Staff Reads: January 5

Staff Reads: January 5

Staff Reads: January 5

Do you wonder what the Bookish team is reading? Want to take a peek at our bookshelves? You’ve come to the right place. Here are the Bookish staff reads, although we can’t promise that the early release of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury won’t change our reading plans over the next few days. Tell us what you think in the comments!

If you need reading inspiration, check out our Winter Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

Long Way Down

Readers, when you pick up this book (and you most certainly should) know that you will not be able to put it down until you’ve finished. Jason Reynolds completely blew me away. This is an emotional and heartbreaking tale of a young boy being confronted by the ghosts of his past as he contemplates an irreversible decision. The writing is breathtaking, the characters are painfully real, and the story is unforgettable. It is one of the best verse novels I have ever read—a fact I told guests at every holiday party I went to this season because nothing could stop me from talking about this book. Go. Read. Now. —Kelly

The Wedding Date

I gobbled up Jasmine Guillory‘s The Wedding Date. I’m not much of a romance reader, but this book came highly recommended and did not disappoint. The Wedding Date is a great balance of funny, warm, smart, and steamy. Plus there are some nuanced discussions of race, privilege, and body image. Alexa and Drew don’t just have great chemistry; they like each other and have fun together. It feels refreshingly modern to have a male hero who has swoon-worthy looks but also supports the heroine’s career ambitions, cares deeply about her pleasure, and has supportive male friendships that involve him talking about feelings. Treat yourself to a mug of something warm (mulled wine?), and cozy up to this delightful novel. —Nina

Molly’s Game

I’m currently reading Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom. The movie trailer hooked me, and even though the movie is coming out this week, I had to get my hands on the book. I am about halfway through and I can’t wait to find out how it all turns out. —Brianna

Eleanor & Park

Whenever I read a book with considerable hype, I find myself checking my expectations. I fear I’ll be the one reader who doesn’t “get” the book. That was not the case here. Eleanor & Park was perfect: It broke my heart and put it back together again, had me ugly crying and laughing out loud, and tempted me to cancel my New Year’s Eve plans in favor of a night spent with these incredible characters. There are so many wonderful things about this book, but my favorite aspect was how the love between Eleanor and Park was allowed to be weird. Eleanor wants to eat Park’s face off and Park thinks Eleanor’s smile looks like the Joker’s. Their love isn’t described in terms just anyone could use; it’s shaped by their personalities and it was beautiful. If you haven’t yet read this, I would recommend picking it up immediately. —Kelly

Maps

While we were at a bookstore doing some Christmas shopping, my son fell in love with Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. Books are always my favorite presents and so I was happy to have another one to add to my list to get for him. He was thrilled to find it under the tree. We’ve spent many hours examining the beautiful illustrations and learning so much about this amazing world we live in. I can verify that even though this is a picture book, it will appeal to readers of all ages. —Myf

House of Mirth

I’ve been reading House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, a book I always figured I should have already read. The protagonist, Lily Bart, feels very doomed. She is 29, single, and looking to marry a man who will provide her with the luxurious life she is accustomed to, even if she can’t afford it. I’m reading along as she makes worse and worse decisions, each circumscribed by the constraints of being a society woman at the turn of the century in New York. Like Madame Bovary, Lily Bart can be read as selfish, calculating, and shallow, but you see the ways that society gives her a limited vision of what a “successful” life looks like, and then punishes her when she strives for it. Reading the classics sometimes feels dutiful, like homework. Not so with House of Mirth. —Nina

Priestdaddy

I saw Priestdaddy show up on numerous year-end lists, and I’ll admit that I was intrigued. But what pushed me to finally pick the book up was a friend’s recommendation: She said Patricia Lockwood’s memoir wasn’t just great–it was also hilarious. I’m having a lot of fun reading this book.  —Elizabeth

1 COMMENT

  1. I love Edith Wharton and Henry James, so much that I often get their works mixed up. It’s crazy, because both are literary, which I dislike immensely, often have plots and characters that I can not find one thing in common with, and are such damn snobs, both their work and the authors themselves.

    Hope Nina likes her choice!

    P.S. John Banville recently did a Henry James-esque sequel to The Portrait of a Woman called Mrs. Osmond if you’re interested. It sort of failed on the Henry James front, close though and it was still nice to have a sequel.

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