Spring has sprung and it is about that time to get crackin’ on some pre-summer reads!
I feel lucky because Spring time means that I am almost done with my semester and I am right on the cusp of being able to read whatever, whenever – and oh what a joy that is! I still plan on reading tons of poetry, but for the sake of my Spring Reading List, I wanted to fill it with tons of goodies.
Other People’s House’s by Abbi Waxman: the one with the familial drama.
This is last month’s Book of the Month Club book. You can check out Book of the Month, to see if you want to sign up as well! I can’t wait to get into this one because I am all about familial dramadey (comical drama). This is definitely high on my to-read list!
Mini synopsis: The author of The Garden of Small Beginnings returns with a hilarious and poignant new novel about four families, their neighborhood carpool, and the affair that changes everything. At any given moment in other people’s houses, you can find…repressed hopes and dreams…moments of unexpected joy…someone making love on the floor to a man who is most definitely not her husband…
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer: the one with the modern day women.
I am particularly excited about this book because it has been so, so soooo hyped up! I just purchased it so it is begging to be read. I am going on a short weekend trip, so I plan on taking this with me to be poolside!
Mini synopsis: Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer- madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place- feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Lang: the one with the magic realism.
This is another one of my Book of the Month club books. I am already most the way through this one and I have never gone through a book with so much joy and excitement. This is so face paced and magical. I absolutely have adored this book. Hoping to get to a book review on this one!
Mini synopsis: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it. There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.
Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life by Chloe Wade: the one with the poetic heart-to-heart sit down.
Poetry meets a heart-to-heart talk with a really great female writer – what could be better? I love self-help books, so this just seemed so right up my alley! This is definitely one I am going to pick up every now and then, when I’m needing that little extra oomph.
Mini synopsis: Featuring over one hundred and twenty of Cleo’s original poems, mantras, and affirmations, including fan favorites and never before seen ones, this book is a daily pep talk to keep you feeling empowered and motivated. With relatable, practical, and digestible advice, including “Hearts break. That’s how the magic gets in,” and “Baby, you are the strongest flower that ever grew, remember that when the weather changes,” this is a portable, replenishing pause for your daily life.
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Mailhot: the one with the poetic strength.
Another one of those poetry meets memoir books, which I seem to love!
Mini Synopsis: Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy: the one with the discussion of womanhood.
I have had this on my list for some time now, and I have YET to actually sit down and crack this open. I am really looking forward to this. I think memoirs are so special, in many ways, but especially one that explores womanhood and what it means to be you.
Mini synopsis: Ariel Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules–about work, about love, and about womanhood. In this memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed–and of what is eternal.
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin: the one with the contemporary fantasy.
I have actually already started this one, and I am so far really enjoying it. I am listening to it on audible during commutes and whatnot. I haven’t gotten too far in, not enough to base any real opinion, but I am enjoying, so I am gonna keep on keeping on! I really like fantasy books, and I don’t spend enough time with them, so I am excited to have a few on the list!
Mini synopsis: It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: the one with the author I aspire to be like.
An autobiography by an amazing writer – what more DO you need. This has been a book that has sat in the back of my mind for a while now. I just think I can learn so much from Didion. Excited to get going on this one.
Mini synopsis: From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. This powerful book is Didion’s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”
The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg: the one with the contemporary fairy tales.
I am definitely am using this as “research” for my thesis, BUT I am also so very excited to open this one up as well. It’s a contemporary retelling of some of the fairy tales and I think fairytale retellings are so interesting in so many aspects. Cant wait!
Mini synopsis: The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief. Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg’s oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface. Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker: the one with the political and pop culture references
This poetry collection is one that I am excited to get to as well. I love popular culture, and Parker infuses it with politics and feminism and everyday issues, that I think are so important. Really looking forward to this collection!
Mini synopsis: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé uses political and pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st century black American womanhood and its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity, and politics. The poems weave between personal narrative and pop-cultural criticism, examining and confronting modern media, consumption, feminism, and Blackness. This collection explores femininity and race in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, and Hip Hop. The voice of this book is a multifarious one: writing and rewriting bodies, stories, and histories of the past, as well as uttering and bearing witness to the truth of the present, and actively probing toward a new self, an actualized self. This is a book at the intersections of mythology and sorrow, of vulnerability and posturing, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence.
Ariel by Sylvia Plath: the one with the confessionalism
I have since finished Ariel by Sylvia Plath. I read the restored edition which has so much extra GOODNESS that I cannot recommend it enough. If you are interested in Sylvia Plath, her way of writing, revising or even learning a bit more about her, definitely pick up the restored version. It has a forward by her daughter that really gives you a lot of background that is so VITAL to Sylvia Plath and her works of literary art.
Mini synopsis: When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn’t the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath’s original manuscript—including handwritten notes—and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem “Ariel,” which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath’s works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.
Check out my old reading lists, linked here.
Drop a comment below if you’re reading, or have read, any of these gems! Also, let me know what’s on your Spring reading list!
If you have any great recommendations, I would love to add it to my ever-growing pile – cue the *I just can’t get enough* song. Drop ‘em below!
*Disclaimer: Not an AD! These are all my books on my list, and sites I use. None of the links are affiliate links. All ‘mini synopsis’ bits have been pulled from Goodreads.