What We’re Reading – May 2015

We love recommending the latest and greatest books to you, but there are always books that slip past us for recommendations because they’re already out, or our space is just too limited. As such we’re thrilled to let you peek onto the nightstands of our editors to see what they are all reading and what prompted them to pick it up.

Early WarningGayle Weiswasser, Web Editor: Early Warning by Jane Smiley/ I am enjoying Early Warning, the second book in Jane Smiley’s century-spanning trilogy (which started with Some Luck). I’ve gotten back in touch with the Langdon family as they’ve entered the 1950s, and am looking forward to delving into the turbulent 60s and 70s and seeing the effect that those years had on the generations of Langdons now spread across the country. I love Smiley’s details and the way she can convey so much about a person through a seemingly unimportant vignette. I’m already eager to get to the third book!

The Girls of Atomic CityJenn Ravey, Contributing Editor: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan/ It’s the end of the semester, so I’m swamped with grading, and reading time is scarce. When I curl up in bed at night lately, I’m reading The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. It’s fascinating to read about these women, many of whom were so sheltered, picking up and leaving for Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a city so secret it wasn’t even on the map, and war work about which they knew nothing. The more technical sections are a bit daunting, but I love reading about women who thought bobby socks were wild, trying to retain a semblance of society amid such a bizarre, manufactured atmosphere.

As Chimney SweepersJen Karsbaek, Editor in Chief: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley/ I’m not sure how I forgot about the newest Flavia De Luce mystery for almost half the year, but on the plus side, it was wonderful to be able to pop out and pick it up with no waiting. This is the 7th book in the series, and it was just as much fun as the first six, even though I read it a full year after mainlining the others back-to-back. Bradley puts his young, precocious protagonist Flavia in a totally new situation, which keeps thing interesting and gives Flavia some totally new dimensions. If you want to pick up the series you definitely don’t want to start here, though, go back to the beginning and start with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie for a true appreciation of Flavia and her quirks.