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SOMEBODY GIVE THIS HEART A PEN

One of our recommended books is Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur

In a powerful debut, rising star Sophia Thakur brings her spoken word performance to the page.

Be with yourself for a moment.
Be yourself for a moment.
Airplane mode everything but yourself for a moment.

From acclaimed performance poet Sophia Thakur comes a stirring collection of coming-of-age poems exploring issues of identity, difference, perseverance, relationships, fear, loss, and joy. From youth to school to family life to falling in love and falling back out again—the poems draw on the author’s experience as a young mixed-race woman trying to make sense of a lonely and complicated world.

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INTIMATIONS

One of our recommended books is Intimations by Zadie Smith

Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time.Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality–or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives,

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ADRIANNE GEFFEL

One of our recommended books is Adrianne Geffel by David Hajdu

A poignant and hilarious oral history of a (fictitious) musical phenomenon.

Adrianne Geffel was a genius. Praised as the “Geyser of Grand Street” and the “Queen of Bleak Chic,” she was a one-of-a-kind artist, a pianist and composer with a rare neurological condition that enabled her to make music that was nothing less than pure, unmediated emotional expression. She and her sensibility are now fully integrated into the cultural lexicon; her music has been portrayed, represented, and appropriated endlessly in popular culture. But what do we really know about her? Despite her renown, Adrianne Geffel vanished from public life,

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WHAT ARE YOU GOING THROUGH

One of our recommended books is What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez

The New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend brings her singular voice to a story about the meaning of life and death, and the value of companionship. A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life: an ex she runs into by chance at a public forum, an Airbnb owner unsure how to interact with her guests, a stranger who seeks help comforting his elderly mother, a friend of her youth now hospitalized with terminal cancer. In each of these people the woman finds a common need: the urge to talk about themselves and to have an audience to their experiences.

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WITH OR WITHOUT YOU

One of our recommended books is With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt writes novels that expertly explore the struggles and conflicts that people face in their search for happiness. For the characters in With or Without You, it seems at first that such happiness can come only at someone else’s expense. Stella is a nurse who has long suppressed her own needs and desires to nurture the dreams of her partner, Simon, the bass player for a rock band that has started to lose its edge. But when Stella gets unexpectedly ill and falls into a coma just as Simon is preparing to fly with his band to Los Angeles for a gig that could revive his career,

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HIEROGLYPHICS

One of our recommended books is Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle

A mesmerizing novel about the burden of secrets carried across generations.

Lil and Frank married young, launched into courtship when they bonded over how they both—suddenly, tragically— lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for so much more understanding of the parents they’d lost prematurely.

Now, after many years in Boston, they’ve retired to North Carolina. There, Lil, determined to leave a history for their children, sifts through letters and notes and diary entries—perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know.

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