What We’re Reading: October 2

What We’re Reading: October 2

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 Fall Previews.


The Sleeper and the Spindle

I flipped open the cover and started reading this book the moment I got my hands on it. You’ll find it on our YA Fall Preview and for good reason. The artwork is incredible, I wanted more on each and every page. I’d read an entire fairy tale collection designed by Chris Riddell. Then there’s Neil Gaiman who always manages to take my expectations and turn them on their head. At first I finished wanting so much more detail, but in that way it perfectly mimics the fairy tales it was inspired by: straight-forward and fantastical. —Kelly

The Bell Jar

This is a book I find myself returning to with some regularity. Sylvia Plath’s writing is so beautiful and haunting and visceral here, and Esther Greenwood feels very real as a character (I suppose it helps that she, too, is a young woman who moves to New York City to write). I really wish Plath had written more novels—she may be best known for her poetry, but her prose really shines. —Elizabeth

Emerald City

The best short stories feel like full novels in themselves, compacting 200 pages of emotional intensity into 15 minutes. The best of Jennifer Egan‘s stories manage this, leaving you with a thousand-yard stare and feeling used up. Best read in story-per-subway-ride increments, I’ve been floating around with this for a while, but would be happy to have it there for thousands of rides to come. —Luke


The News from Ireland and Other Stories

It’s always fun to return to a book years later and see if it has the same pull and so far this William Trevor collection does. The near-novella title story takes us to the Irish Famine from the perspectives of a British couple who inherit a countryside manor house and their Irish butler, Fogarty. Other modern-day stories do what Trevor does best: bring us inside the longings and sadnesses and hinge moments of life: moments that cause a pain that never quite vanishes; moments where a character’s innocence about the world is reduced. His characters are often people overlooked in life, people who carry inside themselves complicated, wounded subjectivities. Though one fine story here looks at an older woman whose flamboyant manner and appearance hide life illusions that seem almost girl-like and whose years as a London showgirl have colored her inner world in an everlasting way. —Phil

I’ll Never Write My Memoirs

I’ve followed Grace Jones’ career for years. We actually had drinks together at the launch party of Madonna’s book Sex in 1992. I’m very much looking forward to checking out this book. —Bob


The Story of Diva and Flea

Who do I need to call at Disney to get this made into a movie? Tell me and I’ll do it. This book is charming and irresistible. —Kelly

Jane Eyre

It seems like most of the women I know rank Jane Eyre among their top books of all time, and most of the men I know haven’t read it… which makes me feel a little better about this major gap on my reading resume. I’m just beginning it, so I don’t know what makes it so appealing to women yet (dangerous yet ultimately noble love interest? A woman who overcomes limitations put upon her by others? Donald Trump being punched repeatedly in the face?)—but obviously you’re rooting for Jane from the opening pages. At the very least I’ll finally have read the antecedent to The Wide Sargasso Sea, one of my own favorite books. —Joe


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