Our March Must-Read Books

This month, we’ve changed up the format of our regular reading list, with a communal need for empathy in mind.
Publish date:
Illustration: Samantha Hahn

Illustration: Samantha Hahn

Alice Walker has said, "If literature didn't inspire empathy and compassion, it would be virtually useless. The reason I absolutely do love and treasure literature is that it has taken me out of myself."

And we couldn't agree more. Books are the quickest way to crack ourselves open, shift our perspective and walk in different shoes for a bit. With Ms. Walker's sage words in mind – especially since these present times particularly need empathy and compassion – we've compiled a list of our favorite books that encourage us to learn from another person's experience. These view-shifting, world-expanding narratives unite us through the essential practice of sharing our stories.

In the hand-lettered list above:

The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

Released in February, Cantú's memoir has quickly become an essential read and reveals with a keen eye, the truth of the US-Mexico borderlands - not to mention a prose that is beautiful, searing and utterly unforgettable. 

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

A beautiful memoir about a young girl who was denied an education and leaves her survivalist family, ultimately earning a PhD from Cambridge University. Westover is indomitable and gives us a glimpse into a world so close and yet so foreign. 

Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou

This small and stunning volume features four of Maya Angelou's most beloved poems: Our Grandmothers, Phenomenal Woman, Still I Rise and Weekend Glory. This is one to carry around and have ready at the hand, as there is no one better than Maya Angelou for a bit of grounding beautiful truth.  

The White Album by Joan Didion

Didion's essays about the 1970s ring remarkably resonant today and she is always worth a reread. Whether she is talking about Charles Manson, the Los Angeles Freeway, water systems or the Reagan's, she IS the observer of our times. 

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

One of the best novels I've read this year. Lee shines a beautiful lens on one Korean family through four generations. 

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

This book is required reading. Mohsin Hamid's novel is one of the best I've ever read. I devoured it in one evening, yet it will stay with me for far longer. It is both quiet and electrifying, beautiful and so poignant. A grand book with tight, lyrical and perfect prose, shedding light on the immigrant experience in a wholly unique way.

Hunger by Roxane Gay

An incredibly personal memoir from one the best voices in writing today. Roxane Gay's memoir is deeply personal, yet universal and so timely. A must read. 

The Rules do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Levy writes with her trademark candor and grace, revealing a story that is bittersweet, ultimately life-affirming and utterly beautiful. 

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

One of the best releases of 2017, Vance paints a revealing picture of our country and our times. If you wondered how the election happened the way it did, this is a good place to start. 

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

A prescient classic, this one is always worth a revisit! 



The Literary Edit: For The Love of Books

We are acknowledging this month that, like the calendar year, we also go through "seasons" of preferences--particularly when it comes to reading. While in the summers we crave lighter, airier works of fiction to the deep, enthralling stores that move us in the winter, for the month of February we are focusing on 3 memoirs that are perfect for hunkering down and fighting the cold.


What the Heck is Wellness, Anyway?

As inflated with trends and fads as the wellness industry has become, that saturation has inadvertently caused a lot of confusion around what wellness is. Whether it's a daily exercise regimen, clean eating or simply being more present, we are taking a moment to acknowledge that wellness is an ever-evolving, fluid phenomenon that means something different to everyone.

Art Made Between Opposite Sides by Tanya Aguiñiga, 2017_Photograph by Gina Clyne, Courtesy of AMBOS Project

Meet Suzy Delvalle: The Woman Turning Artists' Visions Into Realities as President & Executive Director of Creative Capital in New York City

As President and Creative Director at Creative Capital, a nonprofit support organization for artists, Suzy helps foster creativity from start to finish, providing artists with the support they need throughout their process while encouraging them to create the most groundbreaking and honest work they're capable of. We sit down with Suzy to discuss her trajectory into this truly rewarding career and the importance of community for those working in artistic fields.


9 Non-Invasive Skincare Trends

At every stage of our lives, our skin is telling a unique story about our health. That's why we've teamed up with the experts at Seattle and Bay area spas and skincare clinics, SkinSpirit, to learn all about non-invasive treatments to improve skin radiancy, reduce redness, provide some anti-aging benefits to our skin and help improve our general wellness.


February Tarotscopes

V of Heirophant and The Hanged Man are two of the Tarot cards, among many others, in our tarotscope reading this February. Find out which card your sign will be following this month, and what February holds for each of your Zodiac signs.