Editors' Picks

What We're Reading Right Now, October 2020 Edition

From absorbing mysteries to Black history, here are the books we've been picking up these days.

By The Editors October 9, 2020

"I’ve been making my way through Elizabeth George’s detective novels (there are 20 of them), and I’m on my seventh, In the Presence of the Enemy. George’s plots, always set in England, always complex, follow the upper-class Inspector Thomas Lynley and his working class and very untidy partner Detective Barbara Havers as they solve near-perfect murders. The details and dialogue are wonderful, and every crime is, of course, solved. A great escape in these uncertain times." —Susan Burns, editor in chief

“Anyone who loves mysteries knows it’s always a thrill to discover a new writer with a series in the making. I’ve just read the first two of Matt Goldman’s books, set in and around the Twin Cities of Minnesota, featuring private detective Nils Shapiro and his buddy Anders Ellegaard—Gone to Dust and Broken Ice. The plotting is tight and absorbing, but I especially enjoy the typically Minnesotan characters and mannerisms that pop up, along with the various settings around the state, and, of course, the weather! Goldman’s a former writer for Seinfeld, among other TV shows, so he also brings a lot of humor to the proceedings. Off to the library now for the next entry, The Shallows.” —Kay Kipling, executive editor

"Jon Meacham’s new book, His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, is a vivid account of the Civil Rights battles of the early 1960s and the incredibly brave young people, Congressman Lewis included, on the front lines of those battles. I was a child in Macon, Georgia, in the 1960s and have many hazy personal memories of that time (my dad was the first store manager in downtown Macon to let the NAACP have their breakfast meetings at his lunch counter, for example), so I read this with tremendous interest." —Ilene Denton, senior editor

"I'm committed to the necessary journey of educating myself about Black American history; knowing this, my friend Claudia Swan suggested Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. Wilkerson is the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and the first Black person to win for individual reporting. The book chronicles the Great Migration from 1915-1970, when 6 million Southern Blacks made their way from the Deep South to the north and west to escape Jim Crow laws and oppressive racism. However, the change in geography didn't fix everything—there was still trouble to be had and minds to be changed. Wilkerson specifically focuses in on the real lives of three intrepid souls during that timeframe, all woven around notable historical racial and civil rights events. One of the stories is Florida-centric, so it's close-to-home history." —Heather Dunhill, contributing writer

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