Emiliana is a bookseller and lover of indie bookstores and shopping small. She primarily reads poetry, fiction, and memoirs. After spending four years obtaining an English degree, Emiliana is getting back into the practice of reading for pleasure and loves a story that envelopes you into its world. A few of her favorite books are Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and Supper Club by Lara Williams. Emiliana also loves returning to old favorites and finding new favorites in children's literature - from picture books to middle readers to graphic novels.
Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing is a feat, an example of the perfect marriage between content and form. Gyasi takes lovers of historical fiction on a journey that is both incredibly expansive and incredibly intimate, following two lineages from eighteenth century Ghana to the twentieth century United States. The book's form mirrors the experiences of its characters as it moves through their two-pronged ancestry and across a vast expanse of time and space in this seven generation, diasporic project.
If you're looking for a novel about good food, young adulthood, transgressive friendships between women, and the occasional breaking and entering, Supper Club is for you. During college, Roberta keeps to herself and her cooking, struggling with her relationship to her body and to pretty much anyone else. Flash forward a few years and Roberta and her friend Stevie have started a supper club that transgresses all the boundaries: women who feast and feed their bodies, break into buildings to host their club, go dumpster diving for the menu. A story about how we relate -- to one another, to ourselves, to our bodies.
I find it very difficult to name all-time favorite books, but I can confidently say this is my absolute favorite collection of poetry. It is a great option for folks who don't typically read or enjoy poetry. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude approaches loss, joy, gratitude, place, and people with soft attentiveness, all the while staring them dead in the eye -- coming in straight and honest to the hurt, the curious lust, the romance, the devastation, the thankfulness. Gay tells the reader of the "little factory in [his] head." He exposes himself to us, writing, "...I love the moment when the poet says / I am trying to do this / or I am trying to do that." In this revelation of poetic construction, I find that Gay lets his readers in on the process through which he manages, seeks outs, avoids, mishandles, and honors the grief of losing friends to disease and murder, the endurance and hardship of familial love, the clamor in loudly proclaiming an appreciation of the everyday -- so that we, too, may begin to understand how better to hold the people and places and events of our lives in acknowledgment and gratitude.
Samin Nosrat is a gifted storyteller who just happens to also be making her stories out of food. Nosrat equips her readers with more than one-time recipes; she introduces concepts and knowledge that can be applied to any dish and which builds one’s cooking repertoire and vocabulary. Also, check out those gorgeous illustrations!
A book for those who believe certain books and certain people are destined to be together. Life in Paris is business as usual for Juliette, until she stumbles across a peculiar library and is assigned the role of passeur and instructed to take books out into the world and match them to the people who need them most.