Tsundoku is the Japanese word for all the books you buy but never read. This summer I am determined to make a dent in the pile of books I acquired in 2020 and 2021 but still haven’t read. It’s a little misleading that a solid chunk of the stack is digital, making the total appear smaller than it really is.
By the way, if you find a word for all the books you bought and are finally reading – let me know!
The Non-Fiction Stack
SPEAK – is a book about how to transform grief, setbacks and flaws into growth, self-confidence and triumph, from the massively popular Peloton instructor and fitness personality Tunde Oyeneyin.
Exit Stage Left – The Curious Afterlife of Pop Stars – These are tales of heroin addiction, bankruptcy, depression, divorce – but also of optimism, a genuine love of the craft, humility and hope.
Hello Molly! – A candid, compulsively readable, hilarious, and heartbreaking memoir of resilience and redemption from Molly Shannon.
Her Country – How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be – The full and unbridled inside story of the last twenty years of country music through the lens of Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, and Kacey Musgraves—their peers and inspirations, their paths to stardom, and their battles against a deeply embedded boys’ club, as well as their efforts to transform the genre into a more inclusive place for all (and not just white men in trucker hats), as told by award-winning Nashville journalist Marissa R. Moss.
Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair – review from verified amazon buyer : So I wouldn’t have read this except I got stuck in line at Walmart and read the excerpt in some magazine. I was riveted immediately and rushed home to download it. It’s SO good!! Like besides the fact that we have more in common than I’d ever imagine – it’s funny and irreverent and heartbreaking and soooooo good. Did I say this is good? One of my new favorite memoirs.
Rise – Lindsey Vonn’s story is an unfiltered, honest look at the mountains that need conquering for a female athlete to forge her own path, no matter how good she is.
Shine Bright – a very personal memoir of Black women in pop…is a weave of biography, criticism, and memoir and Danyel Smith’s intimate history of Black women’s music as the foundational story of American pop.
Creating Reality – an Insider’s Guide to working in Reality TV by Pete Tartaglia
Television Development – How Hollywood Creates new Television Series by Bob Levy
The Business of Television by Ken Basin
The Fiction Stack
Crying in H Mart– In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.
Cutting for Stone–An epic novel that spans continents and generations, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, compassion and redemption, exile and home that unfolds across five decades in India, Ethiopia, and America (I can’t get over the fact that the author, Abraham Verghese, is Professor and Senior Associate Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and writes novels in his spare time.)
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho is a brilliant series of stories about the lives of two Taiwanese American women and their friendship over 20 years as they explore identity, sexuality, heartbreak and family secrets…
Gold Diggers – Sanjena Sathian explores how far would you go for a piece of the American dream. “Dizzyingly original, fiercely funny, deeply wise.” —Celeste Ng
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead is…“fast-paced, keen-eyed and very funny … about race, power and the history of Harlem all disguised as a thrill-ride crime novel.”
Shuggie Bain + Young Mungo In the time it took me not to read Douglas Stuart’s Booker-prize winning debut novel, Shuggie Bain, he wrote and published his second novel, Young Mungo, an extraordinary, page-turning second novel, a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James.
The Alchemist (I know!)
The Dictionary of Lost Words Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. The Dictionary of Lost Words is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.