What We’re Reading: June 23

What We’re Reading: June 23

Do you wonder what the Bookish team is reading? Do you want to take a peek at our bookshelves? You’ve come to the right place. Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations. Tell us what you think in the comments!

If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Summer Previews for a look at the best books of the season.


Wires and Nerve

I’m a big fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series (as my lengthy GIF reaction to Winter proves), so it was about time that I dove into this graphic novel that picks up where the final book left off. Reading Wires and Nerve felt like revisiting old friends, and it honestly made me want to reread the series from the start. It was great seeing how all of my favorites are doing after the war, and I really enjoy how this story is diving deeper into Iko’s character. Plus, it is always great to see an artist’s interpretation of characters, and I adored Douglas Holgate’s version of Winter, and her gorgeous hair. Overall, I’d highly recommend this for fans of the original series. —Kelly


Crazy Rich Asians

I was lucky enough to travel to Singapore recently, and a friend recommended I pick up Crazy Rich Asians since it is set there. It was fun to see a place I was visiting through a novel, and I landed at Changi Airport ready to see black-and-white houses, feast at a hawker center, and stroll along Orchard Road. —Elizabeth

The Double

I’ve recently returned from holiday in Portugal, so decided to read José Saramago for the first time. The Double is a strange and beguiling tale of a man who discovers a bit-part actor is his exact body double. It sounds like a rather hackneyed premise, but the writing and intelligence make this an innovative and consistently satisfying read. Once I’ve finished this, I’ll be on to another of his classics, The Cave. —Stuart


Fancies and Goodnights

I’m reading Fancies and Goodnights, a collection of short stories by John Collier with an introduction from Ray Bradbury. Collier is not an author I was familiar with—in fact, this book was a gift—but in Ray Bradbury’s introduction he wrote, “I had never heard of John Collier, but when I got the book home the stories in it changed my life.” You can’t get much more intriguing than that! Who is this man, and what are his stories, that so deeply influenced one of my favorite sci-fi authors?! Two stories in, and I can easily see the appeal. These very brief stories (the first couple are only seven or eight pages each) pack a lot of punch (and surprised laughter). Bradbury also wrote, “one reason John Collier has been forgotten is because he had an arched eyebrow and a strange smile… the stories here are not serious, and thank god for that. We live in a time that has grown too serious, when we are inundated with sad news. John Collier traveled light. He saw the irony in human encounters and the fun in putting it down.” —Kristina

Lilac Girls

I just finished reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly—a remarkable story of hope, love, and survival. I wish I had known while I was reading the book that it is based on a true story. I learned that at the end in the author’s note and immediately wanted to read it again with a new perspective! While this is certainly not a light beach read, it is a page-turner. Next spring when the lilacs are in bloom, I’d like to tour the former summer home (the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Bethlehem, CT) of Caroline Ferriday, one of the main characters in the book. —Alicia

The Red Parts

I’ve been wanting to read Maggie Nelson forever. I’ve started with her 2007 book The Red Parts, recently re-released with a new preface. It might be the best book I’ve read so far this year. On one of the book’s tracks, she tells a harrowing true-crime story of her Aunt Jane’s 1969 murder and the trial—35 years later—of a man arrested for the murder when new DNA technology discovers a match. On another track, she builds a brilliant memoir covering her life and that of family members, a family living in the shadow of that killing. A poet with a cerebral bent, Nelson writes pitch-perfect prose, laden with thought but tight and crystalline, and her storytelling is remarkable in its use of detail and emotional nuance. Every page has been making me feel, remember, reflect. I’m excited to move on to more of her work, including Bluets and recent award-winner The Argonauts. —Phil




Staff Reads



  1. I’m reading Kfir Luzzatto’s book Exodus 95. If anyone loves a great thriller then this one should go on your list. It’s very good, kfirluzzatto.com is his site for info. It’s very good.

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