It’s finally Amazon Prime Day 2018! And while you may not need outrageously priced home surveillance equipment, you always need to more books in your life. Today, Amazon has you covered with a bunch of sick deals on the books you’ve been dying to read. They also have deals on reading subscriptions and devices so you’ll never run out of reading material.
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E-Readers and Subscription Discounts:
For the first time since his presidency Barack Obama is traveling to Africa, a place rich with diversity, culture, and literature. Kenya, which holds years of Obama roots, was the inspiration behind Obama’s first books Dreams of My Father.
Before taking flight, Obama took to Facebook to share his list book recommendations featuring a collection of African writers and researchers each of whom “illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.”
This classic book is told through two intertwining stories centered around a characters names Okonkwo who lives in a Nigerian village namedIbo. The first story shows Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second story depicts the chaotic destruction of Okonkwo’s world with the arrival of European missionaries.
“A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism,” Obama wrote. “A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.”
As one of the world’s greatest political leaders and activist, Nelson Mandela’s autobiography is nothing but extraordinary. Long walk to Freedom is a powerful retelling of Mandela’s story of struggles, morality and hope.
“Mandela’s life was one of the epic stories of the 20th century,” Obama said. “Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it.”
Ifemelu and Obinze leave their military ruled home in Nigeria young and in love with each other. Ifemelu heads to American and Obinze lives an undocumented life in London. Both learns the long history of race issues etched in both countries.
“From one of the world’s great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK,” Obama wrote, “raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.”
After 30 years on living is New York City, Matar has finally traveled back to his native home of Libya. In his memoir, Matar tells the story of his unsettling family history with the Libyan government.
“A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons,” Obama wrote.
Though Rhodes’ memoir does not depict Africa, The World As It Is shows what it was really like to work in the Obama White House right beside one of the most influential leaders in history. “Ben’s one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign,” Obama wrote. “His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.”
The winners of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced!
The Shirley Jackson Awards are literary awards celebrating the legacy of author Shirley Jackson (1916–1965) and are handed out at Readercon each year. The Shirley Jackson Awards are awarded in recognition of “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic” during the previous year. The winners are appointed by a jury of editors, writers, critics, and academics.
The 2017 Shirley Jackson Award for best novel went to The Hole by Hye-young Pyun (Arcade Publishing) in translation by Sora Kim-Russell. Meanwhile, the award for best novella ended in a tie between Samantha Schweblin’s Fever Dream (Riverhead Books) in translation by Megan McDowell, and Lindsey Drager’s The Lost Daughter Collective (Dzanc Books).
For the complete list of the recipients of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards, please check out File 770.com.
Book Riot by María Cristina García Lynch - 18h ago
This Riot Recommendation for favorite books about Indian Americans is sponsored by Flatiron Books and If You See Me Don’t Say Hi by Neel Patel.
A Vanity Fair Ultimate Fiction Pick for summer and a bookseller favorite, If You See Me Don’t Say Hi is a modern story collection that Behold the Dreamers author Imbolo Mbue calls “a joy to read, reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri and David Ebershoff.”
Everyone over here at Book Riot has been head-over-heels for Dimple meeting Rishi, no take-backs. But the Indian American experience is a varied one that is so much bigger than a single book or author, and we always want to read widely. To that end, we asked you to tell us your favorite books about Indian Americans. And before we knew it, we had an amazing list of great suggestions! Covering graphic novels to YA to short stories, here’s just a smattering of what Riot readers recommend you get on your TBR ASAP.
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
Family Life by Awhile Sharma
The Unexpected Son by Shobhan Bantwal
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani
The Hindi-Bindi Club: A Novel by Monica Pradhan
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
The Unknown Errors of Our Lives: Stories by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Sponsored by Blackstone Publishing. In John Shepphird’s crime fiction novel BOTTOM FEEDERS, a low-budget film crew becomes prey when a mysterious killer with a unique weapon of choice makes everyone on set a target marked for death. Making a B-movie has never been so deadly – Get the ebook now for only $.99 – limited time offer.
