Staff Reads: March 29

Staff Reads: March 29

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.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I’ve always had a fascination with folklore and mythology—the stories themselves are indulgently vivid and the ultimate escape. I recently picked up Circe, which is a somewhat new tale in an ancient world. Circe as a character and god has existed for ages, but her story was never fleshed out. Madeline Miller has given Circe a voice (telling the story in the first person) and the depth and humanity she deserves. I already know I’ll be sad when this story ends, but I’m hoping Miller has more stories planned. —Tarah

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I’ve been looking forward to reading Michelle Obama’s memoir for months. Realizing I had an available Audible credit, I quickly snatched up the audiobook and dove in. Whether she was playfully dragging her husband or passionately speaking about her goals as first lady, Obama completely captivated me. It struck me how incredibly thoughtful she is in everything she says and does. In particular, a chapter about retreat weekends with her friends stood out to me. She used these weekends not only as a chance to catch up but as an opportunity where they could all challenge themselves mentally and physically and find support in each other. While listening to Obama’s narration, I was delighted by our similarities (a weakness for Chipotle and lazy weekends spent watching Say Yes to the Dress), in awe of her honesty, and inspired by her resilience. It was a joy to pop in my headphones and listen to her talk about everything from childhood piano lessons to sharing conspiratorial smiles with the Queen. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. Obama is a fantastic narrator and her story is a powerful reminder about our ability to define ourselves and the chances we have to continue evolving, growing, and becoming the best version of ourselves. —Kelly

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

I’ve been excited to pick up Joanne Ramos’ The Farm ever since I first heard about it earlier this year. It’s the story of several “Hosts” at an ultra high-end surrogacy center called Golden Oaks where women are paid staggering sums of money to give birth to other women’s babies. So far, I’m enjoying Ramos’ insight into the complicated dynamics between Hosts, Clients, and the staff at the center. This book touches on race, class, and motherhood in fascinating ways, and I can’t wait to keep reading. —Elizabeth

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Earlier this year the Bookish editors rounded up several book related podcasts that they recommended, including Fated Mates. One of the hosts of Fated Mates is Sarah MacLean, who is among my favorite historical romance authors, and the podcast is dedicated to a long running paranormal romance series. I had never heard of the series, but I was interested in listening to MacLean dissect the books since I had always wanted to get into the adult paranormal romance genre. I read the first book and really found myself pulled into this world of the Lore. This book follows a half-Valkyrie half-Vampire named Emma whose fated mate is Lachlain, a Lykae (werewolf). The Lykae and the vampires are enemies, making their relationship forbidden and conflicting for the two of them. This story is completely bonkers but it’s just so much fun that I couldn’t put it down. When I first started reading it, I wasn’t happy with the way Lachlain was such an alpha male. He portrayed such toxic masculinity that I was ready to put the book down, but the story really turns around. I loved listening to the corresponding podcast episode as soon as I finished to hear the hosts’ discussion of feminism, worldbuilding, and romance in this book. Now onto the sequel so I can listen to more of the podcast! —Dana

The Killer Across the Table by John Edward Douglas and Mark Olshaker

I’m currently reading The Killer Across the Table. This is a true crime book written by two FBI Behavioral Science Unit agents who more or less created the unit and have contributed endlessly to the field of criminal psychology. They’re the same agents portrayed in Netflix’s Mindhunter, which follows the beginning of their careers. The book focuses on four crimes and features interviews with the perpetrators. It also discusses what the agents learned about people who commit these types of crimes in general, and peppers in references to other well-known criminals and the interviews they had with them in the past (Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz, and more). It’s very fascinating and terrifying to read true accounts of these crimes, hear the killer’s intent and justification in their own words, and hear from the agents about how these criminals’ psyches are similar to infamous serial killers’. I always read before bed so this probably is a terrible choice for that, but it is definitely creepy, absorbing, and full of information if you are interested in criminal psychology. —Amanda

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

I’ve been hearing a ton of buzz about Megan Goldin’s thriller The Escape Room, which comes out this summer. It’s the story of a Wall Street teambuilding exercise that takes a disastrous turn and traps four people in an elevator. I will say, I’ve been stuck in an elevator before (alone with my laundry, which I was too scared to even think about folding) and I bet after reading this, I’ll be taking the stairs for a while. —Elizabeth

SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson

It’s hard to put into words how affecting Laurie Halse Anderson’s verse memoir SHOUT is. It’s a book that brought me to tears, lit a fire in me, and reminded me that I’m not alone in feeling angry and helpless at a world that seems determined to disrespect women. I was also reminded that together we can harness that rage and demand change. The book chronicles Anderson’s childhood, the sexual assault that later led her to write Speak, and the countless readers (both men and women) who have come to her to share their own stories. After reading, I had the honor of interviewing Anderson about this incredible book. SHOUT is heartbreaking and inspiring, empowering in its message, and an unforgettable read. —Kelly

Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda, illustrated by Jonny Sun

If you’re in need of an inspiring pick-me-up read, Gmorning, Gnight! will do just that. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame, this book is a collection of his daily tweets in which he starts his social media day with a “good morning’” and some type of inspirational phrase or random thought that pops into his head and then follows up with a good night that relates to the morning tweet. Some days’ tweets are inspired by what’s going on in the world and others are just random musings. I listened to this on audiobook and because it is just a compilation of tweets, it was very quick. Miranda narrated the audio and it really felt like he was talking directly to the listener. I missed out on the illustrations, however, so I definitely plan to pick up a print copy to get the full experience. —Dana

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

I’ve read this book three times a day, every day this week. A lot of us have been there—the toddler in your life wants a story, and then they want it again, and again. This can sometimes seem redundant, especially once you’ve memorized the book, but with The Snowy Day, I began to realize that there’s something special that happens when you reread an easily consumable book. You begin to internalize it, and you gain a confidence that when you know the story so well, you can begin to play with it (emphasizing different words or phrases, speeding them up or slowing them down) which is just delightful. So this week (and probably next week), The Snowy Day is our “play” book, and who knows what we’ll move on to next. —Tarah

New York City in 1979 by Kathy Acker

During a recent trip to London, I popped my head into the extremely cute Brick Lane Bookshop and picked up Kathy Acker’s New York City in 1979. In its few pages, Acker fits in overheard conversations, observations from outside a nightclub, speculation about the sexual lives of the members of the downtown arts scene, and an interrogation of how desire turns you into an insane person. Acker’s book is part of the Penguin Modern series—gorgeous short works by the greats sold for £1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Penguin takes that same idea across the Atlantic! —Nina

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  1. The more I read about The Farm by Joanne Ramos the more I want to read it! It is firmly near the top of my Must Read Wishlist. I think this will be a thought provoking read.

    I have also heard good things about the books written by Laurie Halse Anderson so her books are on my Want To Read Wishlist.

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