Fiction & Poetry
Get your fix.
The Sun & Her Flowers
Rupi Kaur is an "Instagram poet" and I don't care.
Poetry is one of the more hopeful things to come out of Instagram in tiny squares. I loved this collection of poems about loss, love, family, and self acceptance.
The Vanishing Half
I got completely lost in this unique multi-gen story about mixed twins who choose completely different lives & become estranged. The pace of reveals is sneaky-clever. The window into racism from many perspectives is beautifully carved & illuminating.
Family of Origin
I discovered CJ Hauser via her personal essay:
The Crane Wife. She is very adept at cornering the insecurities and imperfect realizations of relationships. The characters in Family of Origin are memorable assholes discovering the roots of their assholeness. The plot is subtly disarming.
Murakami really sucks his readers into worlds. Imaginative realms fused with ordinary 80's Tokyo, alternate timelines, and characters with complicated destinies. The worlds he creates live in my mind rent-free long after I read about them.
Yup, the oft "cancelled" Youtube essayist who waxes thorough on Disney and Phantom tropes wrote her first novel, & yup, I bought it and inhaled it. Its strength is its story. An ode to the sci fi that came before it & an alien you might fall in love with.
This novel caught me off guard and I am now on a journey to read everything Robbins ever wrote. He will have you zooming out from the world & contemplating practical immortality. He famously writes about sex like no one else. Don't watch porn. Read Tom Robbins.
In Other Lands
Sarah Rees Brennan
I haven't gulped a teen fiction book since The Hunger Games. Brennan really levels up the genre, in my opinion, with characters to obsess over who grow and relate magnificently, and many, many dialogues that will make you laugh out loud.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
What if you could live forever at 23? What if the devil was kind of sexy? What if everyone forgot you without fail by the end of the day or sooner? V.E. Schwab's characters and century-spanning predicaments will have you turning over your own desires, your own what if's, & your own life quests.
A Choir of Honest Killers
My therapist did the grunt work, but in the end, it was Buddy Wakefield who lifted me out of victimhood, out of procrastination & into creation. He and his work are forces that cannot be stopped. You can read the book, but you mustn't miss the way he speaks his own poetry. Find him on tour, in his poetry labs, or on Youtube. Find him.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
One of those books that transports you directly into someone else's experience. In this case, a young boy with behavioral differences & a tendency to be overstimulated. It's a beautiful, harrowing story and the play based on the book brings it fully to life.