Maybe it’s due to the recent release of the Bill Clinton/James Patterson collaboration The President is Missing. Or maybe it’s because the current political climate (nationally and/or internationally) makes you feel the slightest bit uneasy (maybe that’s an understatement). Whatever your reasons are, if you’re wanting to delve into the world of political thriller books, consider this post your political thriller starter kit.
Classic POLITICAL THRILLER BOOKS
You could argue that works as early as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar could count as political thrillers, but “political thriller” as a term and as a genre really first rose to prominence during the Cold War. Here are a few of the highlights from the political thriller’s beginnings.
As with many political thriller novels, the film adaptations of this novel are just as (if not more) well known as the original novel itself. Condon’s 1959 novel was first adapted in 1962 starring Frank Sinatra, and then the events of the novel were updated for a 2004 film starring Denzel Washington. Condon’s novel starts off during the Korean War, where Major Bennett Marco, Sergeant Raymond Shaw, and the rest of their infantry platoon are captured and brainwashed into believing that Shaw saved their lives during combat. As the novel progresses and these men return back to their normal lives, Marco has disturbing nightmares about Shaw. When he discovers that another soldier from that platoon is having similar recurring nightmares, Marco begins to uncover what truly happened to them during the war. Though there has been some controversy surrounding this book and its similarities to another early political thriller classic, I, Claudius, this novel and its adaptations are still considered classics of the genre.
This is yet another novel that has been famously adapted for film more than once. The Quiet American takes a look at French-occupied Vietnam right as Americans were becoming more involved with the country. When the novel was first published, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the text’s “anti-American” message. The novel follows Thomas Fowler, a British journalist, his live-in lover Phuong, and the titular “quiet American” character, Alden Pyle. Fowler and Phuong’s lives are forever changed when they meet Pyle, a CIA agent working undercover. The three characters become entangle in a love triangle, and Pyle’s secret mission leads to bloodshed.
POPULAR POLITICAL THRILLER BOOKS
If you love political thrillers or mystery books in general and haven’t read these yet, then you should start here.
Speaking of film adaptations, this 2013 political thriller was recently adapted into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, which has put the novel back in the spotlight. Dominika is a former Russian ballerina who is forced to go into espionage training after an injury cuts her dance career short. She is trained at the Sparrow school, where trainees are taught the power of seduction as a technique for getting what they need from their targets. This novel has been praised for its accurate and detailed depiction of surveillance techniques, and it was optioned for a film before ever hitting the shelves. The sequel Palace of Treason was just released last June.
When looking for popular political thrillers, I found it hard to choose which Tom Clancy novel to list here. Ultimately, I had to give it up for The Hunt for Red October, Clancy’s debut novel and the first appearance of the ever-popular Jack Ryan character. This novel is loosely based on the mutiny on the Soviet frigate Storozhevoy in 1974. If you’re interested in the true story that inspired the first Jack Ryan novel, check out Mutiny: The True Events That Inspired The Hunt For Red October. But back to the novel: the Red October is a highly advanced nuclear submarine, and both the Americans and the Russians want it. Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst who finds himself in the middle of this high stakes hunt.
According to The Politics of James Bond, nearly half of the world’s population has seen a James Bond film, so the Ian Fleming novels that the movies are based on definitely seem to fit in the “popular” category. Some Bond stories are more political than others, especially the earlier ones that rely heavily on Cold War tensions to build conflict. So with that in mind, I offer you the first Bond novel Ian Fleming ever published, Casino Royale. In it, the spy who needs no introduction is on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called “le Chiffre” (BTW, that means “the Number”). Fleming’s 14 Bond novels are loosely based on his own real-life experiences as a member of the British Naval Intelligence, but how much of Bond’s spy world is based in reality and how much is fantasy? Read and decide for yourself.
EVEN MORE POLITICAL THRILLER BOOKS
So you’re familiar with the classics and some of the more popular political thriller books. What to read next? Check out some of these newer and lesser-known titles that are definitely worth a read.
