1. You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld When Jim was here, we stopped in to see Ruby. She had a Sittenfeld rec for both of us. She'd mentioned a short story about a Christian food blogger and I knew it was the book for me. Cut to three days later, when I had devoured the whole collection. Sittenfeld is on the top of my "read everything written by" list. She's hilarious, in the most subtle way, and writes about everyday life irreverently. I'm excited to see if Jim loves Prep, one of her other books, as much as I did when I read it.
2. Lunch In Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard My love language is technically Gifts, but really its just French food memoirs. Ruby has long funneled my addiction like the best best friend she is, but this one was really a hit. What I love is the formula. There should always be an expat to either gawk at or sympathize with. She should go from average to Julia Child over the course of somewhere between six months and four years. The importance of fresh vegetables should be stressed and used as a metaphor. Snacking should be spoken against, walking in ballet flats spoken for, and an "easy" chocolate mousse recipe included at some point.
3. The Blurry Years by Eleanor Kriseman At Greenlight one afternoon, I picked up this book on my way to check out. The bright cover caught my eye and the urging from the cashier didn't hurt. Turns out, Eleanor worked at Greenlight and was giving a talk the next week. I hurried to the park to start the book right after. Place drives this coming of age novel-the stickiness of pre-cell phone Florida is almost palpable. The book follows a young girl and her mother as they grow together and apart in a truly cinematic fashion. It reminded me of The Florida Project in its technicolor snapshot of innocence.
4. Endless Life by Scott Cairns Yet another book recommendation from my Aunt Shell. This book is a collection of selections from mystics, both East and West. Each mystic and his or her ideology is beautifully rendered into poetry. Both an anthology and memoir, reading this book was a corporate experience. While there were moments I longed for more context, a deeper sense of belonging, especially for lesser known thinkers, I loved the connected movement from one vision of spirituality to the next.
5. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer I picked up this book at Reader's World in Michigan after procrastinating buying it for months. You know the feeling, a beautiful hard cover with rave reviews that HAPPENS to weigh six pounds. I bit the bullet, lugged it back to Brooklyn, and admired it on my windowsill for a month. I tucked it under my arm on the way to the train one morning and found myself making excuses to read it for the entirety of the week. Feminist, relevant, and reckless in its evaluation of female friendships, this book makes a strong argument for what modern fiction should read like. Greer, a recent college grad, moves to New York to work for a feminist icon, only to discover that the sacrifices she makes on the way define her character more than the title she holds.
6. A Night In Brooklyn by D. Nurkse In true form, I wandered the rows of poetry in Greenlight and picked this book up on a whim. With poetry, taking risks is somehow more personal. A great poem can shape an entire season of life. A collection of poems that doesn't land can feel so discouraging. Any way, this book is fantastic; especially if Brooklyn is an important place for the reader. Place driven poetry, does it get any better? I really loved "The Present."