Skip to main content

Books, Books & More Books

Read anything worthwhile lately? A few titles to perhaps pick up for the long holiday weekend and as we head into summer.
books.books

Let's talk reading. Have you been doing much? Little? None at all? Only via screen consumption? Managing Editor Brooke Klauer shares her reading journey over the past few months, along with books and more books that are on her radar right now. 

“Because I’m of the old-fashioned conviction that reading is a pleasure to be carefully guarded at all times.” - Jenny Colgan, The Bookshop on the Corner

Reading is, quite possible, one of my greatest pleasures.

So here’s what happened: Stay-in-place was ordered, and I dreamed big dreams of curling up in a big cozy chair while the fickle spring weather fought against the window panes, and I would read and read and read and read. Which is to say, time spent doing my most favorite thing. But in reality the mess of pandemic emotions, calming a chaotic household of three kids, husband working full-time from our bedroom, and me still attempting to scrape together a writing let’s-not-call-it-career-but-what-I-do-for-me-in-the-fringe situation left me grasping. And the more I tried, the more emotionally strung out I became, words swarmed, thoughts jumbled, and I just couldn’t read.

As the weeks blurred together, I fought for some semblance of structure, and my almost nine-year-old made the again request for Harry Potter. He has intermittently over the past year or so, but I’ve always wanted to dig in “at the right time” when he would fully fall in love with the characters, their internal and external battle of right and good, and all the brilliance J.K. Rowling affords us. If there was no better time than weeks on end at home together, well here we were. Together we tore through the first four books with an insatiable appetite for wands and wizards, Hermione and Harry, and lo and behold, I could read again.

Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner was my first full-fledged adult book of quarantine, and it was the exact far-off respite I needed, full of charm and grace, and just so happens that the protagonist is a full-fledged believer in the power of books. Me too. (But also, how much do I miss the library? So much. We have a towering stack of titles that sits unreturned over the last months of stay-in-place, all that were read multiple times. I’m very ready to browse and borrow again, as soon as we are able.) 

In lieu, I’ve made a few book purchases to quell my need for new reads. When Fanny Singer and I were chatting support for small businesses, she shared her book-lover find, Bookshop.org. It pulls your order from independent bookstores across the country so in buying you are giving a much-needed community boost. Yes, please.

So here’s my latest haul (some purchased, some still sitting in cart, some languishing on my to-read list, all very much wanted):

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_546

The Book of Longings, Sue Monk Kidd

The Bookshop on the Shore, Jenny Colgan (sequel-ish to her above book)

The Giver of the Stars, Jojo Moyes (another power-of-book-related story)

9780008280147

We Must Be Brave, Frances Liardet

Writers & Lovers, Lily King

This Tender Land, William Kent Krueger

81eBEp3PzXL-1

Wow, No Thank You., Samantha Irby

Circe, Madeline Miller (and also, The Song of Achilles)

The Art of Showing Up: How to Be There For Yourself and Your People, Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Wellness

December 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Sagittarius: It is time to recognize your purpose, your beauty, and your strength.

image 3 Weiye Tan:Alex Grodkiewicz

I’M GLAD YOU ASKED:Is It Just Me?

"What are we? Are we monkeys filled with art and chaos? Why are we like this? Why do I care so much about what happens to us if nothing lasts and impermanence is the only truth?"

CVBakes_Aran Goyoaga_p280

Aran Goyoaga on Cultivating Love in the Kitchen + Meringue Cake with Roasted Apples From Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple

"Set a humble table and eat beautiful simple food. Nothing has to be fancy. When you make yourself comfortable, your guests will feel comfortable."

creativehabit-default-web

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life, Twyla Tharp

Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, Olivia Laing

100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children and Theatre, Sarah Ruhl

71Kqghd9AjL

Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad, Austin Kleon (his blog is also a wellspring of creative inspiration)

The Little Library Cookbook: 100 Recipes from Your Favorite Books, Kate Young

For the kids, but also very much for me:

Rooftoppers, Katherine Rundell (upon reading The Good Thieves  I quickly fell in love with her writing and wit)

Astrid the Unstoppable, Maria Parr

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo (recommended by the brilliant Ann Patchett, and I loved her latest The Dutch House so so much)

Hello, Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly

The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill

The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate

Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion, Andrea Beaty

(And also a variety of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dragon Masters, and Star Wars: Jedi Academy.)

My sister just read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (her review: heavy, but worth it), and has since moved onto lighter fare with The Vacationers by Emma Straub. Which also makes me want to pick up Straub’s newest, All Adults Here (more especially after visiting her Brooklyn bookstore Books Are Magic earlier this year. It's a delight.)

And when I saw my mom last she hastily pressed her well-worn copy of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander into my hands, along with the next book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber. That’s a total of 1,797 pages, enough to find my way back into a reading habit, most definitely. (My mom would also like to tell you that she is reading The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel and would highly, highly recommend.)

And if you are still finding yourself adrift in the world of words, may I offer this advice (and this) to buoy yourself back to the books: “Because every day with a book is slightly better than one without, and I wish you nothing but the happiest of days." (Jenny Colgan, The Bookshop on the Corner)

P.S. More book lists here to peruse

Related

Wellness

December 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Sagittarius: It is time to recognize your purpose, your beauty, and your strength.

image 3 Weiye Tan:Alex Grodkiewicz

I’M GLAD YOU ASKED:Is It Just Me?

"What are we? Are we monkeys filled with art and chaos? Why are we like this? Why do I care so much about what happens to us if nothing lasts and impermanence is the only truth?"

CVBakes_Aran Goyoaga_p280

Aran Goyoaga on Cultivating Love in the Kitchen + Meringue Cake with Roasted Apples From Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple

"Set a humble table and eat beautiful simple food. Nothing has to be fancy. When you make yourself comfortable, your guests will feel comfortable."

Wellness

November 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Scorpio: You are capable of victory this month. The question is, what are you going to do with it?

Engagement_Photos-JStrutz-080121-0356

Mixed Emotions: Casha Doemland Discusses the Impact of Racial Ambiguity on Personal Identity

“I don’t know how somebody can look at somebody, without knowing anything about them, and just project all this negativity that then turns into hate,” she says. “It’s hard for me cause I just don’t get it because I don’t look at anybody and feel that way.”

IMG_7453

I'M GLAD YOU ASKED: To Say or To Go

"She’s always been sort of a loner and at this point I’m starting to worry about her. We have never been super close, but we’re close enough that I think I could say something to her. The question is: What do I say and should I really say it?"

BA61E46A-1575-43F8-B564-B28589944132

Single Women & Their Spaces: A Before and After Vacation Rental in Yucca Valley

"We both knew we wanted a different kind of independence for our futures. Hailing from Ireland and Minnesota and living in LA - purchasing property here is out of our reach. We share the love of creation and also the love of a different kind of financial freedom."

Latinx Art Is American Art Graphic

Karen Vidangos Wants To Fill The Gap In the Art World with Latinx Art Collective

"I want curators, educators, collectors, anyone with an interest in Latinx art to connect with these artists. If you are someone looking to commission a work, need a guest speaker for a panel, want to begin your Latinx art collection, LAC is where you can begin your search."