what I’ve been reading lately:

  • Vladivostok Circus

    (by Elisa Shua Dusapin, translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins) This probably would have been a better winter read than a summer one, but the fact that it transported me to chilly Russian landscapes in the middle of July in New York City is a testament to how atmospheric this short novel is. Like Winter in…

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  • Boy of Chaotic Making

    (by Charlie N. Holmberg) The Whimbrel House books (of which this is the third) are reliably fun/quick comfort reads for me: the kind of book with a lot of action that I can happily devour over the course of a few days. They’re set in a version of the 1800s where magic is a thing;…

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  • All Fours

    (by Miranda July) The unnamed narrator of All Fours is an artist in her mid-forties who, when the book opens, is about to take a trip to New York – a birthday gift to herself where she’s going to stay at the Carlyle and see friends and do things by herself while her husband, Harris,…

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  • Strangers to Ourselves

    (by Rachel Aviv) This book, whose subtitle is “Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us,” takes the form of the psychiatric case study and goes somewhere a little different with it. In the book’s six sections, the author explores six different people’s experiences of mental illness, including her own (she stopped eating when she…

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  • Inverno

    (by Cynthia Zarin) I wanted to love this book because I’ve loved Cynthia Zarin’s nonfiction, but this was a slow read for me and I didn’t find it quite as compelling as I wanted to. That said, I didn’t hate it, and it might be a good book for me to reread in winter, when…

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  • Incubation

    (by Bhanu Kapil) It’s been a while since I’ve read poetry other than the poems that are in the New Yorker, and so maybe I was extra grateful for Eunsong Kim’s foreword and Emgee Dufresne’s “afternotes”, both of which were helpful in providing context/points of orientation for Kapil’s text. In the foreword, Kim writes about…

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  • Glitter and Concrete

    (by Elyssa Maxx Goodman) This book, which looks at the history of drag in New York City from the 1860s to 2023, was an interesting introduction to a subject I didn’t know a lot about. I’ve seen performances that incorporate drag and drag aesthetics (Justin Vivian Bond as Kiki in the cabaret duo Kiki and…

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  • The Idea of You

    (by Robinne Lee) I have, yet again, finished last month’s romance book club read a little late—thanks to the movie adaptation of this one, I had to wait a while for my hold to come in at the library. The plot: a divorced mom takes her daughter (who is twelve when the book opens) and…

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  • More

    (by Molly Roden Winter) This isn’t a memoir to read for lyrical prose (not that the writing is bad), but rather, a memoir to read for glimpses into someone else’s life, particularly glimpses of raw and vulnerable moments where someone is trying to figure shit out, and may or may not be succeeding. I don’t…

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  • If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal

    (by Justin Gregg) In this book, whose subtitle is “What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity,” Justin Gregg uses a Nietzsche quotation about cattle as a jumping-off point to explore the differences between animal intelligence/cognition and human intelligence/cognition, and the question of whether we can say that human intelligence is better. (Spoiler alert: Gregg thinks…

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