Speed Reads


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Crime: A Novel
By Irvine Welsh, out Sept. 2

An Edinburgh cop goes to Miami to plan his wedding and ends up battling a small ring of pedophiles—don’t you hate it when that happens?—in what Welsh himself has called “an existential thriller.”


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Mention that you’re glad that Crime’s protagonist and anti-hero Ray Lennox made the leap from supporting character in Welsh’s Filth. 


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The War Within: A Super Secret White House History 2006–2008
By Bob Woodward, out Sept. 8

In his fourth book chronicling the Bush years, wunderkind-cum-windbag Woodward shines a light on the internal debates during two controversial years of the Iraq War. 


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Acknowledge that Woodward has progressively sharpened his views toward Bush since Bush at War, his first book about the administration.


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Hot, Flat and Crowded
By Thomas L. Friedman, out Sept. 8

Anyone who has kept up with Friedman’s columns in the New York Times knows the man is obsessed with climate change and energy revolution.  He synthesizes these two into an argument for a "Geo-Greenism" national strategy that will revolutionize America and the world.  


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Blather about how this book will do for the environment what The World is Flat did for globalization. Segue into a conversation about those useless brown paper towels.


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Indignation
By Philip Roth, out Sept. 15

In his 29th (!) book, Roth tells the Cold War–era tale of the son of a Newark butcher who flees west to college in Winesburg, Ohio, where he hits the books ferociously to avoid the fate of
a soldier.

To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Remark that the Winesburg of Roth’s story is not the same town as in Sherwood Anderson’s 1919 classic Winesburg, Ohio. Anderson’s hometown of Clyde, Ohio, was the basis for that book. 


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Downtown Owl: A Novel
By Chuck Klosterman, out Sept. 15

The pop culture commentator and essayist makes his first foray into novels with this multi-character story about the community of Owl, a small town in North Dakota.


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Casually drop that this technically isn’t Klosterman’s fiction debut. In his recent collection Chuck Klosterman: IV, he included a novella he’d written while working in Akron, Ohio, titled You Tell Me.


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The Given Day
By Denis Lehane, out Sept. 22

Lehane returns to Boston, where his bestselling Mystic River took place, but jumps back in time to 1918 for this sprawling epic that tumbles from labor clashes in the streets to baseball battles on the diamond. 


To Sound Like You’ve Read It:  Note that this wide-ranging story is a departure from the smaller, tightly focused scope of Lehane’s successful thrillers like Mystic River and Shutter Island. 


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The Other Queen
By Philippa Gregory, out Sept. 16

The author of The Other Boleyn Girl brings out a new Other, this time with the story of the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots.  The action focuses on Mary’s captivity in the home of the Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess, where treachery and treason boil over into suspense.


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Remark how the true strength in the novel is the voice Gregory gives to Bess, who climbed up from the lower ranks to marry nobility. Extra points will be awarded if you compare her to someone you know.


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Eat Me: The Food Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin
By Kenny Shopsin, out Sept. 23

The famously cantankerous restaurateur brings his 900-item menu and acerbic philosophizing to this tome, which is part cookbook, part culinary manifesto and
part memoir.

To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Declare your love for all things Shopsin, especially his famous “Saxelby” egg-and-cheese sandwich, now available only at the Essex Street Market.


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Caligula For President
By Cintra Wilson, out Sept. 30

This satire, subtitled Better American Living Through Tyranny, turns Manifest Destiny on its head by imagining what the ancient Roman ruler Caligula would have been like as head of the United States. Wilson, known for her celebrity skewering and strangely acerbic shopping column, is cashing in on the election hype with tongue firmly in cheek.


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Discuss the merits of our favorite line, “Let’s face it: one of the primary reasons anyone has ever joined the military, since the dawn of civilization, is to get laid by wearing a smart-looking uniform.”


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The Alcoholic
By Jonathan Ames,
Illustrated by Dean Haspiel, out Sept. 30

In former Press contributor Ames’ first foray into the graphic novel, he tells the story of his battles with alcoholism. The noted boxer and rumored Fiona-Apple-dater hasn’t released a book since 2005—and he’s back with a bang, one-upping the Brooklyn literati by returning to the scene with a comic.


To Sound Like You’ve Read It: Point out that the scene where Ames meets Monica Lewinsky for dinner is actually based on a real life meal Ames had with the world’s most famous intern. 


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