Speaking of Ian Fleming, Francine Mathews’s 2015 novel places Fleming front and center as the protagonist of his own thrilling spy adventure. Featuring real historical figures such as Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin, Too Bad to Die infuses Ian Fleming into an actual moment in political history—the Tehran Conference on 1943. When Ian Fleming discovers that Hitler has sent one of his best assassins to kill off the three world leaders, he must go undercover to stop the killer.
This political thriller spans three decades, starting in 1954 and ending in 1974, and the major action of the story takes places in varied locations such as Harlem, Washington, and Saigon. Does this book sound ambitious enough for you? Eddie Wesley is one of Harlem’s rising literary stars when he finds the body of a prominent lawyer who died clutching the talisman of a secret society in his fist. Suddenly Wesley is caught up in a world of spies and assassins, and when his sister mysteriously disappears, Wesley and the woman he loves, Aurelia Treene, become caught up in a twenty-year search to uncover the truth.
And now for something different: a political thriller set in India. It’s difficult to say much about this novel without giving away important plot points, but I will try. Four young employees of a multinational corporation seek revenge on prominent politicians and businessmen after suffering at their hands. Their efforts uncover a lot about the dark secrets of politicians and business groups, such as their connections to the mafia, among other things.
Native Speaker is a political thriller, but it’s also a story of cultural identity/alienation and the difficulties of living in America as an immigrant. Henry Park is a man who struggles to figure out who he is between his Korean upbringing and his current life in America. He wants to sound like a native English speaker, but the more closely he begins to identify with his American life, the more he feels his Korean side slipping away from him. Then everything get much more complicated when Park is assigned to spy on a rising Korean American politician. The more deeply he becomes involved in his work as a spy, the more he questions his own identity and loyalties.
Political thriller fans, I’ve probably left one of your favorites off the list, so please let me know what you’d recommend in the comments. Happy reading!
Zombies are, oddly enough, a favorite topic of ours. They are a staple of monster movies. They have inspired a number of popular TV shows, from the post-apocalyptic hits The Walking Dead and Z Nation to less traditional takes on the genre, like iZombie and Santa Clarita Diet. They are staples in comic books and novels. There’s a trend here: these things are all aimed at adults and teens, and that kind of makes sense. Zombies are meant to be scary, and we have a natural urge to protect kids from things that are scary. But kids like to be scared, too. Here’s a list of 25 zombie books for kids that will let them get in on the zombie-loving action.
The zombies in Quirkville, like most, want nothing more than to eat brains. Except for Reginald. He craves peanut butter and jelly, and he thinks that everyone would be a lot happier if all the zombies felt that way.
Roscoe is a zombie, but he’s not real. He’s one of those zombies you hear about in stories, and his job is to tell the reader all about zombies—where they come from, what they look like in different parts of the world, and how they’re made.
Nick’s mom doesn’t remember his favorite flavor of ice cream, so how can she be trusted when she says there’s no such thing as monsters? This is a classic that many parents will remember from when they were kids.
Witch Wizzle and Witch Woodle have all kinds of stories about the bad behavior of zombies, ghosts, vampires, and other monsters. They’re planning a Halloween party, but they aren’t sure who they will invite.
The first in a series, this is a fun Halloween book, complete with educational activities and coloring pages. Eddie finds a zombie in his backyard, and invites Harley in to celebrate Halloween with him. Eddie intends to show him the ropes and becomes fast friends with Harley.
Zombelina by Kristyn Crow, Illustrated by Molly Idle
Zombelina loves to dance, and she does it every chance she gets. She decides to take a ballet class with real girls, and she is so good that no one even notices that she’s a zombie. At her first recital, though, she gets a bad case of stage fright, and her zombie groans give her away. With the support of her loving family, she’s able to go out on the stage and wins over everyone. First in a series.
Just like its inspiration, this zombie eats his way through his favorite foods, including clowns, astronauts, and, of course, brains. It’s all in good fun, with jokes that adults will appreciate and bright, vivid illustrations and amusing text that will appeal to even the youngest of readers. It’s family-friendly fun for all ages.
