This post-Thanksgiving stupor thing is taking days to like stop. It’s really a pretty big hindrance life- and blog-wise, but we’ll persevere and have some ballin’ new content next week, including reviews of Sara Levine’s quick and engrossing debut Treasure Island!!! and David Foster Wallace’s posthumous exercise in fake memoir The Pale King. We’ll also start previewing some of our big-time January reviews, so look for that!

In the meantime, here’s our #fridayreads.

Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish
I have to say, starting a blog is pretty conducive to reading cool stuff before it comes out. Flipping through the Little, Brown catalog for the spring and summer, I was immediately grabbed by American Dervish—both its arresting cover art and intriguing story. Akhtar tells the story of a Pakistani family in suburban Milwaukee, and their relationship with Islam. It is complicated and intense, and—quite refreshingly—not at all morally didactic; the conflicts are layered and the characters, forgive the cliché, really do make you think. It’s a story that benefits from Akhtar’s pedigree as a playwright, as it’s driven by some difficult-to-write showdowns between culturally diverse characters. I’m about seventy-five percent of the way through it, and I’m confident it will be one of the most talked about books of 2011.

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