Staff Reads: September 14

Staff Reads: September 14

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

Cherry by Nico Walker

I recently started reading Nico Walker’s Cherry, which got a lot of buzz over the summer. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I will say this: The bank robbery scene that takes place in the prologue had me completely hooked. Contrary to the breathless, high-adrenaline way in which robberies are often described, the narrator sounds almost bored by the encounter. Walker writes, “Usually the tellers are pretty cool: You give them a note or tell them you’re there to do a robbery, and they go in the cash drawers and lay the money on the counter, and you take it and you leave and that’s all there is to it. Really it’s very civilized. It’s like a quiet joke you’ve shared with them.” —Elizabeth

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

At the end of last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Colleen Hoover about her new book All Your Perfects. It tells the story of Quinn and Graham, a couple deeply in love but struggling to save their marriage after years of trying and failing to get pregnant. This was the first book I’ve read by Hoover and I recognized instantly why she’s such a fan favorite. Everything from the challenges that Quinn faces to her narration made her feel real and relatable. Through the reading process she became a friend that I desperately wanted to see rise out of the darkness that had consumed her. This is a heartbreaking story, but also one filled with hope and the important reminder to shine more light on our “perfects” than our flaws. —Kelly

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

Sonya Lalli’s The Matchmaker’s List was a refreshing surprise. I read it on a whim, mostly because it was compared to The Wedding Date, which hit a tender part of my heart I didn’t even know existed. The initial conceit is that the narrator, Raina, while still heartbroken over an ex, has to manage her grandmother’s expectation that she settle down and marry a nice Indian boy sooner rather than later. I was expecting the story to show a series of charmingly terrible bad dates that would end in a happily ever after with both Raina and her Nani perfectly content. What I got was so much more complicated. The Matchmaker’s List takes on generational trauma, complex female friendships, tradition, sexuality, cultural identity, and the murky line between what we want and what we have been told to want. But don’t worry: There are still charmingly bad dates. —Nina

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

In The Lost City of the Monkey God, Douglas Preston tells the true story of a pre-Columbian city in Honduras. Descriptions of the city appear in the notes of explorers from the early 1500s, but the exact location of the city remained unknown. The book covers the search for the city, a first expedition to a promising site, and then takes a surprising turn—connecting the members of the expedition to the original inhabitants of the city in a fascinating way. —Mary

Flawed by Andrea Dorfman

I enjoyed this true story about author Andrea Dorfman’s journey to self-discovery. Ever since her friend got a nose job in ninth grade, Andrea felt a certain sense of betrayal in regards to plastic surgery. She felt like people should just be happy being themselves and that plastic surgeons were motivated by something other than a desire to help. That is, until she met and began to fall in love with a plastic surgeon herself. At first, she resists her feelings, but she gradually realizes that he truly helps his patients. You’ll have to read the book yourself to see whether they live happily ever after or not. A mix of text and graphics, this sweet book will definitely put a smile on your face. —Myf

Something New by Lucy Knisley

In this graphic memoir, Lucy Knisley invites readers along on her journey down the aisle. She’s open and honest about the ups and downs of planning a wedding, making the entire book feel like an intimate conversation with a friend. Knisley covers a lot of ground in this book—everything from finding the perfect dress to concerns of her bisexual identity being erased, from deciding on a menu to thinking about how feminism fits into the gender stereotypes that surround weddings. I’m someone who adores weddings (give me a Say Yes to the Dress marathon any day of the week and I’m happy), so I loved the history of the ceremony and traditions that Knisley wove in here. I also connected strongly with her struggle to make sure she didn’t lose her identity in the process of getting hitched. I greatly enjoyed Knisley’s art and storytelling style, and I’m already itching to dive into her book Relish. —Kelly

Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by carla bergman and Nick Montgomery

2018 has been a thrilling and exhausting year to be alive. Joyful Militancy has been helping me make sense of it. Montgomery and bergman describe trends and practices all over the world where people are coming together with a shared devotion to being more actively engaged in the world and with one another. These people are not motivated by rigid and abstract political ideology, but by joy. For the authors, joy isn’t the same as happiness; joy describes the capacity for people to change, grow, and feel new things. It’s the capacity to build strong and supportive relationships in one’s community and across difference. From these joyful relationships, deep changes can occur in the fabric of everyday life. This little book is a real balm for the vortex of political bros yelling at each other about Karl Marx and the never-ending Twitter fights about who has the hottest and most perfect take on that day’s political crisis. It is a reminder that in order to build a better world, we need to truly support our communities and to let ourselves be supported by them. —Nina

She Wants It by Jill Soloway

Fans of the Amazon TV show Transparent will love reading about the life and experiences of the show’s creator, Jill Soloway. In She Wants It, Soloway examines their parent coming out as transgender, and also tells the story of their own shift in identity from straight to queer. This book was also just named a must-read of the season on our fall preview! —Myf


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