Hua Hsu spent 20 years writing this book as an homage to a friend, Ken, who was randomly murdered in a carjacking one night after a college party. The first half details their friends' lives in college at Berkeley in the 90s, and the sense of infinitute you feel when you're young. The second half is a completely arresting tribute to Ken and their friendship as Hsu struggles to process the grief of losing Ken, and the guilt of surviving without him. I can't put into words how good this is -- just read it for yourself and let Hsu tell you how much he loved Ken.
A poetic and powerfully honest memoir that shares the heartbreak felt from fatal miscalculations of love. Felix's manic highs and depressive lows tug the reader through pages of fervor and moments of stillness on a journey of loss, diagnosis, and self-care. Her dyscalculia--a learning disability in mathematics-- is the lens for her failures but also for her healing. I devoured this book and loved every second.
J.P. Brammer writes from a very specific background as a gay Mexican-American man raised in rural Oklahoma, but these are identities you don't need to personally claim in order to both love and benefit from this book. His writing style makes you forget you are reading and instead feel as if you're having a conversation with someone who is deeply invested in helping you seize the best from life. And he's hilarious, so that's a plus.
In less than 100 pages, Smith continues her exploration of her childhood, grief, Rimbaud, art, and love seen in her other books, now partially through the lens of late 2020. It's lyrical and beautiful, as Smith's words always are. And it fits in your pocket!
This book will make you re-examine the wellness culture we see today while also helping you rethink how you care for yourself and others. Smart and eye opening.
As "LA's Renowned Lesbian Dominatrix", Chris Belcher could pay off her student loans while working towards her doctorate, and keep from slipping into the cycle of poverty she had escaped from once she left West Virginia. She was also able to examine gender dynamics behind the dungeon door, and the way masculinity presents itself when she has her boot pushing into someone's back. Complicated questions of sexuality, queerness, identity, and power arise with every essay in this memoir, as well as the way society harms those that deviate from the norm.
In this memoir, Ingrid Rojas Contreras examines the violence that has impacted her family since the Spanish invasion of pre-colonial Colombia, and the perseverance of her indigenous heritage in the magical practices that have been carried through the (male) generations. Meditations on memory, trauma, beliefs, and history are both lyrical and thought-provoking, especially when Rojas Contreras laser focuses on her relationship with her mercurial mother and their mirror-image experiences with amnesia and supernatural experiences.
The latest book in my "quit lit" have-reads, McKowen's memoir gives us an up-close view of her dark experiences under addiction. She then showcases the joys and hardships of sobriety, which those of us who suffered with alcoholism (or any other addiction), can attest to. A raw and emotional, yet beautiful, memoir, We Are the Luckiest is sure to impact you!
I LOVED this story of Dick Conant, who spent the last years of his life living at the river’s edge making epic journeys via canoe. Ben McGrath is a writer for The New Yorker who met Conant once, and after his disappearance, read his idiosyncratic journals to meet the people Conant knew in order to understand the mythic presence Conant created around himself. Moving.
As children, it is so difficult to understand the decisions our parents make, or how they love us. Koh’s rediscovery and subsequent translation of her mother’s letters is the rediscovery of a mother’s love. The interspersed memories provide a hard-hitting perspective, but it is balanced by such lyrical delivery.