On Our Nightstand, August 3rd-9th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
The Jokers
By Albert Cossery
This was the first of Bookslut‘s Jessa Crispin’s Bright Books for Dark Times, and I can already feel it making everything a bit sunnier. The atypical revolutionaries in the novel use humorous pranks to reveal the truth about their city’s corrupt, buffoonish governor. This book is so smart and engaging, but sadly I’m almost done. I guess I’ll have to read through the rest of Crispin’s list!

Christine in Oakland
The Windup Girl
By Paolo Bacigalupi
A great social commentary on the fate of humanity when Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the Monsantos of the world gain ultimate power.

Geo in Brentwood
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
By Henry Miller
One week after reading Simone de Beauvoir‘s America Day by Day, a travelogue on America written by a French writer, I’m now reading a travelogue on America from an American expatriate from France. The compare/contrast exercise will surely be riveting.

Margaret in Oakland
Faithful Place
By Tana French
I went from thinking that I wasn’t going to like this, the third novel in French’s mystery series, because I didn’t like the main character’s role in the second book, The Likeness. But now, reading this tightly structured, beautifully characterized novel, I think Faithful Place is French’s best, period.

Thea in Malibu
Dreaming in Cuban
By Cristina Garcia
With that poetic magical realism so characteristic of Latin American writers, Garcia tells the story of the different generations of the del Pino family in the aftermath of the Cuban revolution.


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