The first of the School Zombies series, this book chronicles a field trip that Trevor and his classmates make to an aquarium. There, they meet Dr. Brainium, and there’s definitely something fishy about him. He turns all of the students into radio-controlled zombies, and it’s up to Trevor to save them all. It won’t be the only time, either.
This series is a perfect fit for reluctant readers! During a sleepover at Zack Clarke’s house, a zombie epidemic breaks out. His sister is a victim, as are the neighbors that are destroying his house. He is left to fend them off with only his sister’s best friend Madison and his pal Rice. They have a plan, but it will all depend on making it out of his house alive.
Tom is convinced that zapping his goldfish Frankie back to life with a battery is the smartest thing he has ever done. His older brother is a mad scientist, so it never hurts to have backup when they butt heads, especially if that backup is in the form of a hypnotic zombie goldfish. This is just the first book in a super-fun series.
Kindle is a very useful tool if you want to read books and take them everywhere with you. You can either get the device (perfect for travel or starting a book club!) or you can download the app for free for your phone. You then have the option to buy ebooks, each price varies but you can find books from $1.99 to $10 USD. But what is amazing is that they give you another choice to get books: Kindle Unlimited (KU). Is it really worth it? I managed to compile a best Kindle Unlimited books list you can check out and decide for yourself.
If you want to try, Book Riot is giving you a free trial for you to use Kindle Unlimited. You can get easily lost in that big ocean of books. Sometimes it’s hard to find that perfect book for you on KU. But I’m here to tell you that it’s possible. With this best Kindle Unlimited books list you can even find that book just for you.
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.
If you have watched and loved the movie, this is where it all started!
Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines.
Aside from the synopsis, the cover caught my eye instantly as well.
In this prejudice-busting, body-positive memoir told with raw honesty, an adventurous spirit, and a sharp sense of humor, Valerio takes readers along on her journey from first-time racer to ultramarathoner and proves that anyone can become a successful athlete.
If you’ve been wanting to see the world but money has been holding you back, then this guide is your solution. Stop paying thousands of dollars in airfare and start outsmarting the airlines. Great flight deals are waiting for the savvy travelers that know where to find them.
If there is a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place and any time. But now that he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, the year before Nix’s mother died in childbirth—Nix’s life, her entire existence, is at stake.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined—completely lacking any magic—she is determined to get revenge.
Charlotte Holmes has always intrigued Jamie Watson; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception.
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms.
But then she begins to fall for her betrothed’s sister.
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who’s haunted by a family tragedy.
Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid.
When Geri Lazaro’s dance studio gets a leak and her class has to dance in a smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo, she thinks her life couldn’t get any worse. There is also a cute Dojo guy who keeps showing up, her mom is in love with a new guy, and she’s failing algebra!
Pitched as Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl, Prom Queen Perfect takes us into high school with Alex dela Cruz and Adam Cordero, childhood friends but now enemies.
When the annoyingly gorgeous Adam Cordero calls her selfish, Alex dela Cruz decides to prove him wrong by transforming Christy Marquez from an invisible misfit into a ruling princess of Asia Pacific Academy.
When a safari guide and the girl she is crushing on venture into the savanna alone, they uncover a plot by a gang of poachers to enslave the unicorns. They must save the creatures Kara loves while struggling not to succumb to their love first.
He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
For Nola Williams, until she achieves every dream and goal on her to-do list, love was to be avoided at all costs. That had been an easy task…until she met Logan Hart. He has the power to help Nola achieve her dreams in a fraction of the time it would take for her to do it on her own, so they make an agreement to fake date for a year.
Gorgeous hotel heiress Katelyn “Katie” Morrison seems to have it all. After she crosses paths with Dean Prescott—the only man she’s ever loved—Katie realizes there’s a gaping hole in her life. But even more of a shock is that after the ceremony she gets an even bigger surprise: a baby girl left on her doorstep.
