1. bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward In my quest to read more living, female poets, I came to Yrsa Daley-Ward. Her work has been featured lots on Instagram, which, in honesty, can sometimes be a turnoff for me as a reader. But not the case in this collection. The poetry felt linear, rhythmic, but always grounded. Poetry that borders on short story is a favorite of mine. Bone did just that in a really fresh, compelling way. If you enjoyed Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, then this is a perfect companion.
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger How did it take me this long to read The Catcher in the Rye? I have no idea. I had really great literature teachers and professors, but somehow I made it into my 20s without picking it up. Franny and Zooey is one of my all time favorites, which makes it even more unexplainable. It's also my best friend's favorite book. Which really stacks the odds of finding an excuse against me. Of course, I loved it. And felt so drawn into Holden Caulfield's New York. Now all I wish is that I was back in AP Lit so I could be a part of hour long discussions with the class about themes and character analysis.
3. The White Review I randomly stumbled upon this London based, art and literary magazine while loading up for my trip to Delaware. Normally, travel affords me the excuse to indulge in every magazines I love, like Elle and New York Magazine, but this time I wanted to try something new. The articles kept surprising me, one on mining in South Africa and the next an interview by Max Porter. It kept me occupied for hours by the pool and even made it back to my bookshelf. It's that good.
4. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal I bought this for Ruby for Christmas and grabbed a copy while we were together in Lewes. The cover, the title, come on. I started it 100% thinking it was a food memoir and had to run into the other room and ask Ruby if I was wrong. I was. It turned out to be a delightful novel, ideal for summer reading. Much of the story is set in the Midwest-familiar places like West Des Moines and St. Paul. It's about food (pop up dinner parties), family (mother daughter tension), and the restaurant industry. All things I'm really into, especially seasonally.
5. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey When it comes to beach reads, I find myself craving a thrilling page turner. Of course romance has its time and place, but not in my summer reads. This book had been mentioned to me loads and after deciding against flying with a 1,000 page Stephen King book, I ordered it. And it delivered. The plot is dystopian and futuristic, two things that can feel hard to read, but there is a sense of humanity throughout the entire plot. Think lighter Margaret Atwood plus Station Eleven.
6. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg I was on the phone with my mom right after my flight, begging her to listen to this podcast so we could discuss. On Being is my favorite podcast of all time and the episode in particular might be the most impactful. She had already started reading Option B and promised to finish by the time I got back. I can't really describe this book, other than there isn't a person who hasn't by changed by grief in some capacity. And that means that this book would benefit every person. The perfect blend of fact and narrative woven to create a book I'll carry with me always.