Book Recommendations That Will Get You Through The Next Few Weeks

This lit is LIT

These days, it’s always some crazy *ish when you turn on the television

CBS / Via

AKA the NeverEnding Election Story

And on social media, people’s opinions are flying around everywhere and there’s very little you can do to shield yourself.

Chescaleigh Ramsey / Via

But what if we told you there was another way to be engaged AND care for your sanity?

This week on BuzzFeed's Another Round podcast, we check in with some of our favorite authors and bibliophiles and asked them what they're reading for pleasure


And they were so down to show us the way

First up is Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, the organization which presents the National Book Awards.

Beowulf Sheehan

PS: Lisa's Twitter game is poppin' so you should definitely follow her if you want to hear a smart lady think out loud, mingled with lots of book love.

Lucas is a prolific "poly-reader," so her nightstand is pretty packed tbh

Viking Books/Penguin Random House, Amistad/HarperCollinsPublishers, Nation Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Penguin Press, Europa Editions

This list is so woke it's amazing she's not an insomniac...

Then we spoke with author Jacqueline Woodson-- one of our childhood favorites.

Marty Umans / Via PeguinRandomHouse

She's the author of the award-winning book Brown Girl Dreaming and the recent novel, Another Brooklyn, which is a National Book Award finalist this year.

Jacqueline is also juggling a lot of books right now:

Atheneum Books for Young Readers / Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Algonquin, Harper

She's especially pumped about rereading Kaitlyn Greenidge's We Love You Charlie Freeman: "I don't know how I missed it [the first time]- but then I picked it up and I was blown away by the this book. I was blown away by this story, I was blown away by the writing... it's just phenomenal."

If you've ever watched the hip-hop doc Can't Stop Won't Stop, then you're familiar with the work of Jeff Chang, who wrote the book that the film is based on.

Jeremy Keith Villaluz / Via Picador

But don't sleep on the rest of his repertoire-- he's also the author of Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America and the newly released We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation.

Jeff says he happens to be reading two really great stories by "people named 'Hua'"

Harvard University Press, Willow Books

"Vanessa [Hua] is such a great writer, and subversively funny...she's got this wicked absurd sense of humor. She writes a lot about these characters that don't look anything like 'model minorities'... it's so readable and human."

And if First Lady of New York, Chirlane McCray, can find a way to read a dozen books, then so can you, friend.

Michael Appleton/ Mayoral Photo Office / Via

~*FLONYC*~ is a shameless book lover who likes to share her love of reading far and wide!

Her reading interests include poetry, social justice, education and mental health, fiction, nonfiction... she does it all!

Simon and Schuster, PeguinRandomHouse

"I'm really deeply into many books on mental health and A Common Struggle by Patrick J. Kennedy which reflects his journey... It's very long book but every page filled with really good information and insight, so I highly recommend it."

Brandy Colbert is a journalist-turned-young adult novelist who also loves to read the books...

Jessie Weinberg

She's the author of Pointe, and the forthcoming YA novel Little and Lion (Little Brown, 2017).

Her faves include the critically-acclaimed debut novel The Mothers by Brit Bennett, who you'll hear from later.


Brandy also loves Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman, and the book Dear Martin by Nic Stone, due out in 2017. She says Stone's book is "a phenomenal young adult novel about growing up black in America. I really related to it, and I think a lot of people will really relate to it and learn from it… so I highly recommend you keep your eye out for that next year!"

Glory Edim is the founder of the digital (and real life) book club Well Read Black Girl, aka "the future of reading." She treats books like medicine for the soul

Courtesy of Glory Edim

"Sometimes you can't afford therapy and you need to open up a book." TOO REAL Glory, too real.

Here's what she's prescribing to her friends right now:

PenguinRandomHouse, HarperCollins

"I'm reading Phoebe Robinson's memoir, You Can't Touch My Hair", which is phenomenal!" Glory says she's also reading Whatever happened to Interracial Love by Kathleen Collins. "[She] passed away from breast cancer a while a go, and it's a bunch of her unpublished work... All of her short stories are beautifully written... it's like poetry, prose... any thing you can think of in this one book. I 100% love it."

Brit Bennett, author of the much buzzed about book The Mothers, took time from her busy book tour to update us on her current reads.

Emma Trim

You can read an excerpt of her work here.

Brit says she's excited to dive deeper into a few books she's just started:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, PenguinRandomHouse

"I just started The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang, which is a debut novel that just came out... It's really funny. It's a book about a Chinese American family who loses their fortune. I just began it but the voice grabbed me immediately. I can tell that she's an exciting writer that I'm looking forward to following throughout her career."

And last — but certainly not least — is BuzzFeed's executive editor of culture, Saeed Jones, who is also an author in his own right. He's basically reading all the things.

Jon Premosch/BuzzFeed News

He likens the experience of reading lots of stories simultaneously to throwing a party: "The books begin to be in conversation with each other... I think of books as kind of like our personalities as people. So like, we have friends, we have family members, but then you have a party and you bring all of those people together and together they create a different experience that you wouldn't get individually."

One book worth a reread in his opinion? The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.


Saeed describes the novel as "an amazing, challenging novel about an escaped slave named Cora who is is trying to make her way toward freedom via the underground railroad...but the conceit of the book is that it's literal, so she is literally on this railroad that is going under the united States via tunnels."

So there you have it, some pretty decent options should you *accidentally* throw your laptop out of a window in the coming weeks...


Our hope is that listening to your faves gush about their faves will inspire you. Stay tuned for more Lit 📚 lit🔥 in a few weeks on Another Round! For all of the links to these delicious books, subscribe to our incredible newsletter: here

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