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The 5 books that changed my life
Plus, a very exciting authorly update!
Weekly reader Q&A:
Q: Top 5 reads of all time?
A: This is of course extremely difficult!! But when I look back on books that shaped me as a writer and continue to feel significant to me, I think my ride-or-die syllabus would include Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Oh and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. Sorry, that’s six!
Do you have a bookish or writerly question for me? Leave it in a comment!
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This week’s episode of Sounds Like A Cult features a writer I love!
I had been a fan of reporter Kate Lindsay, who writes the Embedded newsletter here on Substack, for quite a while, and it was such a thrill to get her takes on the “cult” of A.I. for tomorrow’s episode of SLAC! We had such a fun, fascinating chat about how A.I. buzz has risen to cult status over the past couple years, how utopian/dystopian attitudes toward the technology are reminiscent of Heaven’s Gate, and more. Plus, some fantastic listener call-ins! The episode drops first thing tomorrow.
Reader reviews for The Age of Magical Overthinking are trickling in…
In general, I try to avoid reading too many reader reviews of my books because it makes me feel incredibly ~exposed~ (too many opinions for my soul to handle), but I just discovered that my book is now listed on NetGalley (a resource for circulating advanced digital copies), and I saw it had one rating, so I let myself read it. Not making this a habit, because if you believe all the good reviews, then naturally you have to believe the bad ones, too; however, I will say, whoever you are Tess C., I f*cking love you.
Any Normal Gossip fans here???
I can now officially expire knowing I’ve fulfilled my life purpose which was to tell my single favorite gossip story last week on the iconic Normal Gossip pod. An honor!!
A weekly roundup of books, podcasts, TV shows, tchotchkes, and anything else I’m currently “cult following.” This week, a selection of books I blurbed (aka, provided a written endorsement for the book jacket) in 2023! The quotes below are those very blurbs. Plz support these authors, if you are so moved!
MOTHER, NATURE: by Jedidiah Jenkins
“Mother, Nature may chronicle a familiarly fraught parent-child odyssey, but reading it feels like a soul-soothing stroll. Jenkins’s vulnerable, clear-eyed storytelling is a gift.”
CANDELARIA: by Melissa Lozada-Olivia
“Electric from the first page, Lozada-Oliva’s story of high-octane family dynamics and transformation is swiftly paced and deliciously vivid. Sparkling with character and dialogue, Candelaria is not only a novel, but a multisensory experience.”
CONSUMED: by Emily Robinson
“Enrapturing and propulsive from the very first page, Robinson’s Consumed is a one-of-a-kind, heart-on-its-sleeve reckoning with trauma and expression. Both gripping and important, this is a must-read for anyone in their 20s.”
MOMFLUENCED: by Sara Petersen
“Incisive, illuminating, and prescient, Momfluenced thoroughly excavates one of the internet’s most fascinating and insidious subcultures. If I could heart this book twice, I would.”
THE RACHEL INCIDENT: by Caroline O’Donoghue
"An absolute pleasure is the only way I can describe the sensation of losing myself in this ceaselessly charming, vulnerable, atmospheric story of human connection and self-discovery. Fans of Sally Rooney and Coco Mellors will delight in the cozy Irish vibes and glimmering voice of Caroline O'Donoghue."