What We’re Reading: October 2012

On the first Friday of each month, we share what we’re reading, which may include everything from magazines and blogs to novels and books for work or pleasure.

I’m reading Eleanor Henderson’s debut novel Ten Thousand Saints, which the New York Times placed on its top five fiction of 2011 list. I’ve been meaning to read it since it came out last year, but I finally picked it up as a playaway audiobook at the public library last week. Typically, I only listen to about one audiobook a month, but I was enjoying this novel so much, I picked up a print copy at the library to finish it more quickly. The story opens in a small Vermont town in the 1980’s with two best friends, Teddy and Jude, doing all they can to get high and find a way to New York City and its punk and drug scene. Henderson paints a fascinating picture of 1980’s Lower Manhattan and Vermont, and I’m utterly enchanted with it. –Carrie

This past month I was entranced by Maggie Stiefvater’s new novel The Raven Boys. Stiefvater writes with a skilled and deft hand, creating worlds and characters that draw the reader in, and The Raven Boys is Stiefvater at her finest. Filled with delightfully quirky and realistic characters, an intriguing plot revolving around the legend of an old Welsh king, and lyrical writing, The Raven Boys was truly a treat. Following The Raven Boys, I’ve delved into another wild and quirky world, that of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. It’s the story of a mysterious bookstore in the heart of San Francisco and the many secrets it hides.  I’m enjoying the quick and engaging writing, and the mystery behind the shelves–it draws a booklover in with the secrets it hints at. –Heather

I just finished Robert Harris’s The Fear Index.  This thriller follows the story of a hedge fund trading system that runs amok (i.e. develops an independent will no longer controllable by programmers).  I can’t say it’s the best book I ever read, but it was entertaining and engaging–perfect escapist reading.  Sci-fi and dystopian literature fans might enjoy this easy read that nonetheless raises interesting questions about consciousness and the role of technology. — Sarah

I’m reading Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken. In the book, she argues that video games can help us fix our world, or reality. She provides fixes to reality throughout the book and examples of games that improve our lives. McGonigal argues that games make us more social and creative, and games should be embraced as creative problem-solving method for the issues we face from our health to education and the environment. — Emily

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