Grace started her bookselling career back in high school, and now as a college student its become a huge part of her life. Orginally from the Outer Banks, reading has always been a passion for her, so working in a bookstore is a perfect fit. She reads a little bit of everything, with her personal favorites being literary fiction and political books. When not reading she enjoys collecting art and vintage magazines, visiting every park in Richmond she can get to, and finding new music.
Reading the book that wins the Booker Prize for the year is always a highlight for me, and this book set the bar incredibly high for next year. Easily the best writing Ive read in 2021, the plot follows Shuggie, a shy young boy who lives in Scotland with his family during the 1980's, a time full of new politics, high crime and low employment. His mother, Agnes, is the other main character, a highly presentable and high functioning alcoholic. When Agnes' drinking comes to a head, Shuggie is the one that steps up. The story itself is so strong already, but there's something about this gritty, new narrative of functioning addicts, low class working families and the real world struggles of it all that hooked me in. Stuart's debut novel is one that needs to be on everyone's 'to be read' list, there's nothing like it out there and without a doubt will be in my top 3 reads of 2021.
After following their Instagram for years, the second I heard the monochromatic, fantasy world photos that make up the Accidentally Wes Anderson account were making a coffee table book I knew I needed it. Full of perfectly framed and colored photos of lighthouses (some from my hometown so I may be a little bias), stand alone hotels in the middle of the Alps and even camel crossing signs in Israel, to say im obsessed with this is an understatement. With an introduction from Anderson himself, the best part about the book is after looking at these dreamscape photos, next to them are the exact locations of them, almost like the ultimate Anderson travel guide. The first coffee table book I bought for my first apartment, I cant recommend this enough!!
My personal nonfiction pick of 2020, Three Women follows just as you'd expect, three women, living in different states across the country and their lives behind closed bedroom doors. It took Taddeo almost a decade of reporting, knowing every aspect of these womens lives, even living in their own towns to create this book, and it all paid off. At first I thought this was going to be three women's sex lives and gossip, but I couldn't have been farther from the truth. It's a look into the pressures a girl faces in teen years, the ups and downs of relationships, heartbreak and new love, but most importantly its a discussion starter. If there's any book you should read about women and feminism, its this one.
Poetry was difficult for me to get into, I never clicked with what was being said or really understood the magnitude of eight words on a page, but this classic by Ferlinghetti changed all that for me. Written during the 1950's, it's a collection of poems seperated into three sections. Ferlinghetti writes that he got the title not because it's about Coney Island, but because the poems are a circus of the soul. With two sections being standard poetry and the third being spoken word poems from smoky jazz rooms in the 50's transcribed onto clean pages, there's something hypnotizing about this 90 page book. The poems are a look into not just everyday things, but the deeper thoughts we have about them as well. Making the mundane tasks of life into beautifully written page long verses, Ferlinghetti is essential poetry reading.
A tale that makes your heart as warm as the sun, Sun Flower Lion is just what it sounds like, the story of a lion, a flower and the sun. With monochromatic illustrations, "chapters" that consist of a dozen words, and all positive vibes, this is just the perfect feel good kids book. Besides the adorable drawings and plot line, this also helps kids with a good introduction into "chapter" books, and is full of strong verbs that help teach as well as entertain! The ideal bedtime story book, Henkes does it again with this modern day children's classic.