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SLOW NOODLES

One of our recommended books is Slow Noodles by Chantha Nguon

A haunting and beautiful memoir from a Cambodian refugee who lost her country and her family during Pol Pot’s genocide in the 1970s but who finds hope by reclaiming the recipes she tasted in her mother’s kitchen.

Take a well-fed nine-year-old with a big family and a fancy education. Fold in 2 revolutions, 2 civil wars, and one wholesale extermination. Subtract a reliable source of food, life savings, and family members, until all are gone. Shave down childhood dreams for approximately two decades, until only subsistence remains.

In Slow Noodles, Chantha Nguon recounts her life as a Cambodia refugee who lost everything and everyone—her house,

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DON’T LET ME BE LONELY

One of our recommended books is Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine

A brilliant and unsparing examination of America in the early twenty-first century, Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely invents a new genre to confront the particular loneliness and rapacious assault on selfhood that our media have inflicted upon our lives. Fusing the lyric, the essay, and the visual, Rankine negotiates the enduring anxieties of medicated depression, race riots, divisive elections, terrorist attacks, and ongoing wars–doom scrolling through the daily news feeds that keep us glued to our screens and that have come to define our age.

First published in 2004, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely is a hauntingly prescient work,

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WHY WE READ

One of our recommended books is Why We Read by Shannon Reed

A hilarious and incisive exploration of the joys of reading from a teacher, bibliophile and Thurber Prize finalist.

We read to escape, to learn, to find love, to feel seen. We read to encounter new worlds, to discover new recipes, to find connection across difference or simply to pass a rainy afternoon. No matter the reason, books have the power to keep us safe, to challenge us, and perhaps most importantly, to make us more fully human.

Shannon Reed, a long-time teacher, lifelong reader and The New Yorker contributor, gets it. With one simple goal in mind,

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RENTAL PERSON WHO DOES NOTHING

One of our recommended books is Rental Person Who Does Nothing by Shoji Morimoto

In June of 2018, 35-year-old Shoji Morimoto posted on Twitter offering one simple service: he will do nothing, for a fee. Any and all requests are fair game—seeing you off when moving, sharing a soda with you, being present alongside you when submitting divorce papers, joining you at a baseball game—so long as it conforms to his one and only requirement that he “do nothing.” Since then, Morimoto has been hired by over 4,000 patrons across Japan, officially rebranding himself as Rental Person.

Rental Person’s clients are often desperate, their requests funny, poignant, mysterious and baffling—but never short of fascinating.

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A TRUE ACCOUNT

One of our recommended books is A True Account by Katherine Howe

From New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe comes a daring first-hand account of one young woman’s unbelievable adventure as one of the most terrifying sea rovers of all time.

In Boston, as the Golden Age of Piracy comes to a bloody close, Hannah Masury – bound out to service at a waterfront inn since childhood – is ready to take her life into her own hands. When a man is hanged for piracy in the town square and whispers of a treasure in the Caribbean spread, Hannah is forced to flee for her life, disguising herself as a cabin boy in the pitiless crew of the notorious pirate Edward “Ned”

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UNFINISHED WOMAN

One of our recommended books is Unfinished Woman by Robyn Davidson

A spellbinding memoir exploring time and memory, home and belonging, from the internationally bestselling author of Tracks, “an unforgettably powerful book” (Cheryl Strayed).

In 1977, while she was in her twenties, Robyn Davidson set off with a dog and four camels to cross 1,700 miles of Australian desert to the sea.

A life of almost constant travelling followed—from the Outback to Sydney’s underworld; from sixties street life, to the London literary scene; from migrating with nomads in India and Tibet, to marrying an Indian prince. The only territory she avoided was the past.

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