Nothing makes us happier than the moment we’re able to hold that new most-cherished book in our hands (or, more often these days, when a fresh pile of books arrives at our door). We love getting that book haul so much that we’re diving into our fresh piles and what inspired us to buy our beloved new books. Whether it was an inspiring author interview, a hilarious tweet, or just the fact that it was literally everywhere we looked, here are the newest additions to our shelves.
Emily’s Pick #1: Over the summer Susan Orlean’s tipsy tweets were hilarious and made the pandemic just a teensy bit more bearable, so I’m forever grateful for her, her wine, and her neighbor’s cute pets. I rarely read nonfiction so I haven’t read too much of her work, but, after listening to her interview on the Spark and Fire podcast and hearing the passion and curiosity with which she approaches her work and life, I knew I wanted to hear more from her. Now THE LIBRARY BOOK is sitting fresh on my TBR stack and I can’t wait to dive into this book that ingeniously explores the evolution and significance of libraries through the lens of a terrifying fire at the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986.
Allie’s Pick: I was late to the game in discovering Matt Haig, but once I did, it was a binge-read to get through THE RADLEYS, THE HUMANS, and REASONS TO STAY ALIVE. Since then, I have closely followed his new releases, and I was thrilled when I discovered he had a new book coming out in 2020. I am elated to be adding THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY to my shelf this year, and I can’t wait to dive into this story of one library and infinite possibilities.
Sharon’s Pick #1: Ever since I read an article on a Pride potluck in a rural community in North Carolina, I have been interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ life in other parts of America. So when I found out about Samantha Allen’s REAL QUEER AMERICA—a journalistic look at queer communities in unlikely places, from Provo, Utah, to the Bible Belt and the Deep South—I knew I needed to get it. Then last weekend one of my best friends and I went to Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore and, as I was debating how many books I “needed” to buy, I found the store’s last copy of REAL QUEER AMERICA! I was so excited to find this book that I immediately grabbed it, with zero qualms.
Emily’s Pick #2: I was convinced to read this book because of a Get Literary article on atmospheric reads. What sold me was the author of the post’s description: “WILD SEED follows two immortals—one a killer and the other a healer—locked in a clash of fate and destiny as they chase each other over continents and time, each hoping to escape, control, and understand the other.” That description alone sounds like such a dramatic, epic read that I immediately purchased this book and hope it makes for one intense fantasy novel!
Jordyn’s Pick: I picked up THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain after seeing it everywhere. I mean it, everywhere: Twitter, Instagram, newspapers, most-anticipated lists. Somehow, though, even after seeing the cover all over, I never actually read a description of what it was about, so I went into it blind. And, wow, that was a wild choice, because THE PUSH was gripping and I felt so much dread and tension the whole way through. It’s a dark character-driven book that you won’t be able to put down, especially if you’re interested in twisted mother-daughter relationships.
Molly’s Pick: Recently I had the good fortune to attend a virtual event with Rebecca Reid, author of RUDE: STOP BEING NICE AND START BEING BOLD. Apart from Rebecca being utterly charming—what else would you expect from a woman who went viral for shushing a man during a live television interview when she couldn’t get a word in?—her words on how ambitious women are perceived as rude resonated deeply with me. (Once, a well-meaning manager praised how I handled a difficult client by calling me a “bitch.” Luckily another high-ranking team member corrected her, saying I was assertive.) In her book, Reid argues that although there is a time for politeness, rudeness is a powerful tool that, when harnessed correctly, can help you achieve your goals. I rushed to grab a copy of RUDE right after the event and can’t wait to dig in.
A timely, intelligent, and entertaining exploration of why ambitious women are often perceived as rude and how the power of rudeness can be harnessed in relationships, in bed, at work, and in everyday life—from journalist Rebecca Reid.
During a TV interview with a comedian, Rebecca Reid found herself unable to get a word in edgewise. So, when she put her finger to her lips and shushed him, she became instantly known on the internet as “Rebecca Rude.” It was only then that she realized that being rude could actually be her superpower.
A captivating blend of advice and pop culture, Rude will show you how to utilize the power of boldness in every area of your life. Exploring famous women who have been perceived as rude—including Princess Margaret, Anna Wintour, Taylor Swift, Meghan Markle, and others—this book demonstrates how those women used their “rudeness” to get what they want—and deserve—out of life.
Reid also addresses whether there are different rules of rudeness for women compared to men (yes, there are) and how being taught not to be rude actually prevents women from being successful—especially because when women are assertive, they are often judged as being aggressive. And while there’s a place for politeness, Rebecca argues that it’s never a bad time to stand up for yourself to achieve your dreams.
Courtney’s Pick: ON WRITING is the newest addition to my shelf. I was inspired by the conversation between Stephen King and John Grisham last April, during which they discussed their newest books and writing processes. I have been wanting to get back into writing for a while, and the new year is always a good time to treat yourself. Also, the twentieth anniversary edition of ON WRITING was recently released, which served as a reminder that while King is known for his thrilling and suspenseful novels, the knowledge he holds of his craft is a gift to all kinds of writers, horror fans or not. I’m excited to dive in and feel inspired again.
Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King
Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.
“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Sharon’s Pick #2: I first heard of Michelle Zauner through her musical project, Japanese Breakfast. She came to my college to play at an event and I absolutely loved her music; her song “Everybody Wants to Love You” was stuck in my head for weeks afterward. Since that concert I have listened to more of her songs, and my dad and I have bonded over our appreciation of Japanese Breakfast. When I heard at the beginning of this year that Zauner was releasing a memoir, it shot to the top of my TBR list immediately. However, when I saw a post on Japanese Breakfast’s Instagram page that there would be signed copies available for preorder from McNally Jackson, I knew I needed to buy a copy. I just preordered mine, which will be a gift for my future self when the book goes on sale on April 20.
Photo credit: iStock / dusanpetkovic