The best and worst quality I brought to the table when applying for jobs in the publishing industry was that I read everything. I was advised against telling this to prospective HR managers because it sounds vague and unfocused, and told I should instead play up a distinctive niche in which I’m a reading expert. Swarthy corset-bound romances? Political biographies? Swedish noir? Narrative nonfiction by award-winning journalists? Alas, I still find myself reaching for vastly different styles, genres, and subjects to meet whatever mood I’m in. This is especially clear as I look back on some of the best novels I read this spring. Each has a tone, pacing, and content unique from the others—and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sorry, career advisors!
And what are the best books you read recently? Email us. We can’t wait to hear what you’re reading.
Nora Ephron’s autobiographical debut novel is a nostalgic whirlwind of chatty humor, heartbreaking relationships, and fabulous wit. Nothing I didn’t expect from the woman who shaped my rom-com expectations. In HEARTBURN Ephron writes about the spastic trials and triumphs of a New Yorker caught between cities, a philandering husband, and her career. The perfect come-down after an NYC night when the subway never arrives, your friend stands you up, and you find yourself caught in the rain without an umbrella.
This gritty first-person narration is one of the most captivating and suspenseful voices I’ve read recently (think HAUSFRAU with less empathy). It’s my current subway read, which has me opting for the local to have more time to read! —Elizabeth
On the exhaustive subject of World War II, Jessica Shattuck has found a fresh perspective and an interesting viewpoint of the typical German citizen struggling against their homeland to do the right thing. This kind of bravery seems welcome and essential for today’s reader. —Stuart