Weekend Reading: Mother’s Day Edition

Weekend Reading: Mother’s Day Edition

It’s the weekend! Hooray! The weather is supposed to be in the 80s in Seattle so we will undoubtedly be taking our books outdoors and soaking up some sunshine and pollen. And let us not forget Mother’s Day! What better gift for Mom than a book? Well, maybe a book and the solitude to read it. At least one of us is planning to take advantage of both those things…. So what’s on the to-read pile for us? We’ve got the memoir from Queer Eye fashion expert Tan France, a history of punk rock in L.A., a gorgeous how-to guide to beautiful spaces from Joanna Gaines, and more.


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Naturally Tan: A Memoir by Tan France

It was a sad moment when I realized I had finished binge-watching the last episode of Netflix’s Queer Eye. My mourning period has been mitigated, however, by the upcoming memoir from Fab Five fashion expert Tan France. In Naturally Tan (June 4), he employs his signature wit and enviable optimism to explain his unlikely trajectory from closeted South Asian Muslim to happily married gay man (to a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City, no less). —Erin Kodicek



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More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of L.A. Punk by John Doe

A few years ago, John Doe—co-leader of the legendary LA band X—gathered friends and musicians for Under the Big Black Sun, a crowd-sourced tale of the origins of punk music in Southern California. He takes the same approach in More Fun in the New World, a second volume (again with co-conspirator Tom DeSavia) that continues the story into the mid-1980s, when punk might have seemed dead, but actually evolved and diversified into any number of sub-genres that subtly influenced (and continue to influence) mainstream culture. —Jon Foro


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Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

I suspect like many moms, I want to spend a portion of Mother’s Day with my children—who will be on their best behavior, of course—and a portion of the day alone. I plan to spend that alone time with one of my favorite famous mothers, Joanna Gaines. I pre-ordered her beautiful book Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave and received it on its pub date (November 6, 2018). And although I’ve longingly flipped through the pages, life happened (as they say) and I haven’t given the book the attention it deserves. What I already know is that it’s a beautiful book—the photography is inspiring, the page stock is thick and creamy, and there’s an extra-cool feature of blank pages with grids at the end of the book so that you too can design your dream space. In other words, this is a great gift book. And if I hadn’t already bought it for myself, it’s just the kind of book I’d want to receive on Mother’s Day morning, next to my twice-baked almond croissant and nonfat latte. So while Joanna Gaines may be spending the day gardening or crafting with her children, I’ll be holed up in my room—gloriously alone—finally enjoying this lovely book. —Sarah Gelman


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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

It has been twenty years since Stephen Chbosky’s last novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was published. (For fans of that book, I’ll let the relentless movement of time sink in for a moment.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower spurred a movie of the same name and went on to sell millions of copies. And while Chbosky’s new book, Imaginary Friend, may reach similar levels of success, a different audience will be reading and watching. Imaginary Friend is a literary horror story set in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. A seven-year-old kid named Christopher disappears for six days and returns from the woods outside of town with an imaginary friend in his head. This is followed by a battle of good versus evil.

I really like the Stephen King-ish book cover, and I also appreciate it when authors step out of their lanes—or rather the lanes that have been made them rich—and write what really interests them. Looking forward to a great weekend of reading. —Chris Schluep



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The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth by Josh Levin

The Queen has been waiting patiently on my bedside table, and this weekend I’m all set for a good biography/true crime read. Linda Taylor was a con woman who became the face of the “welfare cheat.” Never mind everything else she was up to, or what was going on in the South Side of Chicago in the mid 1970s—the media and politicians of the day decided to make her the example. Josh Levin spent years researching Taylor’s life, and the book got a great blurb from one of my favorite nonfiction authors, David Grann, so I’m looking forward to learning the whole story…. —Seira Wilson



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Recursion by Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch’s upcoming mind-bending thriller reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best, as cutting-edge technology collides with humanity to ignite an unexpected crisis. New York City detective Barry Sutton is first on the scene to a potential jumper—a woman sitting on the ledge of a skyscraper who claims she suddenly remembers a whole life she lived apparently in parallel to her “real” one. Dubbed False Memory Syndrome, FMS is blamed for an upsurge in suicides, but the strangest aspect of FMS is that friends and family of the afflicted also remember aspects of the false lives. Is it a contagion? Mass hysteria? Motivated by a tragedy in his own past, Sutton is determined to find out whether FMS is truly false or a new, better reality. I enjoyed Crouch’s Pines and Dark Matter tremendously, and Recursion (June 11) has me longing to start the weekend now and get back to uncoverering its secrets. —Adrian Liang


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