What We’re Reading / What Your Reading 06.21.2013


It’s time for another Friday edition of the segment where we fill you in on what we’re reading, and we hope that you’ll reciprocate by telling us what you’re enjoying (or loathing) as well.

Don’t be shy, we want to hear from you! Feedback from our followers will play a role in helping us to determine what books to read, review, and feature on this site over the coming months. It will also give us a better idea of the topics and genres that interest you.

Karli is currently reading The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

Chosen as June’s Critical Era Book Club selection, The Execution of Noa P Singleton tells the story of a woman on death row, imprisoned for first-degree murder.  But soon before she is scheduled to be executed, the mother of Noa’s victim informs her that she would like to help Noa escape the death penalty.  A wealthy and socially influential woman, Marlene Dixon promises Noa that she can convince the necessary politicians that her life should be spared.  However, in exchange for her life, Noa must give Marlene a detailed and honest account of her life and the events leading up to the crime:

“Look, I want to help you, Noa,” she said, her voice slipping.  “I want to talk to the governor about you.  But if I’m going to use my influence to speak to the governor and tell him that, as the victim’s mother, I cannot live with this execution, I need something – anything – from you that tells me that you have changed.  That you are a good person now.  That you never meant to do what you did.  That you are a worthwhile asset to his earth.  So just talk to me, prove it to me.”

Aaron is currently reading The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.

Told in the first person, The Dog Stars documents one man’s struggle to survive after a pandemic kills off most of the human race.  I’m just about at the halfway mark and so far I can’t find a single nice thing to say about it.  Quite frankly, it could very well wind up being the worst thing I’ve read all year.  I’ll reserve passing final judgement until I reach the very end.

Below is a random excerpt, told from the point of view of the protagonist Hig, as he works on his plane and attempts to placate the man he’s partnered up with for survival.  Coca-Cola must have paid Heller some sort of outrageous product placement fee as their brand is referenced in nearly every chapter.  I know when I think about surviving an infectious disease, I immediately think about the Coke family of soft drinks:

Look Bangley relax. Want a Coke?

Once every two months I land on a cleared boulevard in Commerce City and restock ten cases of the oil. On the way over one day I found the Coke truck. I always bring back four cases, two for him two for me. A case of Sprite for the families which I don’t tell him about. Most of the cans have frozen too many times and burst but the plastic bottles survive. Bangley always goes through his Coke a lot faster.

You’ll kill us both. We agreed.

I get him a Coke. Here relax. It’s not good for your heart.

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.