What We're Reading: April

What Erin is Reading

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Let's Talk About Hard Things by Anna Sale

Recently, I finished Jhumpa Lahiri's Whereabouts (5/21) and I found it to be an engrossing, quick read. Different from her other work, partially because she wrote it in Italian first and then translated herself, the novel follows one character as she moves about the places of her life: her home, her work, the piazza outside her apartment. Each chapter could stand as its own vignette, but put together they work as a rich meditation on how spaces shape our narratives, especially as we age.

I'm following this up with Anna Sale's Let's Talk About Hard Things (also 5/21). Similar in tone and topic to her podcast, Death, Sex & Money, Sale does fresh reporting on the topics we need to talk about more.

What Caroline is Reading

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett - A captivating story traveling across a country, over decades, and through generations as characters unravel the complexity of their personal and family histories.  

The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat - For fans of historical fiction, this World War 2 perspective based on true events will spark your empathy, and keep you hopeful at every turn. 

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney - For creatives, makers, doers, and dreamers, the book packs a jolt of inspiration on every page. 

What Jill is Reading

Be a Tree! by Maria Gianferrari

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

I'm always drawn to "Come see!" stories/guides to the natural world, but especially when Spring returns. 

These love letters to trees really grabbed my heart. Forests are explored through beautiful illustrations and playful, poignant, fact-filled narratives that delight, teach, soothe, and inspire. (Picture books are sooo good at that.) They're great read-alouds - so much to see, chat, and daydream about! 

Be a tree! Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun.

Let your roots curl, coil in the soil to ground you. 

Be a Tree!

 

Sedges have edges

Rushes are round

Grasses are hollow right up from the ground

- Nature Anatomy

Julia Rothman's text and illustrations bring nature in for a gorgeously detailed close up. It's an amazing art and info journey through sea and sky, field and forest, marsh and mountain. 

I love her voice - the vibe is a super knowledgeable and chill friend just casually sharing cool stuff with you. She throws in a few crafts and recipes using foraged finds, too. So charming! 

What Courtney is Reading

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

After the stunning debut of Three Women, I was thrilled to get a hold of an early copy of Lisa Taddeo’s new upcoming book, Animal.

Taddeo sinks her teeth and prose deep into the story of Joan, our ethically questionable protagonist femme fatale, a woman perpetually mistreated by men and hellbent on returning the favor. Unbridled rage against the virgin/whore dichotomy of womanhood; for the haplessness of men as they take what they need and care little of the scorched earth left behind. Some women, like Joan, are only privy to the cruelties of men. But instead of succumbing to the age-old pull of feminine madness, Joan only cares to exact her revenge. 

If you have ever been afraid to walk a few blocks to the store alone or go for a solo run at night. If you have ever clutched your keys in your fist as you speed-walk to your apartment door, if anyone has ever groped you in passing and then laughed at your outrage (oh come on honey, relax). You will know the rage that lives in your own body, and how exhilarating it might be to become the predator for once, and not the prey.