Do you ever feel torn between your wanderlust and the coziness of your bed? My happy place is reading in bed, especially with the abundance of incredibly diverse stories and narratives. This eclectic collection embodies a world I’m hopeful for– from retelling ancient epics to exploring identity and nurturing ourselves. Books are our lens to a better world.
'An Extraordinary Union: An Epic Love Story of the Civil War,' by Alyssa Cole
Did you spend the holidays binge watching Bridgerton? You might love Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union, a historical romance set during the Civil War. Our heroine, Elle Burns, is an undercover spy with an eidetic memory posing as an enslaved houseworker for a Confederate family when she comes across another undercover spy.
'Fairest: A Memoir,' by Meredith Talusan
Follow Meredith Talusan on her journey across oceans, child stardom and gender as a queer Filipino albino in Fairest: A Memoir. Her story begins in Talacsan in the Philippine provinces, continues after immigrating to America and attending Harvard, then further into life working at MIT while exploring her identity through theater, photography, and the relationships that help her reflect on the life she creates for herself.
'Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want,' by Ruby Tandoh
When’s the last time you celebrated food and how it nourishes our bodies? Ruby Tandoh’s book, Eat Up includes short and accessible recipes intertwined with personal essays celebrating our relationship to food. This queer and body-positive collection is a delightful mix of personal anecdotes and thoughtful criticism of societal pressures around what we eat. From Cadbury eggs to the cheesy bits stuck to our burger wrappers – the pleasure of food is always worth embracing.
'WHEREAS: Poems,' by Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier questions how she can teach her Lakota culture to her daughter when what she knows herself is limited. In this masterful collection of poems, Long Soldier examines the language used between the United States government and their treaties and apologies with Native American peoples and tribes. Her work embodies the power of playful and clever language, interwoven with her reflections as a dual citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and the United States.
'Circe,' by Madeline Miller
In Homer’s Odyssey, Circe is only a witch known for luring men and turning them into pigs– a small blip on Odysseus’s decade-long journey home from the Trojan War. Madeline Miller gives Circe’s story new life– exploring her beginnings as a goddess, her exile to the island Aeaea, and her experiences with travelers and fellow gods who come and go. This novel is a triumph in challenging and reimagining the stories we inherit.