When this travel blogger crosses paths with this guy, they mutually, but unofficially, decide to share a night—or three or four—of anonymous pleasure. Will they end up experiencing much more than either of them bargained for?
If there’s one man that store clerk and amateur photographer Diane Petit really, really, actively hates, it’s fragrance mogul Sebastian Darcy who stole her father’s company—and wrecked the man’s health in the process.
But the arrogant hero had better brace himself, because Diane has vowed revenge.
Wilhelmina Allende is a prima ballerina. When tragedy turns her beloved Paris into a gilded cage, she jumps at the chance to work with one of the most prolific choreographers she’s ever seen in Broadway.
Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. She’s hired as an emergency replacement one month before a wedding—because the groom fears his fiancée is falling for the wedding planner they first hired for the job.
Five-minute girlfriend. This is what Jett signs up for when she meets Adrian and his band Arabella at beach music festival Summer Storm. One kiss and the attraction is too electric to ignore, but Jett has no room for love and Adrian is Mr. Relationship.
As a princess who’s sunk a yacht and been caught kissing pop stars, it’s easy for her aunt, the regent, to think she’s ill prepared for the throne. But Nina doesn’t think that having to fake date Felipe, the handsome, squeaky clean Prince of Concordia was the best solution for that.
Just when her battle begins and running seems to be the most viable option, she, with her son, stumbles into the presence of one pushy, overbearing, food obsessed tiger who doesn’t seem too interested in letting her go…
Manhattan fashion maven and magazine editor Melinda Mitchell shuns the social media spotlight. That is, until a tipsy girl’s night out ends with her first Facebook account and a friend request from none other than her secret high school crush, Nolan Parker.
Cordelia “Delie” Bledsoe is out of luck. She has the care of several children, as teacher in the local school, who have been abandoned by their parents. She wants to take them to her family in Pittsburgh to live on a family farm, but Champion Bates shows up, insistent on helping her.
Twenty-two year old Aisha Ali doesn’t believe in love. What she does believe in is arranged marriage, and that’s exactly what she does at The Islamic Marriage Bureau: she matches people up. Aisha’s views on men and marriage are shaken up when Adam Swift, a Muslim convert from Toronto, comes to her small town.
Girls are a risk college freshman Ainsley Carmichael can’t take. Her powerful political family sees her as the Chosen One who will someday be president. Upholding a carefully crafted veneer is second nature until the first day of class when Maya’s mysterious gray eyes hold her in thrall.
Are you drowning in a sea of library holds? Me too. I know it’s my own fault, because I keep hitting that request button like it’s my job. But sometimes it feels like I’ll never come up for air from the sea of incredible library books sitting on my bedside table, waiting for me at the library, or “in transit” to me from somewhere else. Here are a few of the strategies I use to keep from sinking too far underneath my holds stack. Maybe they’ll help you get through yours, as well.
Learn to love the wait list
If you’re the sort of person who enjoys reading buzzy books right when they come out, this strategy won’t work for you. But if your goal is simply to read the book, and you don’t care when, then books with long waitlists are the best. My library holds essentially function as a personal TBR list. By placing holds on books with long wait lists, I can ensure that I won’t be inundated with books all at once. Once I put a book on hold at the library, I usually forget about it until months later, when I get a delightful surprise email telling me it’s ready.
One in, one out
This is the strategy that has helped me the most in keeping my library habit under control. It’s simple: I cannot check out a library book or pick up a hold unless I also return a book. I don’t hold myself to a strict one-to-one ratio: if two holds come in but I only have one book to return, I count it as an equal exchange. It’s ridiculously simple, but it works. My stack of library books at home is still six or eight deep, and since holds come in faster than I finish books, it usually doesn’t shrink—but it doesn’t grow exponentially, either.
Put books on hold before they’re published
I often spend twenty minutes poking around Goodreads, and end up with five upcoming books I’m dying to read. Instead of putting all those books on my TBR, I select the ones I’m most excited about and put them on hold at the library. I make sure the pub dates are scattered, ideally choosing one book coming out each month for the next 2–3 months. I get the satisfaction of putting books on hold right away, but I don’t end up with eight new books checked out all at once.
