Weekend Picks for Book Lovers

(USA TODAY) -- What should you read this weekend? USA TODAY's picks for book lovers include a very creepy horror novel from Stephen King's son and much lighter fare from Shopaholic creator Sophie Kinsella.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill; William Morrow, 686 pp.; fiction

The pitter-patter of tiny feet and the wonders of the holiday season will never sound or feel the same if you dare to read Joe Hill's terrifyingly creepy third novel, NOS4A2.

In the real world, Christmas comes but once a year. In NOS4A2, in Charlie Manx's Christmasland, it's always Christmas morning. But anything that sounds that good, especially in a horror novel, comes with a deadly price.

Film buffs know the 1922 silent German horror film Nosferatu (German for vampire), loosely based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Hill (son of Stephen King) molds the vampire epic into a grizzly modern tale of vengeance and retribution in NOS4A2, which also happens to be the license plate number on Charlie Manx's 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith.

USA TODAY says *** out of four. "Terror you won't soon forget."

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, Etc. by David Sedaris; Little, Brown, 288 pp.; non-fiction

Essays on everything from air travel to today's child-rearing techniques by a writer who's a master of pointing out the absurd in everyday life.

USA TODAY says ***. "Quintessential Sedaris."

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker; Harper, 484 pp.; fiction

Debut novel set at the turn of the last century about a golem and a jinni who come together in Lower Manhattan.

USA TODAY says *** ½. "An impressive debut, bursting with ambition and magical in all kinds of ways."

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella; The Dial Press, 446 pp.; fiction

After breaking up with her boyfriend, Lottie makes a rash decision to marry her old flame Ben in the latest comic novel from Sophie Kinsella.

USA TODAY says ***. "A terribly silly but fun novel that's as light and bubbly as a glass of wedding Champagne."

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart; Algonquin, 380 pp.; non-fiction

"Every great drink begins with a plant," Stewart writes in this guide to cocktails that's brimming with historical and scientific tidbits.

USA TODAY says ****. "Intoxicating ...in a fresh, happy, healthy way."

Contributing reviewers: Carol Memmott, Craig Wilson, Carmela Ciuraru, Jocelyn McClurg and Deirdre Donahue


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