What We’re Reading This Week



The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do For People in Distress by Val Walker

“This book shows you the best ways to help people who are dealing with trauma or distress. Incredibly helpful–it takes a lot of guesswork out of what to do to help someone by describing the positive psychological aspects of comforting and what makes things worse or better. This book teaches you to comfort rather than problem-solve. I’ve already been able to use it in everyday life.”



77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

“A Kubrickian, Stephen King-ish haunted house story that I’m reading for Nightmare Factory, the BookPeople Book Club that I co-host. It is my first Dean Koontz novel, and I am curious to see if I will enjoy it as much as his millions of fans.”




Moby Dick by Herman Melville

“Super great, not as stuffy as I thought it would be. Why I’ve always been terrified of this book, I’ll never know. It’s funny!”




Positive by Paige Rawl

“This teen memoir is about bullying in high school. Paige Rawl is HIV positive, and when the kids at her school find out, they treat her very badly. Paige explains how she gets out of these horrible situations, and shares her story against bullying. A moving book.”




Descent by Tim Johnston

“I started this book Friday night and was sorry I’d made any other plans for the weekend. This novel isn’t out until January, which is driving me crazy because I just want people to READ IT. It’s about a family whose daughter goes missing in the Colorado Rockies, just before she’s about to begin college. The story itself is gripping, the characters well developed and walking around my head as we speak, but what really sends this book over the top is Johnston’s command of language. Every sentence is vital. It feels as if every next word may be the one that finds this missing girl. I’m absolutely rapt. He has a terrific talent for communicating the ticks of each moment, the way a ponytail swings, the way a porch in the mountains smells in the middle of the night. I find myself sucking in my breath and reading sentences over again for their rhythm, their lift, their startling beauty. I’m a fool for this book. Put it on your radar now. January can’t get here soon enough.”

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