Every episode of Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot features exceptional fashion advice and enviable wardrobe makeovers, but one particular article of clothing caught my attention: chef Antoni Porowski’s t-shirt that says “Jude & JB & Willem & Malcolm.” For those of you who don’t know, these are the central characters of Hanya Yanagihara’s beloved novel A LITTLE LIFE. Could it be that the Fab Five’s food and wine expert has as great an eye for books as he does for Instagram-worthy dinners? We did a little research to find six books off Porowski’s shelf—check these out while you wait for Queer Eye’s second season!
I’m not exaggerating at all when I say I cried for 700 pages of this 832-page masterpiece. I have never loved a character more deeply than I love Jude, the main character in this ode to male friendship, who is scarred and broken from an unspeakable trauma. Reading about Jude’s ever-changing relationships with his three best friends from college was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a reader—and certainly as a crier.
Comprised of six novels, My Struggle is a semi-autobiographical chronicle of the author’s experiences from childhood to the present day. Whether describing a fight with his father or a quotidian trip to the grocery story, Knausgaard finds a surprising rhythm and beauty in life’s struggles that makes this series a hypnotic read.