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 Winter Previews for a look at the best books of the season.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been pretty stressed recently and seeking some literary escapism. My go-to getaway is romance: no impending doom, no dystopian future, just happily ever after. Cat Sebastian’s historical tale is sweet, endearing, and features two relatable and realistic heroes that I rooted for every step of the way. Sebastian also explores the challenges of living with debilitating anxiety at a time when that condition was misdiagnosed as madness. —Kelly
I don’t read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction because, truthfully, it kind of freaks me out. I’m a worrier, and I really don’t need any encouragement or inspiration on that front. That said, I started reading California without really knowing what I was in for, and have found it pretty impossible to put down. Edan Lepucki’s vision of the future is incredibly bleak, and I really hope she’s wrong about where we are headed. Troubled as I am, I’m having a hard time stepping away from this novel. —Elizabeth
At a time when the number women entering the fields of science, mathematics, and computers is diminishing, it’s exciting to see books coming out that acknowledge women’s contributions in those areas. The Rise of the Rocket Girls is the story of the women, known as “human computers,” who defied the norm by working after getting married and made American dreams come true by helping to put a man on the moon. The scope of this tale is so broad, incorporating the stories of so many women from the 1930s until present day, that at times it is almost too much information, and it does focus a little more than I would like on marriages, divorces, and fashion. That said, I would recommend reading this for its fascinating forgotten history, as well as some great insider insight into the space program itself. It’s great to see these women finally getting their due in books like this and Hidden Figures (which is on my TBR list after seeing that amazing movie). Hopefully we will see an influx of women into these fields, inspired by books such as this, as we can see the from these stories the overwhelming positive effects this can have. —Susan
I received a digital ARC of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley via NetGalley and am loving every (digital) page. The book tells the story of a devoted father with a bullet-riddled past and his teenage daughter. It smoothly alternates between his past exploits, their current life on the North Shore of Massachusetts, and the mystery surrounding his wife’s death. The pacing is superb and the characters perfectly wrought; this is one I’ll be sad to finish! —Annie
This month’s reading challenge is to pick up a love story, any kind of love story. I decided that it was time to revisit Wild. Cheryl Strayed’s incredible journey explores the love that she had for her mother, and it follows her one mile at a time as she learns to love and accept herself. It may be an unconventional love story, but it sure is a powerful one. —Kelly
What a wild, crazy, inspiring story this memoir is! I don’t remember what compelled me to put this book on my list, since I tend to gravitate more towards escapist fiction, but I am so glad I did. It is funny and interesting, while also giving us a glimpse into what it must have been like to grow up in South Africa as a mixed-race child (which is evidence of a crime, hence the title). While apartheid was only officially in force for the first several years of Trevor Noah’s life, we see the lasting ramifications of this terrible policy throughout his whole childhood. Noah drops a couple bombs in the beginning of the book about what happens later, so I cannot wait to complete this story to find out the details of what happened. Even if you are not a nonfiction fan or a fan of The Daily Show, I would highly recommend putting this book on your TBR list if you like funny, irreverent glimpses into history and compelling stories. —Susan
I’m returning to an old friend this weekend! Perhaps the seed was planted when I recently read An Open Book by John Huston, who directed the film adaptation of James Joyce’s masterful story “The Dead” not long after penning this memoir. At any rate, I can’t wait to reach that Dubliners-concluding story, and revisit all the other deft tales that precede it. I only wish I were getting to enjoy some of that snow that New York City and New England are receiving, as a snowy day or evening would be the perfect backdrop for the wintry close of “The Dead.” —Phil
This week I read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is a fast read—I finished it in less than an hour—it’s an essay based on her very popular Tedx talk. It touches on what feminism means and how the gender divide harms both women and men. She draws heavily on personal experience, which just serves to highlight how universal these experiences are. I believe it to be an important read for everyone—it’s interesting, witty, and digestible—there’s no reason not to pick it up! —Kristina
Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian explores the life of a high school boy named Junior who spends his life on an Indian reservation in Washington. Determined to change his destiny, Junior decides to leave his troubled reservation to create a better future for himself. He transfers to a new school outside of his reservation that only has one other Indian student. Alexie uses humor to lighten the upsetting experiences that Junior encounters on his journey, and the text is accompanied by beautiful illustrations drawn by Ellen Forney. This novel really pulled me in, and I am excited to learn more about Junior. —Anne Marie