The Steele Maiden Book Club: January 2018 Reads

Reading has always been such a huge part of my life that it’s funny to me I’ve never really discussed books here on the blog. My Mom worked at a library up until I went to Kindergarten and my parents like to joke that I could organize a card catalogue before most kids even knew how to read. When I first moved to New York in my early 20s, I founded a book club and have missed it ever since it ended. I used to devour a handful of books every month, but between this blog and my full time career – it became harder and harder to find the time to read.

This year, I’m determined to change that and it seems like you’re all interested in the idea too. So I bring you – the first month/chapter of The Steele Maiden Book Club. Each month, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the books I’ve read in the previous month and then selecting a couple of books for the next month to come, in the case that any of you want to jump in and read along with me!

THEFT BY FINDING by David Sedaris:

Sedaris is one of my all-time favorite authors. Painfully funny in his no frills approach to both writing and life. Theft by Finding is a chronological collection of his real diary entries over the past 40 years. Honest, hilarious, and beautiful even in its banality – there’s something incredibly brave about sharing so much even when it seems unimportant to the greater scope of his life. I also love that because these don’t have an overall narrative you can pick it up and put it down like a collection of short stories. And a reminder, that if you want to be really great at something (be it writing or anything else)… practice it almost every day for decades.

MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub:

Eh. To be fair this book was exactly what I was expecting so I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, but maybe just not blown away. Set in modern day Brooklyn the story follows two main couples now in their 40s (who met in college) and their now high-school aged children. A multi-generational story that touches on coming of age, navigating relationships and coming to terms with your life choices as you grow older. An overall pleasant read, I’m just not sure that I ever felt very invested in any of the characters. But for a beach vacation or rainy weekend where you want to plow through a book over the course of a few days and not have to overthink it – this would be a good option.

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng:

I read Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You in a single weekend last Summer so I couldn’t wait to pick this one up. Little Fires Everywhere was maybe even better (and that’s saying something). Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio in the 90s the story weaves together two families with very different dynamics and backgrounds. And just like her first novel, shows you just how much we often still don’t know about the very people closest to us. Each character is so beautifully written that you find yourself having a hard time deciding who’s side you’re on as the plot twists and turns. Without giving any more away – suffice to say I can’t recommend this one enough.

SHOP THIS MONTH’S BOOK CLUB:

Next month, I’m diving into Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (after binging the Amazon series ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ starring Christina Ricci about the early days of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald – which I lovedddd) and You’ll Grow Out of It (recommended by a friend who just so happened to be one of the members of my old IRL book club). It’s a short month, so I’m sticking to just those two. Have other suggestions? Drop me a line or comment here.

SHOP NEXT MONTH’S BOOK CLUB: