Inside my slow reading week

Plus the Lambda Literary Award winners and a summer reading guide by mood

Hi, readers!

I made it back to Denver, and I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in my own bed last night. We had an amazing trip that included two weeks with family in DC, plus a two-night cabin stay in Louisville and a quick visit with friends in Kansas City on our drive home. The change of scenery and the chance to visit with loved ones was much needed. But of course it’s always a good feeling to settle back into your own space too. Plus I really missed Bingley and I’m very glad to be reunited with him!

Because we were driving across the country this week, I didn’t do much reading or writing. This coming week I’m hoping to finalize my summer reading guide and get that to you in next Sunday’s newsletter!! I’ve been having a lot of fun curating and categorizing this list, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

This week in books.

This week I read…

  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. This essay collection is exceptional. It made me think seriously and critically about my own preconceptions and what I’ve been conditioned to believe about race in America. I loved how much of the book touched on the role of words and storytelling in the perpetuation of racist ideas, and how Park Hong herself was so careful and specific about her own language. You can really see how her work as a poet influences her nonfiction writing in her creation of images and meticulous word choice. I highly recommend reading this. Amazon | Bookshop

  • Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool by Emily Oster. For me, this very practical early parenting book was a great place to start. Oster shares the data new parents need to know in order to make some really important decisions in the early days and months with their babies. I appreciated that this book didn’t push any particular parenting approach, but helped provide a decision making framework for some of the big (and small) questions. Amazon | Bookshop

Now I’m reading…

  • I’ve been sampling a bunch of books for my paperback summer reading guide. You’ll get a link to that in your inbox next weekend!

Links I love.

Vulture updated their Best Books of the Year (So Far) list and added a few titles to my own TBR.

The winners of Lambda Literary’s Lammy Awards have been announced. This is a great place to start if you’re looking for books to read for Pride Month.

The Atlantic’s summer reading guide is organized by mood, and I’m here for it.

Maris Kreizman’s interview with Zakiya Dalila Harris (author of The Other Black Girl) is great and delves pretty deep into the world of publishing. In the podcast, Harris also talks about her book’s connection to Nella Larsen’s Passing.

Go behind the scenes into the politics of Stacey Abram’s newest book, While Justice Sleeps.

I appreciated this article about the history of English gender neutral pronouns—it goes much, much further back than I realized.

I loved this read: What Introverts and Extroverts Can Learn from Each Other.

Alice Waters on the cookbook that changed her life.

I never thought I’d have a favorite sunscreen, but I guess this is part of being in your mid-30s. Supergoop is having a 20% off sale so I stocked up on my favorites: Unseen Sunscreen, Bright-Eyed eye cream, and PLAY Everyday Sunscreen. If you’re new to the brand, this essentials starter kit is a great deal—especially with the sale.

End notes.

Watching: The Crime of the Century. I feel like I knew everything I need to about the Sackler’s after reading Empire of Pain, but it’s still a different experience to see it play out visually.

Listening: The new season of Slow Burn about the lead up to the war in Iraq is fantastic—we listened to six episodes back to back on our drive and were really disappointed when we ran out. The podcast is expertly produced. Each episode is just the right length and packed with information without feeling overwhelming. I highly recommend downloading it when you get a chance!

Making: I’m hoping to make these frittatas this week. I’ll report back if I do.

Loving: While I do have some issues with Lululemon as a company, I have to admit that I’ve basically been living in their Align items during pregnancy. They’re all so soft, so stretchy, and so supportive. I recently added these wide-leg cropped pants to my collection when they went on sale and I’m obsessed. I think my next purchase will be a pair of bike shorts.


Readers, I hope your summer reading is off to a great start. For questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing fictionmattersbooks@gmail.com or responding directly to this newsletter. I love hearing from you!

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Happy reading!

Sara