Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross by Mark Yakich

Possibly the best poems ever written, but certainly the best I’ve ever read. They are delightfully and specifically strange, equally charming and disorienting. Exactly as it should be.

Rating: 10/10



Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

I read this after watching the movie (like the rest of the liberal female population aged 17-27.) It reads as Elio’s stream-of-consciousness, the diary of a teenage boy, which is as painful as you might assume.

But it is all worth it for the end, which has the power to erase all doubt you have about the book, the movie, and potentially even yourself.

“We’ll speak about two young men who found much happiness for a few weeks and lived the remainder of their lives dipping cotton swabs into that bowl of happiness, fearing they’d use it up, without daring to drink more than a thimbleful on ritual anniversaries.”

Rating: 9/10


Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis

“There are also men in the world. Sometimes we forget, and think there are only women—endless hills and plains of unresisting women. We make little jokes and comfort each other and our lives pass quickly. But every now and them, it is true, a man rises unexpectedly in our midst like a pine tree, and looks savagely at us, and sends us hobbling away in great floods to hide in the caves and gullies until he is gone.”

Not only did Lydia Davis basically invent a new genre of fiction, “flash fiction,” she’s also an acclaimed French translator. Like, Madame Bovary and Swann’s Way level acclaimed. Just thinking about her also existing in the world is enough to fill a morning.

These stories stop me cold and then pick me up again. I’ve drawn stars on the corners of all my favorites so whenever I’m sad or uninspired or lost I can just flip straight to them. They make everyday life seem so striking that it’s hard to imagine we’re just living it without event.



Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard

When I first discovered entire books of essays existed with Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake during Spring Break my junior year of college (it really took me that long), it felt like a miracle. It was like blogs in a book. It was the kind of writing I wanted to do, written by the kind of authors I wanted to befriend. I read nothing but essays for about a year. But the thing about essays is that they have to be good. They either have to be very informative, very poignant, or very very funny, and either way they have to be so well written that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. They have to fight to prove themselves in a way that novels and traditional non-fiction get a pass on.

All that to say, this one lost the war. The first essay was electric, about her and her best friend growing up in Florida, and I wanted the rest of them to follow suit, but they were too long, too detailed. They were interesting enough topics, but she couldn’t get back to the humanity of the first essay. And it wasn’t really that much about Florida. I really wanted it to be more about Florida.

Rating: 4/10


How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price

I, like you, have read 1,000 ways to Be On Your Phone Less. I have switched it to greyscale, I have really thought hard about turning off notifications, I have snuck off to the bathroom to check it for the 30th time to appear less rude than I was actually being. But then came this book!!!!!

It is maybe made of witchcraft, but it is witchcraft that has changed my life. All of the sudden I, who’s thumb automatically swung to Instagram every ten minutes, on the second, is sleeping with my phone in another room, has turned off all my notifications (besides messages and phone calls), and forgets that I even have a phone for large swaths of a day! The book is structured in two parts, the first part explains why you’re so addicted to your phone and why it’s so important that you become less addicted, and the second part is a 30 day plan with a small task each day that get you to Phone Freedom. I have hours on my hands that seemingly sprouted from nowhere, I feel more focused and less spacey literally all the time, I have sprouted wings and I now use them to travel instead of my car. This is sounding more and more like an infomercial, but they’re not paying me or anything.

Oh last thing! She does a very amazing job of addressing the benefits our phones bring to our lives. She’s not trying to get you to never be on your phone, or delete all your apps permanently. The goal is to get you in a relationship with your phone that is healthy and that you control.

I swear, if I can do it anybody can.

Rating: 11/10


Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun

I think I set a personal record for taking photos of pages of books with this one. She says things about marriage that we can’t even admit to ourselves, and things that we need to whisper to ourselves every morning when we wake up. “‘The hardest lesson in a marriage,’ says my friend Asia, ‘is understanding the truth of the other person, believing in your heart that they are as real as you are, and their feelings matter as much. We all think that when something is wrong it will feel wrong to us, but that’s the biggest lie. So many things that your partner will see as betrayal will feel to you like nothing. One of the biggest challenges of marriage is to acknowledge that your own feelings aren’t the end of the story. We have to hold so many realities at once: here’s me, here’s you, here’s us, here’s the rest of the world.”

Rating: 10/10


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

As repellent as it is when someone declares a book “required reading,” this book is?

“When the journalist asked me about my body, it was like she was asking me to awaken her from the most gorgeous dream. I have seen that dream all my life. It is perfect houses with nice lawns. It is Memorial Day cookouts, block associations, and driveways. The Dream is tree houses and the Cub Scouts. The Dream smells like peppermint but tastes like strawberry shortcake. And for so long I have wanted to escape into the Dream, to fold my country over my head like a blanket. But this has never been an option because the dream rests on our backs, the bedding made from our bodies. And knowing this, knowing that the dream persists by warring with the known world, I was sad for all those families, I was sad for my country, but above all, in that moment, I was sad for you.”

Rating: 10/10