I am never one to turn down an unofficial holiday related to books, whether it’s Independent Bookstore Day or today’s Book Lovers Day! Who made this up? No idea. Will I celebrate it in its entirety? Heck yes.
Reading is one of the healthiest things I do for myself on a consistent basis. There’s nothing quite like escaping into another world to ease the pressure of everyday responsibilities. Shifting my perspective through a good novel is as good as a long weekend getaway to me. And for those of us worriers, it’s always refreshing to step outside of our own thoughts from time to time.
Below’s a list of books I’ve recently finished that I highly recommend, with a few thrown in that are on my bedside table in my “must read soon” pile.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
New Yorker columnist and truth-exposer of the Millienial generation, Jia Tolentino’s new short story collection is something a lot of us can relate to, even if we don’t want to admit it. Her book’s running theme is on the self-delusions so many of us in our 20’s and 30’s are creating about ourselves, based on social media, gender politics, and more.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
I think we all owe it to ourselves (and the one and only Toni Morrison) to reread or try a new book of hers this summer. I’ll be rereading Beloved, one of the first novels I ever read with a female African American protagonist. This book won the Pulitzer Price for Fiction in 1988.
Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller
I’m on the last 100 pages of Norwegian by Night and was drawn to this book because it combines two of my favorite things: a fictional crime drama and Scandinavia. The plot centers around Sheldon Horowitz, the elderly Manhattan widow who’s been brought reluctantly to Oslo, Norway to live with his granddaughter and her Norwegian husband.
Not long after his arrival in this foreign land, he witnesses a murder in their apartment building that takes him on a journey of the present that blurs into his past as a war veteran.
Goodbye to All That edited by Sari Botton
Goodbye to All That is a collection of short stories that I’m feeling a deep connection to recently. Struggling in the New York City heat, it’s easy to vacillate between the love and hate for this city - and these stories capture the bittersweet feelings we all get here.
The essays are written by prominent authors who have loved and decided to leave New York. This book is a beautiful ode to a place that might not be your home forever, but one you’ll never forget.
Lost Girls by Robert Kolker
I recently heard the author Robert Kolker speak at a true crime book event and the way he discussed justice for victims and the importance of due diligence in investigative reporting made me want to read Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery.
It’s a New York Times bestseller that focuses on a string of female sex worker murders, all still cold cases that are believed to have been done by the elusive Long Island Serial Killer.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney is a young author who received huge critical acclaim for her 2017 novel Conversations with Friends. Her newest novel is getting just as much buzz. It’s a classic beach read for me. It explores the delicate balance of social and economic class as they pertain to romantic relationships, but it isn’t getting me curious about anything deeper.
Woman of Color by Latonya Yvette
I’ve followed Latonya Yvette through her blog and social media for a long time. As a Brooklyn native and mother of two young children, I love following the intimate details of style and life in New York that she captures.
Her part memoir/part style guide was released this spring and it’s so much more than I could have imagined. Yvette takes us so intimately into her inner thoughts with stories from childhood up to the present, and it has been a privilege to witness a black woman write in a space that is usually reserved for only white women.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Lori Gottlieb is a professional psychotherapist in Los Angeles, with a wide range of clients from television directors to elderly divorcees. Her book strikes the perfect balance of humorous, informative, and heartfelt.
When a personal tragedy lands her in the opposite chair - that of the patient - we get to watch as Gottlieb begins to weave together a story of growth and retrospection that we often don’t get to see from this type of profession.