AOL Recommends: What to Read This Weekend


If you need a break from the shutdown news or Kim Kardashian's latest antics, spend the day diving into one of our book picks.

Little, Brown and Company

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Donna Tartt took the literary world by storm in 1992 with the release of The Secret History, and then in 2002 with The Little Friend. Now, 11 years later, fans finally have a new Tartt novel to covet. The Goldfinch begins with an explosion at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art that kills hundreds of people -- among them, 13-year-old Theo Decker's mother, a woman with a penchant for art and a great love for her only son. Theo is shuffled around for a bit, eventually ending up with his deadbeat father in Arizona and then back in New York City. Throughout, the boy develops a very strong relationship with a painting his mother adored as a way to cling to her memory. What follows is Theo's descent into the underworld of art and a climax in Amsterdam. Clocking in at an unwieldy 784 pages, Goldfinch is a trek, but a worthwhile one. Released on October 22, 2013.

Little, Brown and Company

The Luninaries by Eleanor Catton
This week Eleanor Catton became the youngest person ever to win the Man Booker Prize. Her novel, The Luminaries, is also the longest book to be given the award (848 pages) so, like The Goldfinch, this choice isn't an easy read, but every page is as necessary as the last. Set during the gold rush in 19th-century New Zealand, the novel follows the story of Walter Moody. On the night of his arrival, 12 men are gathering in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. Moody is soon brought into the mysteries of the town and the stories begin to unfold. The narrative shifts throughout the book, giving the reader a glimpse into the minds of different men. More than just a Victorian whodunit, The Luminaries definitely lives up to Catton's debut novel, The Rehearsal. Released on October 15, 2013.

Seal Press

Goodbye to All That edited by Sari Botton
Taking up where Joan Didion left off in her 1967 essay, Goodbye to All That, Sari Botton found 28 writers to tell their own love story about New York City. This essay collection speaks to every New Yorker, but more than that, it speaks to anyone who has loved and fallen out of love with a city. While every writer (including Cheryl Strayed, Emma Straub and Dani Shaprio) speaks about her experience with leaving behind the Big Apple, each essay takes on a very different viewpoint. For some, the divorce happened after 9/11, when tensions where just too high to stay. For others, it happened after addiction and heartbreak. In all cases, these writers left behind the city of their dreams, for places that felt a little more like home. Released on October 8, 2013.


Days of Fire by Peter Baker
Peter Baker, senior White House Correspondent for The New York Times, takes readers through the eight year journey that was the Bush and Cheney administration. According to the New York Times' review, Baker neither 'accuses nor excuses' in his account of those tumultuous years. Throughout the book, Baker chronicles Bush's entire presidency by drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before-released documents. The most notable facet of the book is Baker's detailed portrait of the relationship that existed between these two men and the mystery that resulted in their leadership. Last week's New York Times Magazine featured a story adapted from the book about the final struggle in the Bush-Cheney relationship -- the former president's decision to not pardon Cheney's disgraced chief of staff, I. Scooter Libby, who was convicted of lying to federal officials. Released on October 22, 2013.

What are you reading? Tell us in the comments below.