Book buddy Alex nominated Celeste Ng’s “startlingly beautiful” Little Fires Everywhere and Wislawa Szymborska’s “sideways-gorgeous” Map: Collected and Last Poems. (full disclosure: he also named George Saunders’ Lincoln on the Bardo. I wish I could get on board the love train for this one, but I prefer anything else he’s ever written.)
Book chief Rachel also named Little Fires Everywhere, and wrote that Hunger from Roxane Gay “decimated” her, and sung the praises of Naomi Klein for both This Changes Everything and No Is Not Enough.
My friend Peter reads more than anyone I know, and both widely and deeply. I noticed copies of Morgan Parker’s book of poems There are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce in at least three rooms of his house, so I wasn’t surprised to hear it made his short list. And he thinks more people should be reading Sylvia Plath, and works of hers beyond The Bell Jar; he recommends Ariel.
Book buddy Erin chose Baz Dreisinger’s Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World. Dreisinger “asks the reader to consider what justice actually means”, and Erin found that it has been particularly resonant in the wake of Larry Krasner’s election as Philadelphia’s District Attorney and has sparked a lot of conversations in her life. She also admired the “tiny, intimate snippets” of Olga Grushin’s Forty Rooms.
My mom is my original reading role model. My whole life I’ve watched her cart armfuls of books home from the library and then back again. (shout out to the Emily Fowler Public Library!) Her recommendations carry a lot of weight because I know how many books she goes through in a year. She sang the praises of Florence Williams’ The Nature Fix and Ann Hood’s The Book That Matters Most.
As for me, I’m grateful for so many books that got me through this wild year. The Rules Do Not Apply made me feel like Ariel Levy had seen into my soul without ever meeting me. And Eve Ewing’s Electric Arches made me gasp, and cry, and laugh, and daydream. So I offer this deep bow of a blog post in gratitude to these brilliant writers.