Evvie Drake is recently widowed and Dean Tenney, a former Major League pitcher, has the "yips". Introduced through a childhood friend, these two are thrown together and given a chance to start over. Set in a small town, filled with baseball metaphors, witty banter, and super charming will they or won't they energy - this read left me eagerly awaiting Linda Holmes' next novel.
Mary H.K. Choi's novels give me all the feels. They make me laugh, they make me cry, and they have a magical ability to help me look back on my teenage years through a more gentle lens. In YOLK, estranged sisters - Jayne and June - want nothing to do with each other. Then June is diagnosed with cancer, forcing her to reconnect with Jayne in an attempt to save them both.
"Everyone who had created the Strange Bird or interfered with her or had hopes or fears that had been placed upon her, or wished her ill, was dead. All of them were dead, and their plans with them. But the Strange Bird could see the future." Jeff VanderMeer's work consistently sets fire to my imagination. When I get stuck in my routines, circling the same loops, and I need to press the refresh button - I pick up The Strange Bird and imagine walking through a different world.
Hanif Abdurraqib's prose is as lyrical as his poetry, and he's a writer that has an impeccable sense of place. He drops you into a moment in time and all of your senses come alive.
Angela Chen breaks down what can feel like a complicated topic with compassion, grace, and humor. Another great book that changed the way I move through the world.
Another invaluable installment in the Revisioning History series, and a great jumping off point as we continue to pull back the curtain - unlearning and relearning the truth about our nation's ugly history.
Jeff VanderMeer's work consistently sets fire to my imagination. When I get stuck in my routines, circling the same loops, and I need to press the refresh button - I drop into Area X or the Borne Universe and imagine walking through a different world.
I'm constantly giving away copies of this book to friends. A beautiful meditation on gratitude, generosity, and the absolute wonder of Mother Earth.
This book asks us to look at how much of the world is accessible to each of us, and it helped me to acknowledge the parts of it that are not fully accessible to others. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha lovingly put together a radical tool kit for building a better world.
The Legacy of Orisha series has everything - strong female characters, magic, adventure, star-crossed love, and super cool maps. Book 2 is out now, and Book 3 is supposed to be out sometime this year - it's the perfect time to catch up!
Another incredible memoir that I flip through often. Lidia Yuknavitch's path to self destruction - and the grace she gives herself as she rebuilds a life that she actually wants to live - broke me open. It's a truly generous piece of writing.
Mary H.K. Choi's first novel gave me my new favorite meet-cute. Her books do everything right - they invoke that joyous feeling of eating an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, they remind me of all of the best parts of being a teenager, and I can't put them down until I reach the final page.
If you're interested in shaping and creating the world you want to inhabit, but you don't know where to start - this book is for you. It's heavily influenced so much of my ever-evolving worldview, and I can't wait to grab adrienne maree brown's companion guide Holding Change later this year.
Kiese Laymon's memoir was remarkable. I can't say anything more eloquent than what you'll find inside its pages, so I'll just leave this here - "And don’t fight when you’re angry. Think when you’re angry. Write when you’re angry. Read when you’re angry."
An intoxicating debut collection from Carmen Maria Machado. I'll forever be reminded of The Husband Stitch anytime I see a green ribbon.
As a long time reader of Emily Nussbaum's, I was ecstatic that I could finally access so much of her work all in one place. Standout pieces include - The Big Picture, Shedding Her Skin, and To Serve Man.
Carmen Maria Machado wrote a brilliant and haunting memoir. I had high expectations after having read her fiction, but this book changed the way I think about what writing can be - and the big reveal had me reaching to pick my jaw up off the floor.
I went to school with AJ and Kristen so I had the privilege of watching their story play out in real time. Before she lost her battle with cancer in 2016, Kristen made AJ promise that he would tell their story. In Waves is a love letter - to the water, to the history of surfing, and above all to Kristen.
My high school English teacher gave me this book and told me that it was like Harry Potter for adults. Set during the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, when magic is thought to have disappeared from England - two very different magicians fight to prove themselves and change the course of history.
Before Chanel Miller told the world her name, we knew her as Emily Doe. It was such a gift to finally hear her get to tell her story. Check out the audiobook version at Libro.fm - read by the author.
Part memoir, part scientific journal - Jahren reminds us how closely our own life cycles mirror those in the natural world. There's a story in this book that I have dog-eared so I can read it to people whenever I can squeeze willow trees or tent caterpillars into casual conversation.
Brian Selznick's books are magical.The first half of The Marvels is a story told completely through illustrations, and the second half is a connected story told in prose. I've read this book many times - front to back and back to front, and I love it more and more each time.
When we're first introduced to Franny Stone, she's got a frantic energy and she's vibrating with the desperation that a singular purpose can instill in someone. Then Charlotte McConaghy pulls back all of her layers - telling a story of heartbreak, loss, and a renewed sense of hope.
Ottessa Moshfegh is a master world builder, even when those worlds are just specific little pockets of reality. Her writing is sharp, honest and intoxicating.
Looking for ways to reduce your food waste? Seasonal produce comes in so many different beautiful colors, and this handy little book is my go-to color guide for natural dye projects.
Patricia Lockwood's first novel made me feel like I never left social media. A book about living IRL, but steeped in how it feels to be alive at the height of internet culture.
To keep her true love Cherry from being won in a bet, Hero must keep the devious Manfred distracted for one hundred nights. She does so by regaling him with a collection of fables and myths - full of magic, love and adventure. To read more about the origins of Migdal Bavel, check out Greenberg's The Encyclopedia of Early Earth.
Octavia E. Butler's Parables offer way more questions than answers. Read along with adrienne maree brown and Toshi Reagon on the Octavia's Parables podcast while they discuss, dissect and engage with the apocalypse - one chapter at a time.
A gripping and heartfelt debut from slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. This novel in verse is a quick read and the perfect intro to the rest of her must-read work.
I'm always in awe of the humanity that Leslie Jamison infuses into her writing. This door-stopper of a book took me a while to get through, but it's one I will always be grateful that she took the time to write.
Perfect for anyone who's missing the movie theater. Grab some popcorn and rewatch the classics with Lindy West to see where they land on her ratings scale of 0 to 10 DVDs of The Fugitive.
I know we're all tired of the apocalypse - but what if there was a troupe of traveling actors that put on pop up Shakespeare festivals amidst the ruins? After you finish this, check out Emily St. John Mandel's latest novel, The Glass Hotel.
Imagine working at a video store and someone returns a VHS tape that has mysterious footage on it instead of the movie they rented. John Darnielle's second novel is a thrilling, suspenseful page turner - I devoured it in one sitting.