Utilize freezing and suspension
I didn’t even know you could do this until a fellow Rioter wrote about it, but now I can’t imagine how I managed my holds list without it. Freezing (or suspending, depending on your library network) a hold allows you to keep your place in line, but the book won’t come in until you unfreeze it. It works for physical books as well as ebooks and audiobooks. When I get overexcited and request ten audiobooks at a time, for example, I often freeze a bunch of them to ease the flow of books from an overwhelming stream to a steady trickle.
Don’t be afraid to return books unread
There’s something deeply satisfying about returning a library book you’ve finished. It feels like an accomplishment, a complete transaction. But checking out a book from the library is not a contract written in stone. If I check out a book, max out the renewals, and still haven’t read it, that’s a pretty clear sign that I don’t really want to read that book right now. Instead, I can bring it back to the library unread and pick up that hold that I am actually super excited to read.
Pre-baby, I read 100–150 books a year. Of course I knew my life would change once my daughter was born—I expected a decrease in my reading—but what I didn’t expect was the depression. Sure, I knew postpartum depression was a thing, and I knew it could affect anyone, yet still I didn’t expect it to happen to me. I wanted my baby so much. Why would I experience depression? (Cue hormonal changes.)
With the depression, my reading didn’t just decrease, it almost stopped altogether. In the month of Marian’s birth, I read three tiny books. The same goes for January. And February. In my mind, any moment not spent on the Marian—even when she was sleeping—made me a bad mother. I felt overwhelming guilt over every moment to myself.
I tried to convince myself it was the baby blues, and would soon be over. I told no one, except my husband, how I felt. But as the weeks turned into months and I still felt overwhelmingly depressed and guilty, I finally reached out and sought help. Now, with the aid of medication, I feel as close to normal as a new mom with a seven-month-old can feel.
And I can read again.
Once the medicine kicked in, I realized I missed my books. But at the time, Marian was resisting naps except when I took her on walks. Only then would she sleep. I also started working two days a week. So when and how to read?
Audiobooks were an obvious answer, so I went to my fellow Book Riot contributors for recommendations, and they, as always, had suggestions. I started with The Clothing of Books, a collection of essays by Jhumpa Lahiri that explores her thoughts on her book covers. I then read Shrill by Lindy West and Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew. But what really helped bring me out of my reading slump and make me feel something not pertaining to my baby again was We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby.
Samantha Irby reads the audiobook and is so self-deprecatingly funny and honest; it was exactly what I needed. I laughed at her stories about her cat Helen Keller, I cried when she related her experiences growing up with a disabled mother, I cringed at her descriptions of Crohn’s disease. I became caught up in her story and hours passed at work where I didn’t feel guilty or obsess over my little one. I listened while taking Marian on walks, using the speaker on my phone rather than headphones in case she needed me. At one point, right when Irby began describing the first time she used a strap on, a group of middle school girls started walking beside me and I had to desperately fumble for the pause button. But hey, it was probably a lot more interesting to them than whatever they’re reading in middle school. 😉
Samantha Irby and I have very little in common. But she made me feel like a human again.
I went on to listen to Meaty, Educated, The Sun Does Shine, and The Poet X. These books transported me into different perspectives, helped me empathize and, through listening to other’s stories, heal. I also listened to Eloquent Rage, So You Want to Talk About Race, and Being Mortal. These audiobooks allowed me to question and deepen my way of thinking and being in the world. To work on myself. Of course, I read many books every day to my daughter, but I needed to expand my own way of thinking, not just hers. Contributor Jaime Herndon had a similar experience as mine, except instead of turning to audiobooks, she found solace in comic books. Whatever the way, books can help heal, as they’ve proven to me before.
I started reading print books again too. The year’s halfway over, and I’ve read 40 books. I probably still won’t reach my norm of 100–150 books, but that’s okay. I never expected to, and that’s not the point. The point is, I’m doing something I love again. And I’m happier for it.