Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations; have you read any of them? Tell us in the comments what you’ll be reading this weekend! If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Summer Previews for a look at the best books of the season.
Guys, it’s finally happening: I’m reading The Bell Jar! I’ve brought this title up more than once for our monthly reading challenges, but never managed to squeeze it in. Already, I can see why this novel continues to resonate with readers years and years after its publication. Esther is incredibly honest in her narration, and her experiences of feeling lost and without direction are completely relatable. —Kelly
It’s no secret that I idolize Maggie Nelson. In The Red Parts, Nelson recounts the tale of her aunt’s brutal murder and the ensuing trial, and transports readers to what she calls the “dark crescent of land, where suffering is essentially meaningless, where the present collapses into the past without warning, where we cannot escape the fates we fear the most, where heavy rains come and wash bodies up and out of their graves, where grief last forever and its force never fades.” —Elizabeth
I’ve read many books about the history of the LGBT community in America, but rereading them helps me to remember how far the LGBT community has come in their struggle for equality. Sadly, in today’s world, we can also see how very far they have to go. Charles Kaiser’s book is one of many important history books that are ideal for those who want a better understanding of the struggle for equality. —Bob
It’s always fun when a book’s so good you know you’ll move right on to another one by the same author. That’s how I feel about 33 Artists in 3 Acts, by former Economist art critic Sarah Thornton. She ranges the world to profile top contemporary artists, from Cindy Sherman to Gabriel Orozco to Ai Weiwei, and develops a wonderfully insightful thematic architecture to hold it all together. What defines a true artist today, when so much of what is currently produced renders evaluations on the basis of technique moot? How do top artists develop the kind of self-belief necessary to sell their work for millions? What are these art titans really like, beyond the PR gloss supplied by their dealers? Thornton explores the importance of self-mythologizing, “reputation management,” and “credibility” sustenance in the creation of today’s art-world superstars. These things, as much as craft and imagination, launch artists onto the global stage. In Act II, called “Kinship,” she looks at peer relationships and networking. She even profiles Lena Dunham and her artist parents. Should be interesting. —Phil
I’m a big fan of V.E. Schwab, Christina Lauren, and Sarah J. Maas. All of these authors have highly recommended the Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat. It’s a slow-burning romance about two princes from warring nations. This is the first M/M romance novel I’ve read, and I thought it was fitting to pick it up now since June is LGBT Pride Month. I’m ready for political intrigue, complicated murder plots, and sizzling tension. —Kelly
Summer means it is vacation time. If I’m not traveling to places I’ve always wanted to visit, I like to take time off to read books that take to me to fantastic destinations. I always find books in the SFF genre that are set in a historical time and place to be very exciting. I’m going to begin my summer with Claudia Christian & Morgan Grant Buchanan’s Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator. —Bob