What Lindy West, Liara Tamani, and Sayantani DasGupta Are Reading Now

What Lindy West, Liara Tamani, and Sayantani DasGupta Are Reading Now


In order to be a good author, you’ve got to be a good reader, right? That’s what we’ve always thought anyway. To keep our shelves stocked with must-read recommendations, we scoured social media to discover the books that our favorite writers recommend. Looking for more recommendations? Check out our staff reads.

Andrea J. Loney spotted The Serpent’s Secret by her friend Sayantani DasGupta in a child’s loving arms at Trader Joe’s.

Lindy West caught up with two of her best friends, Samantha Irby and Ijeoma Oluo, and their bestsellers at her neighborhood bookstore.


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Leah Henderson is starry-eyed over Mae Among the Stars.

Maggie Stiefvater thinks this book is in her cards.

Kitchen Table Tarot, by Melissa Cynova This will be my new go-to recommendation when folks ask me about starting tarot. For some folks, tarot is a highly mystical experience, requiring ritual and song, candles and wall-hangings, crystals and gnomes. I respect that. Go for it. But for me, tarot’s always been a more mundane spiritual experience, one that notches into many spiritual beliefs and lifestyles. A conversation starter when people come to my house for the first time, or for connecting at the end of a long conference day. It’s just a way to dig into issues that you don’t otherwise know how to solve, celebrate the good parts of yourself, and connect with people in a way that digs deep beyond that odious poison, small talk. Cynova tackles the tarot with this same big-picture, no-nonsense approach. If you’re looking for a deep study of the cards’ history or an analysis of why the color blue appears on such card or a guide for how to spiritually dishwash the bad energy out of your cards, this isn’t the book for you; there are others that do that well. If you’re looking for an intuitive overview of how tarot might work for you and a pragmatic guide to learning the cards’ core meanings, this book is the one. It’s a warm, fast read with plenty of swearing, and I wish it could be bundled with every one of my tarot decks instead of the little one I wrote. It’s that good. Buy one for you and one for your best friend, and go through it together. A+ #tarot #ravensprophecytarot

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Anne Korkeakivi decided to make every day International Women’s Day with authors such as Alison Bechdel, Joy Harjo, and Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa.

Two weeks ago on International Women’s Day, I decided to pull some books written by women in different countries off my shelves and share them on my Twitter account. But IMO every day should belong to women around the world so. #tbt #womenwriters • • • Irish author Edna O’Brien has won no end of prizes, most recently the 2018 PEN Nabokov Award. Girl with Green Eyes is the 2nd volume in her groundbreaking Country Girls trilogy. • • • In 2014, American graphic novelist @AlisonBechdel received a MacArthur “Genius” grant. Fun Home is her first of two graphic memoirs; its Broadway adaptation won 5 Tonys. • • • Poet @JoyHarjo is a member of the Muskogee Nation. Crazy Brave is her extraordinary memoir. • • • Ugandan author, life coach & TED speaker Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa fled to Kenya as a child. Her memoir, Flame and Song, blends prose and poetry. • • • Finland’s Tove Jansson was an artist, illustrator, and author. Creator of #moomin, she also wrote brilliant adult fiction, such as The True Deceiver. • • • Author Eleanor Catton is of New Zealand nationality. At 28, she won the Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries. • • • South African author and activist Nadine Gordimer was a Nobel Laureate in literature. Her novel The Conservationist shared a Booker. • • • Nigerian author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a goddess. Purple Hibiscus was her first novel. • • • Born on a small island in Senegal, author, cultural commentator, and tv host Fatou Diome pursued a PhD in Strasbourg (where I also used to live). Her first novel has been translated as The Belly of the Atlantic.

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Sayantani DasGupta found Samira Ahmed’s Love, Hate & Other Filters out in the wilds of Philadelphia.

Liara Tamani isn’t feeling blue about reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Untwine by Edwidge Danticat, and The Mothers by Brit Bennett, among others.

Annie Harnett was on her way to Tampa with Will Boast’s Daphne..

Rion Amilcar Scott took to the skies with Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang.

Book came just in time for my flight.

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Caroline Leavitt can’t wait for this beautiful book by Meg Waite Clayton.

Myfanwy Collins
Myfanwy Collins is a Massachusetts-based mother, writer, and reader. She has an MA in English Literature and has published two novels and a collection of short stories. As a young writer, her mentor told her that in order to be the best writer, she needed to first be the best reader. She continues to pursue her best-reader merit badge.


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