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.
Publish date:

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, 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):


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)


We Must Be Brave, Frances Liardet

Writers & Lovers, Lily King

This Tender Land, William Kent Krueger


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


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


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



Motif Founder Shanetta McDonald On Storytelling, Healing, & Connection

"By opening up about these unique experiences, women of color build esteem and lift the shame of hiding their true selves from the world. We’re able to be seen, and feel heard, and that is healing."

Where do we go from here Headshots

Where Do We Go From Here? Join The Fold For A Conversation About The Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Mothers In The Workplace

Join us for a free virtual event featuring Angela Garbes, The Fold's Nora Gomez-Strauss and hosted by Executive Editor, Amanda Carter Gomes.


March 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Pisces: Striving towards your vision is very different than gazing wistfully upon someone else's. There are amazing gifts out there all around you, being offered freely and with great love, but if you don't bother to raise your head then you surely won't bother to see them.


Bite-sized Visioning for Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is in retrograde, so let's make it simple. Here are a few easy prompts for you to tell your story and hold your vision.


A Conversation On Menopause & The Stories She Documents With Filmmaker, Bronwen Parker-Rhodes

"There is so much about the female body that doesn’t get discussed enough and many women struggle and suffer in silence because of it."


February 2021 Tarotscopes

Dear Aquarius: Do not hide from your previous selves. Do not deny the sharp, tempered strength of your history. That is exactly what brings you here to this moment of power and renewal.

peace flag

On Healing & Hope: "Imagine What We Can Do Next"

"As a parent yearning for a more equitable future for her children, as a human yearning for the earth to survive more lifetimes, I hope we can remind ourselves that the work does not end here."


Narrative Intelligence: Mapping + Meaning, A Free Virtual Event with Laura Sullivan Cassidy in Conversation with The Fold's Founder, Amanda Carter Gomes

A conversation about our personal plotlines and how we can write and direct them—even in this time of trauma, grief, and uncertainty.