I’m sure all of you have heard of #bookstagram. Maybe you haven’t and you need to take a ride through Instagram’s latest craze. At least it feels like a craze (maybe a revolution), but then can anything really compete with #catstagram? Just put stagram on anything you love and you’ll have the same followers as a Michael’s craft store or a Hobby Lobby if you’re of a religious breed. Funny thing is, every Michaels that I’ve ever hoarded beads in has always been near a “bible store,” but this is the south, so there’s that.
Anyway, #bookstagram has a new community that’s not on Instagram, but this new app called “Litsy.” The bookish account, “Crimebythebook” posted about it on her profile and I joined. It’s like a mix of Goodreads and “Bookish Instagram Community” AKA people who wear large-button sweaters, ballet flats even in the edge of winter, and have figured out how to foam milk into designs in their coffee OR they spend an absurd amount of money on fancy coffee in big white mugs every year. Seriously, this community could fund your local coffee joint with one thud of cash.
Unfortunately, Goodreads, Litsy, Instagram, or “WhatshouldIreadnext.com” has not led me to any good choices lately. Instagram has far too many fan girls reading the third book in a YA series. Goodreads can get really intense, especially if you have a big personality, with big feels about books. People can get real heated on there. Litsy is too new to really be advantageous. WhatshouldIreadnext just hasn’t really promoted the kind of read I need at the moment.
This is where you come in.
Guys, I didn’t read a book in April. Don’t get me wrong, I read seven thousand and twenty-two essays, articles, short stories, poems, and academically, or globally relevant short form pieces to share with my students, but not one book. Me, who has run a book blog for almost six years. I did not read a book.
I need recommendations.
I need something that will pull me in and not let go, but not in the mystery way. I need writing that sucks you dry. I need a Milk & Honey feeling but in novel form (maybe no doodles of vaginas though. My students showed me that one and it was a weird day). I’m currently reading about the historical and cultural significance of rain and I need a little fiction on the side. I like a touch of romance, but I don’t want to read any books that have the words “full throttle” or have pink covers with large red font in a cursive. I like to problem solve, but I don’t want crime. I just want something that will touch the human spirit, but hasn’t been a NY Times Best Seller.
I’m starting to think I’m asking too much, BUT here are a few of my favorite books:
- Lark & Termite – Jayne Anne Phillips
- The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
- The Tsar of Love and Techno – Anthony Marra
- Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
- Hold Your Own – Kate Tempest
- Paint It Black – Janet Fitch
- Summer Sisters – Judy Blume
- The Enchanted – Rene Denfeld
- All the things by Louise Gluck
- All the things by Tiffanie DeBartolo