Editors' Picks: What AOL.com is Reading This Weekend
The days of lounging on the beach with a book and a margarita are over, but fall reading can be just as rewarding as summer reading. If you're looking for something great to read, pick up one of these books, a hot apple cider and dig in.
Ashley Knierim, Senior Entertainment Editor: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
If you ask any book lover, they'll tell you how excited they are for Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author's new book follows the story of two brothers who are tied together by tragedy. Subhash and Udayan, born just fifteen months apart in the 1960s, have very different fates in store. Udayan gets involved in the Naxalite movement to eradicate poverty while Subhash leaves home to study science in America. Eventually Subhash returns to his family after a tragic incident and attempts to heal painful wounds in those his brother left behind.
Critics are already raving about Lahiri's new novel, and it landed on the National Book Award long list this week. Needless to say, this is one book you shouldn't skip this year.
Lisa Bonarrigo, Programming Director: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
I really enjoyed Khlaed Hosseini's first two bestsellers, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, so when I discovered he wrote a new novel, I immediately downloaded it on my Kindle. And the Mountains Echoed is a book about choices, about love, and about all of the wonderful and awful things members of a family can do to one another. Hosseini weaves in and out of different characters' stories over generations, showing how the individual lives we lead can forever change the course of another's. The connections the author makes are clear, and the lessons are powerful. It's slightly depressing in parts, but simultaneously uplifting.
Sally Lauckner, Senior News Editor: The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
This is an emotionally devastating novel in the vein of 'The Awakening' or 'Wide Sargasso Sea.' Messud's (extremely unreliable) narrator is Nora Elridge, an elementary school teacher who becomes entangled with the three members of the Shahid family: Skandar, a Harvard professor from Lebanon, his alluring Italian wife, Sirena, and their sweet and sensitive son Reza.
At the book's opening, Nora is careful to tell the reader that while on the surface she appears dutiful and content, she is really filled with fury. It is that fury that bubbles to the surface of her story and fuels much of this psychologically charged book. Messud gives us a look at the innermost workings of Nora's mind and explores her bitterness, her anger, her jealousy, her disillusionment with life itself. But at its core, the novel is a fascinating and, at turns, troubling look at attraction and obsession.