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‘What they’re reading’ — before it’s even published

In today’s installment, we hear from Susan Albright, MinnPost co-managing editor.

“What they’re reading” appears as an occasional series in MinnPost’s Book Club Club section. We’re asking well-known and not-so-well-known Minnesotans to tell us about the books they’re reading and recommending to others — and why. Today, MinnPost co-managing editor Susan Albright shares her selections.

The short stories I’m reading now will become a book in December, the New Yorker says. In the meantime, a new compilation of stories by 20 authors under 40 is being published in serial fashion — eight “20 Under 40” stories are featured in the June 14 and 21 fiction issue, and the rest will appear one at a time in upcoming weeks. I’m enjoying seeing which authors the editors chose — they include Philipp Meyer, Nicole Krauss, Jonathan Safran Foer and Karen Russell — and checking out their writing. So far they’re very impressive.

Next on my list: “The Imperfectionists,” which got a rave review in the New York Times (Christopher Buckley’s first sentence: “This first novel by Tom Rachman, a London-born journalist who has lived and worked all over the world, is so good I had to read it twice simply to figure out how he pulled it off),” and Ian McEwan‘s latest, “Solar.”

Two multi-book recommendations: First, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy,” which (as you’ve no doubt heard) is utterly addictive. I’ve been in withdrawal since April, when our London version of “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” came to an end. Oh, for more

Second, a group of my own making, starting with David Benioff’s “City of Thieves,” a 2008 World War II novel set during the siege of Leningrad. It led me to read, in succession, Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five,” which I’d somehow missed all these years, and J.D. Salinger’s short story, “To Esmé With Love and Squalor,” from “Nine Stories.” Both Vonnegut and Salinger served in the war, and Benioff writes as though he had. You might want to add McEwan’s “Atonement” to this list.