What We're Reading: March


Guess what? Our booksellers like to read. Crazy, right? Read on for a selection of what our booksellers have been reading lately. Click on the title for more information about each book. 

What Erin is Reading

Mastering Bread by Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri, of Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia, and Claire Kopp McWilliams, his former head baker, have written my ultimate nerdy guidebook: Mastering Bread. I have been a home baker for years but have always been a little afraid of yeasted breads and pastries. So many things can go wrong! This book gives you five (!) full chapters on everything from the sourcing of your flour to how to shape and cut your loaves. Even after all these months of eating my own baking, I enjoyed making the pictured cornetti (like croissants, but Italian) for my son’s birthday breakfast- by far the most challenging yeasted dough I’ve ever tried!


What Stef is Reading

Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi

I'm currently reading Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (out April 6th, Riverhead). Like all of Helen Oyeyemi's books, Peaces is delightfully perplexing--suffice it to say there is a mysterious passenger train, an heir attempting to prove her sanity to claim the estate of her enigmatic benefactor, an unmarried couple taking a honeymoon train trip, and not one but TWO pet mongooses. It's strange and smart and...a trip. 


What Alice is Reading

The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood 

I've been intending to finish Bad Muslim Discount which I'd picked up randomly while waiting for something and found myself really engrossed from just the first handful of pages. The writing is witty and dry, enough commentary not to be vapid, but also clearly here for a bit of a fun time. Though I haven't finished I believe all the buzz about it - so far it's lived up to the hype.


What Courtney is Reading

F*cked at Birth by Dale Maharidge

This provocative title, a graffito discovered inside an abandoned desert gas station, is actually the central question posed throughout the book. A Pulitzer-winning journalist covering hunger, homelessness, and class awareness since the 80s, Maharidge travels from California to New York in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic.  And the question Maharidge poses to addict and academic alike; are some simply f*cked at birth? Considering examples like the plight of the Black man in America or a baby born addicted to drugs, the answer can become very complex.

With no clear end to COVID-19 in sight, and the impact just beginning to register economically and psychologically, this book helped me realize more than ever that community service and support are going to be crucial moving forward. The more we can empathize with the mindset implicit in the title, the sooner we can realize the work that must be done for us all to survive this crisis.


What Dan is Reading

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

Good news! One of my favorite books of the past few years is releasing as a great movie in just a month. I love My Salinger Year for its wistful look at a writer's early career in a bygone 90s publishing world. The author Joanna Rakoff finds herself gatekeeping for J.D. Salinger, but slowly slipping into advice column mode for Salinger's avid fans. If you remember your early professional years semi-fondly, this is the book for you!