Staff Reads: April 26

Staff Reads: April 26

staff reads

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 Spring Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

This week, I’ve been reading Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women. It’s a reported work of nonfiction that takes readers into the lives of three different women living in the United States. One woman is dealing with the fallout of a relationship she had with a teacher when she was his student. Another woman is struggling to find a way forward in her marriage when her husband won’t kiss her. The third grapples with her feelings about how her husband encourages her to bring other people into their intimate relationship. These portraits are lifelike and riveting, and I can safely say Taddeo has written something that doesn’t immediately remind me of anything else. This is nonfiction that reads like a novel, and an engrossing one at that. —Elizabeth

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series is coming to a close this month with a moving story about two souls overcoming past trauma and finding a brighter future together. After her father betrays her and their country, Nya Jerami is looking for a fresh start and she finds one in the form of Johan von Braustein, tabloid prince of Liechtienbourg. Cue a fake engagement, fairy tale references, and a nuanced look at the ways families can hurt and heal us. This is a stunning series and the final book delivers everything I loved about the first installments: top-notch flirting, a strong focus on female friendships, and a heroine who takes control of her own destiny. A Prince on Paper is on shelves next week and I’d highly recommend preordering it now—series fans and new readers alike won’t want to miss this final installment. —Kelly

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

I’ve just started reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig, which comes out this summer. The description of the book reminded me a lot of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker but, so far, that’s where the similarities end. Where The Dreamers is, well, dreamy… Wanderers reads more like an edge-of-your-seat, binge-able television series, in the best way. The storytelling is spot-on, with a mysterious and emotionally-driven introduction to the mysterious sleepwalking “sickness” followed by a look at the bigger picture. I’m looking forward to discovering how these characters deal with the mystery they must unravel, and the dangers inherent in nationwide panic. —Kristina

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I think it’s pretty clear that here at Bookish, we are Christina Lauren stans. We even had a pull quote in the front of the advance copy of The Unhoneymooners that said, “In our eyes, Christina Lauren can do no wrong.” And we stand by it. I started The Unhoneymooners one morning before work and found myself thinking about it all day long and waiting until the end of the work day to get back to it. This story follows Olive, whose twin sister Amy is extremely lucky. Amy has won mostly a free wedding, including dresses, the buffet, and even a free honeymoon. Unluckily, everyone gets sick from the food at the wedding. Olive and her annoying new brother-in-law are the only two unaffected and are sent together on the free honeymoon. This book was just hysterical and I loved all of the cringe-worthy moments. Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, and it was done so well here. I’m already desperate to read the next book from Christina Lauren! —Dana

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

In her debut essay collection, Tolentino begins by thinking about why she’s written this collection in the first place. She writes that she was confused after the 2016 election and that through writing, she finds herself less confused. But then, she doubles back on herself, wondering if the effort to create a coherent narrative is a way to falsely reassure herself that she has a grip on a world where crises compound unceasingly and we don’t have the mental capacity to take in apocalypses on all sides. Through essays on barre classes, athleisure, her brief stint as a teen reality tv star, and growing up on the internet, Tolentino writes about what it means to participate in a patriarchal, late-capitalist world, even while you can see it as a scam you’re falling for. I’ve been a fan since she was an editor at Jezebel and always look for her byline in The New Yorker, so I’m partial, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on year-end lists. —Nina

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Last week, I read the first volume of Fence by C.S. Pacat and it reminded me strongly of Check, Please!, one of my favorite books of 2018. I ordered the second volume of Fence from my local indie, and while I wait for it to arrive I’ve decided to reread Ngozi Ukazu’s debut. This graphic novel, which began as a webcomic, follows Samwell college freshman Bitty as he joins the hockey team, learns to conquer his fear of being hurt during a match, and begins to fall for Jack, the team captain. Opening this book feels like reuniting with old friends, and it’s just as hilarious, charming, and addictive as the first time I read it. —Kelly

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I loved Nicola Yoon’s debut novel Everything, Everything and when I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation of The Sun Is Also A Star, I knew I needed to read it. This book follows two teens on their adventures around New York City as they meet, become friends, and fall in love in a single day. I didn’t know what I would think of this insta-love based narrative, but I think Yoon does it so well. The story works because it shows how one person can change the way you think and feel in a short period of time. The book follows Natasha on the day before she and her family are to be deported to Jamaica, and Daniel who is Korean American and wants to be a poet, which isn’t exactly what his parents have in mind for him. This story is told from both of their points of view as well as the people they come in contact with on that day. It shows that you never really know what the people you meet are going through. I am excited to see how this story is adapted for film, and I can’t wait to go see it in theaters. —Dana

The Man Who Caught the Storm by Brantley Hargrove

My current read is The Man Who Caught the Storm by Brantley Hargrove. It’s a true story about an amateur tornado chaser named Tim Samaras. Samaras had no college education, yet his engineering talents and creativity allowed him to develop innovative tools to advance the scientific study of tornadoes in the field. The book gives an account of his brilliance at solving problems, his triumphs and frustrations with fielding and funding scientific experiments while chasing tornadoes, and his many encounters with extremely dangerous storms, including the one that ended his life. This book is perfect if you like TV shows about storm chasers, or want to learn more about how tornadoes work. —Alyce


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