Let’s talk about books! I’m woefully behind in my reading—I’ve only read a couple of books so far this year (well, not counting one reread—The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman, which I can tell you about if you’d like)—which I tend to try and excuse because my job inherently requires tons of reading, even though the reading I’m doing from 9-5 is far different than, you know, reading novels in bed at night with my cats.
Anyway, here are three books I have recently read and enjoyed—ones I’d recommend to anyone looking for something new to pick up:
This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz. I can’t get enough of Junot Diaz’s writing—”electrifying” is a good word to describe it—and if you haven’t read the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy. This is How You Lose Her is a collection of short stories about love—romantic love, of course, but also familial love and self-love. It’s really moving, and since I read before bed, I often found myself laying in the dark thinking about it well into the night.
This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper. I loved this book, and I recommend it to anyone who will listen. It’s both heartbreaking—about a man going through a divorce and having to sit shiva after his father’s death at the same time—and hilarious (as you can imagine, shenanigans ensue). Tropper’s prose is easy-to-read and straightforward, and I never wanted to put this book down (in fact, I often woke up in the morning with it splayed open next to me). I can’t say enough good things about it. Read it.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish this book after the sad first chapter (seriously—I was crying five pages in), but I’m glad I kept going. The book, told through the point of view of Hattie and the family members who orbit around her, examines the question of loss, identity, survival, where we belong and how we come to get there, and the writing is beautiful and empathic. That said, if you couldn’t tell, this is not a happy book—but I can’t imagine not having read it.
Next up for me is Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth, and I still really want to read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Meghan Daum’s Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in That House. Here’s to more books!
What have you guys been reading lately?
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