I’m thrilled by the amazing recommendations that came in after my call for help in finding books by a diverse range of authors. I thought I’d quickly recap my new and improved reading list (loosely grouped by theme) for those who are interested.
First up is Ron Carlson’s The Hotel Eden, which I’m planning to read tomorrow as part of the 24-Hour Bookclub. If you’re local to Cambridge and want to meet up for an hour or two to drink coffee/tea/a beer and read together, let me know!
Also on the list are a handful of career-related books that have been recommended to me recently by various cool people. These aren’t necessarily hitting the diversity buttons I mentioned in my last post, but I’m excited about them anyway: Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, and Judith Hanson Lasater & Ike Lasater’s What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication.
A couple of other awesome non-fiction books that made it onto the list: Angela Y. Davis’s Women, Race, and Class and Anne Kingston’s The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century, which I’m looking forward to picking up at the library this weekend.
A whole slew of memoirs, which are quickly becoming my favorite genre: A Homemade Life and Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, both by Molly Wizenberg; Leah Vincent’s Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood (opinions on this one are mixed, but it’s a subject area that’s particularly interesting to me); and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China.
And lastly, some wonderfully diverse fiction recommendations: Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Kenzaburō Ōe’s A Personal Matter, Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North, and Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love.
If any of these sound interesting to you, I’d be delighted to bake cookies and chat about introversion / stir up a pitcher of cocktails and sit on the back porch and discuss modern marriage / email back and forth as we work our way through a 700+-page Pulitzer Prize winner. (I think this is what people mean when they talk about “book clubs,” though my approach is…considerably less formal.) Let me know!