Books

Below you will find recommendations for books that I have read recently which I believe are worth reading, in addition to honorable mentions (books I've read but don't fully recommend) and current reads. I will update this list regularly so check back! Recently, I resolved to only read books by women and people of color. Some of these recommended titles were read prior to this resolution and so do not adhere to this rule, though I highly recommend them nonetheless. 

 

Highly Recommend:

 
Exit West: A Novel
By Mohsin Hamid
 
 
 
Moth Smoke
By Mohsin Hamid

Hamid is an absolutely brilliant writer with killer style. Beautiful, intelligent, poetic prose and masterful storytelling guide these novels. Personal ranking goes: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, followed by a direct tie for both Moth Smoke and Exit West. Love and the dissolution of love, class, identity, existence are all themes that are touched on in these novels in ways that are anything but contrived. The Reluctant fundamentalist is something of an experimental narrative (you'll understand once you read it) that just works so well- I have never read another book like it. They are all incredible novels and I can't recommend them enough. 

I love this man so much. I have for a very long time. I am obsessed with all his shows and I happen to think he might even be a better writer than TV host and he's a really damn good TV host. These books are intelligent, super funny, endlessly entertaining and just truly so damn good. If you like Tony or traveling or food you need to read these. 

 
 
 
 

This is a phenomenal, fascinating book. Super entertaining. Kind of scary. The kind of book that makes you consider how fragile life is. If you are into strange medical mysteries and psychology, you will love this one. 

 
 
 
Island
By Aldous Huxley
 
 

This book is apparently Huxley's utopian counterpoint to Brave New World (which is also amazing). It's a fantastic novel about a near utopian society that harmoniously melds western and eastern ideas. Touches on the downfalls of hyper-industrialization and advocates living a more balanced life. This book feels like a meditation (pun fully intended) on eastern philosophy and spirituality set loosely within a fictional narrative. 

 
 
 
How Music Works
By David Byrne
 
 

This book is unbelievably well put together. David is a fascinating, supremely entertaining writer. This book contains a wealth of info on music and tons of personal info and stories amassed from a life spent as an artist and musician. I would recommend this book for fans of David Byrne but also for musicians and anyone who has even a marginal interest in music. 

 

Honorable Mentions:

 
 
 
The Vegetarian
By Han Kang
 
 

Super strange, disturbing and depressing, but an interesting allegory about loss of personal control and autonomy. I maybe would recommend it? I'm still processing how I feel about it. You definitely have to be in the right headspace to absorb and appreciate it, or even enjoy it... This is anything but a "feel-good" read. Also, there are certain sections of the book that would only make sense to those with a close familiarity of the art world.

 
 
 
 

Though I wanted to like it on principle, I found myself unable to connect with the writing, the plot and the characters. I thought the entire thing was incredibly dull honestly- though I'm glad the book exists. I would recommend it really only to those seeking to expand their knowledge and empathy regarding the difficulties faced by immigrants entering the US. It's a very short read and not particularly captivating. I suppose it could be a great gift to that special, racist family member of yours though. I couldn't really develop an emotional attachment to any of the characters, but I'm also really picky about my writers/writing.  

 

Currently Reading:

 

  • Greetings from Utopia Park
  • Soñar en Cubano
  • Homegoing
  • Cien Años de Soledad
  • The Savage Detectives
  • And the Mountains Echoed
  • Blindness
  • The Sympathizer
  • Nothing to Envy 
 

If you have any reading recommendations for me- preferably socially relevant fiction written by women or POC authors- or want to discuss any of these books, I'm always down.