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A brilliant debut memoir about a young writer—struggling with depression, family issues, and addiction—and his life-changing decade working for Joan Didion

As an aspiring novelist in his early twenties, Cory Leadbeater was presented with an opportunity to work for a well-known writer whose identity was kept confidential. Since the tumultuous days of childhood, Cory had sought refuge from the rougher parts of life in the pages of books. Suddenly, he found himself the personal assistant to a titan of literature: Joan Didion.

In the nine years that followed, Cory shared Joan’s rarefied world, transformed not only by her blazing intellect but by her generous friendship and mentorship.

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Publishers Weekly Top 10 Memoir of the Season. The work of a lifetime from the Tony Award-winning, bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues-political, personal, profound, and more than forty years in the making.

The newest book from V (formerly Eve Ensler), Reckoning invites you to travel the journey of a writer’s and activist’s life and process over forty years, representing both the core of ideas that have become global movements and the methods through which V survived abuse and self-hatred. Seamlessly moving from the internal to the external, the personal to the political, 

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Growing up in a deeply evangelical family in the Midwest in the ’80s and ’90s, Sarah McCammon was strictly taught to fear God, obey him, and not question the faith. Persistently worried that her gay grandfather would go to hell unless she could reach him, or that her Muslim friend would need to be converted, and that she, too, would go to hell if she did not believe fervently enough, McCammon was a rule-follower and–most of the time–a true believer. But through it all, she was increasingly plagued by fears and deep questions as the belief system she’d been carefully taught clashed with her expanding understanding of the outside world.

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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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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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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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