Like literary mood rings, different books can shape your day or reflect it. Suit yourself.
Tessa Kiros’s cookbooks make you want to invite people over and feed them. Apples for Jam and Falling Cloudberries summons the wonders of childhood, when a strawberry on a summer’s day can rock your world or salt-baked fish becomes a memory you forever hold dear.
Generous and lovely, Katherine Center’s The Lost Husband, makes for a perfect lakeside read. The story of a woman adrift making her way in a small Texas town…this book brims with hope and possibility.
Goodness and how to get it pervades Jean Thompson’s The Humanity Project. The characters of this novel, shaped by circumstances both beyond their control and within it, struggle mightily with personal responsibility and connections.
Being in college, it’s hard not to be consumed with the huge question of “What am I going to do with my life?” Ken Robinson’s Finding Your Element leads you through simple exercises to help put you on the right path.
There’s nothing like cat humor to snap you out of a funk. William Braden’s Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat reads like a great YouTube animal video – the ones where you can’t help watching and laughing again and again.
Elissa Altman’s Poor Man’s Feast will make you champion the democracy of the Internet. A combination memoir and gastronomy lesson with a sprinkling of recipes, this honest and true tome will leave you hungering for more – of just about everything.
An epic quest indeed, Paula Kamen’s All in My Head follows her on a journey toward wellness through a briar patch of pain. At just 24, the author finds herself stricken with a grueling headache that will not quit her and attempts, through sheer force of will, to find a way out.
The social experiment that is America takes many twisted turns. Jennifer Margulis explores the treacherous world of corporations, pharmaceuticals and doctors in The Business of Baby. The result is chilling.
Girls can be scatological too! Lisa Hanawalt proves this in her funny, irreverent graphic novel, My Dirty Dumb Eyes.
Claire Messud’s wondrous way with character takes a left turn in The Woman Upstairs. Nora Eldridge’s descent into a grown-up version of Alice’s rabbit hole is full of surprises, misunderstandings and reversals.
Secrets abound in Beatriz Williams’ A Hundred Summers. This intelligent beach read follows Lily Dane through friendship, betrayal and storms aplenty.
Nancy Jo Sales’s The Bling Ring follows a true-life group of opportunist teenagers as they break into houses of celebrities over and over again, pocketing a small slice of fame and more than $3 million dollars worth of stolen goods.
A perfect book to tan with, Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin hits all the right notes. Bursting with romance, friends, humor and food, this novel will distract you while your skin turns a nice golden brown (sunscreen recommended).
Mixing heart with action to a glorious effect, Caroline Leavitt’s Is This Tomorrow is a perfect summer read. A story of kidnapping, family and friendship set against the turbulent ‘50s and ‘60s, this tale will rock your world.
Unemployed and untethered, Anna Krestler finds herself trolling Google and craigslist for ideas in Alina Simone’s Note to Self. The funny/sad combo of feeling adrift and desperate, yet oddly full of hope, gets captured perfectly in this novel of personal reinvention.
Like a modern day version of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Nicholas Coleridge’s The Adventuress crackles with the hunger of the striver. Cath Fox, mysterious and fierce, transforms herself time and time again as she claws her way toward success.
It turns out that Lauren Graham’s warm quirkiness, as personified in television’s "Parenthood" and "Gilmore Girls," does translate to fiction. The actress’s Someday, Someday, Maybe is charm personified.
Such a great spirit comes through The Silver Star, a coming of age tale reminiscent of Cynthia Voight’s Homecoming. Jeannette Walls knows how to make characters pop off the page (and tear your heart out in the process).
Darling’s journey from Zimbabwe to the United States mirrors that of many immigrants, but the voice is wholly original. NoViolet Bulawayo has crafted a wondrous tale in We Need New Names, which will make you think twice about the idea of home.
A perfect gift for those of us with a Jane Austen fetish, Cozy Classics’ take on Pride and Prejudice distills the story into twelve words. The needle-felted illustrations manage to capture the simplicity and beauty of the text with a healthy dose of cheekiness thrown in.