This week is my father’s memorial service, on what would have been his 80th birthday. I’m also trying to work—at the store, on my screenplay—and you know, be a person. I feel a little bit like an octopus, if an octopus had two jobs and two children and was also a wedding planner.
One thing I’ve been doing, happily, through all of this, is reading. I thought this week I’d share some of the books I’ve read recently and really enjoyed, and you can all buy/pre-order them, and then I get to feel like I’ve done a mitzvah. Deal? Deal.
Clint Smith, The Word Is Passed
You know what I love? Buying a book in an airport. Do I always have 3-6 books in my bag, and dozens more downloaded on my Libro.fm app? Of course. Do I sometimes just need something else? Of course! We hosted Clint once a few years ago, when he talked to Colson Whitehead about The Nickel Boys, and I’d read some of Clint’s poetry, but I’d somehow never picked up this absolute masterpiece. I wish that I could zap this deeply thoughtful book into the brain of every American citizen, especially the ones who don’t think they need it. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. Poets should write everything, let’s be honest.
Rebecca Makkai, I Have Some Questions for You
Okay, if the traffic at my store is any indication, you all know this is going to be good and are buying it in droves, but in case it’s not on your radar—murder! Teenagers! Podcast! True crime! Memory! I loved it. You see? You’re already running to your local bookstore. As you should.
Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, Roaming
All of my booksellers are battling each other for the galleys of this incredible graphic novel. I blurbed it! And would blurb it a thousand times. Being 19 years old is objectively terrible and exciting and this book captures the worry and wonder of becoming a person PERFECTLY. Jillian gets extra points for not being grossed out when I told her that the illustration she did of me about 7 years ago was hanging in my bathroom.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens
Absolutely delightful fun on every single page, and an excellent reminder that it’s never too late to read something. There is no such thing as missing the boat. So clever, so funny, hallelujah.
Ashley Poston, The Seven Year Slip
I blurbed this one too. If you love a) The Lake House b) Kate and Leopold c) contemporary romance novels, then you will Eat This Up. I cried! Several times! I also loved Ashley’s first novel, The Dead Romantics….but I liked this one even more! Pre-order. Make future you happy.
If you wouldn’t read this book on the title alone, then what are you doing here. I blurbed this too. Krista is an old friend of mine from Rookie and I am so proud of her for this magnum lesbian bar opus! She visited every remaining lesbian bar in the country. I cried. It’s great.
Oh, man. I have enjoyed Nicole’s writing for years, and I loved her first memoir, but dang—this one, about losing both of her parents surrounding the pandemic, just gutted me. So many people lost loved ones during the pandemic, or couldn’t see loved ones during the pandemic, and this book is going to be such a comfort for all of us who have experienced loss in the last few years, to see how clearly that we’re not alone. A beautiful book.
Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group
Have you ever written a horror novelist a fan letter because reading 80’s-style horror novels makes you feel comforted? No, just me? I’ve read three of Grady’s books this year, and I love them all.
Thank god we can all choose whatever family members we are missing. And thank god my sister is a fucking genius. I don’t re-read very often, but I’m trying to do it more. Because of course I’m different when I last read the book, and so therefore the book is different, too. Guess what—it’s still perfect. Ann is, of course, still perfect. Long may she reign.
I picked up so many galleys at Winter Institute, and have been getting some really great ones in the mail, too. (LORRIE FUCKING MOORE, Y’ALL.) I’m almost done with Laura Lippman’s Prom Mom, which I am loving. God, books really fucking help, don’t they? With everything? Wishing you all a good week, and closing my eyes and hoping for the best in the next few days. If you have any Xanax-flavored thoughts, please send them my way. Woof.
I have such a love/hate relationship with posts like this that end up costing me $97 dollars. But, yay! More books!
I just finished I Have Some Questions For You and loooooooovvvvved it!! But I’m curious how Makkai churned out The Great Believers (another one of my faves!) and this novel -- they’re so different me, as in they feel like a single author couldn’t have written them both. Goes to show that great writers can make any idea/topic a great read.