Friday Book Debrief Vol 45

Every week we’re sharing what our some of our writers are currently reading.

For all of our US readers, we now have our own Bookshop! You can find the full list of the below books here and with every purchase you will be helping local independent bookstores! If you do not live in the US please support your local independent stores, lots are now doing local deliveries and they need your help more then ever in these uncertain times. - ❤️


The Party by Robyn Harding - Melissa

I can't decide how I feel about this book, even though I'm more than 3/4 of the way done. That's probably not a good sign. It's


not bad by any means, but it's just not one of those novels that I can't put down. If I, a horrible guesser, can predict how it's gonna end... well.... like I said. Not a good sign.


Buy it here.




Sex and Rage: A Novel by Eve Babitz - Aleks

I'm still not sure what to make of this book, but I gorged on it so it must have been engrossing. I burned through it in a day, realizing about 3/4 of the way through that I haven't read too many stories which so pointedly avoided *and* explored permanent entanglements for the female characters. Babitz's characters are enthrallingly intertwined but devastatingly isolated. I guess I just explained what I loved about it. It's definitely a strange ride.

Buy it here.



Recollections of My NonExistence by Rebecca Solnit - Aleks

Typically I experience Solnit to be a "pointy" writer, in that reading her essays is liable to be painful and activating, and basically requires a certain base level of sanity to fruitfully engage. Needless to say I haven't felt that way in a while, so this has been sitting on my shelf since release. However, this account of Solnit's life is compassionate, enveloping, and extremely touching. As always, she employs intense self-awareness and societal critique, and completely avoids the trap of sentimentalizing her life's journey through saccharine childhood stories, which, as a woman used to having my identity reduced to cutesy, emotional details, I very much appreciated.

Buy it here.



Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein - Mel

I love learning facts/statistics and I love books on current events and this book is fulfilling my need for both. Though there is a lot of focus on the history of American politics, Klein always brings it back to the present which shows how truly, devastatingly polarized the two major parties have become.

Buy it here.




Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg - Courtney

A tiny little book that packs a fierce punch. One day Sara Morgan is killed by her boyfriend, Blake Campbell, who confesses to the the crime but is declared not guilty on the grounds of temporary insanity. Nothing Can Hurt You explores the ranging connections people have to this case. It is incredibly gripping and told in a completely unique way. A perfect pick up for spooky season because what’s more horrifying than the harrowing complexities of real life.

Buy it here.



Bunny by Mona Awad - Courtney

I’m not 100% sure what is going on but I’m certainly not mad at it. Not mad at all.

Buy it here.




Milk Fed by Melissa Broder - Maggie

This is a book that feels like brain vomit in the best way. It’s sexy, raw, queer, and uncomfortably honest. The short, choppy chapters are exquisite and this novel proves the power of Broder.


Pre-order it here.




The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson - Christina


'Elizabeth, Beth, Betsy, and Bess, they all went together to find a bird's nest. A few of my friends and I started a casual bookclub and Shirley Jackson was our spooky selection for October and this was the only one of her works none of us had read. Probably for a reason.


Buy it here.




Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko - Akilah


This debut is great narrative style combined with powerful messaging. Ifueko knows how to keep you entertained, engaged, and racing/stalling to the finish line. My teenage self would have died for this book.


Buy it here.




What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer - Jessica Maria


A slim volume of poetry that reads easily and without much guessing, which I appreciate. I’m wondering if there’s something deeper here I may be missing, though.


Pre-order it here.