that demands to be heard.

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlisch

  • Available on OhioLink
  • Taking on concepts described in Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter by way of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, Tom Sweterlisch creates a genre all his own in The Gone World. Readers may find their heads spinning as they follow NCIS agent Shannon Moss through space and time to solve a murder that may or may not be connected to her past. A brilliant sci-fi story of time travel told with all the grit, blood and guts of Karin Slaughter, The Gone World is a slow burn of a wild ride with a conclusion that will leave readers divided.

The Outsider by Stephen King

  • Available in leisure reading collection (second floor)
  • Forty years into his career, King is still able to shock, surprise, and scare readers. Keen-eyed fans will spot rewarding connections to other books in King’s multiverse (the classic It and, more strongly, The Bill Hodges Trilogy), and first-time readers will experience a crash course in how twisted King can be. Part police procedural, part traditional horror, The Outsider is not one to be missed; just be sure to read with the lights on.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

  • Available in leisure reading collection (second floor)
  • Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has become something like the standard for thrillers in modern literature. The Girl on the Train, Luckiest Girl Alive, and The Woman in Cabin 10 have all been compared to Flynn’s iconic work. Luckily, A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window draws inspiration from a different source: classic film. Cleverly interspersing the real-life horror of protagonist Anna with scenes from her favorite noir films, Finn expertly builds suspense as readers follow the agoraphobe to her nightmarish realization: The only way to survive is to face her greatest fear.

Circe by Madeline Miller

  • Available in leisure reading collection (second floor)
  • Fans of mythology will appreciate Madeline Miller’s retelling of the titular character’s tale. Circe embraces the wonderful weirdness and exceptional ugliness often found in popular myths, offering readers the opportunity to witness these events from the perspective of a character usually placed in the background. Viewing these antiquated tales through a feminist perspective, Miller makes mythology feel modern.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michele McNamara

  • Available in leisure reading collection (second floor)
  • Published after her untimely death, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark chronicles Michelle McNamara’s years-long hunt for the Golden State Killer. McNamara interweaves personal narrative with police procedural, never forgetting the victims and survivors at the heart of the story. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark unmasks humanity at its darkest while maintaining hope that light will always win in the end. That McNamara did not live to see the conclusion of the case is just one of the reasons this book is a bittersweet read.

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rhao

  • Available on Ohiolink
  • A difficult but necessary read, Girls Burn Brighter is a searing tale of friendship and the hardships people are willing to endure to reunite with those they love. Shobha Rhao’s elegant prose belies her ability to capture the brutality faced by protagonists Sabitha and Poornima as they witness how both Eastern and Western cultures view, control and capitalize on the female body. Readers of all backgrounds and identities will find themselves in Girls Burn Brighter — and will be better off for it.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

  • Available in leisure reading collection (second floor); also available on Kindle
  • Raised in a family of Mormon survivalists, Westover tells a timely story of familial division. After receiving a conventional education, Westover finds herself alienated from her family in ways she never imagined — politically, spiritually and physically. A painful, honest and harrowing memoir, Educated showcases the value of keeping an open mind — and the dangers of turning a blind eye to our differences.

— Zachary Lewis is an assistant professor and student success librarian.

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