Benjamin Lee recommends:

The Things They Carried


Both a novel and collection of interrelated short stories, Tim O’Brien’s half war memoir and writer’s autobiography illuminates with his writing style and unique characters, drawing from his time spent in the Vietnam War. His writing style is constantly commenting and analyzing upon how stories are told and why they are told, bringing us to the realization that sometimes, “story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.”

You’ll understand when you read it.

Laura Knicklebine recommends:

Madness, Rack, and Honey


I hesitate to call this collection of lectures a guidebook for poets, because no other guidebook has such a mythical combustion of wisdom and wit. I’m enamored with the teachings of this book, it’s philosophies and weird magic. I swear, it isn’t just for writers. It’s a bookshelf gem for anyone curious to know more about the strange mechanics of living and loving.

Max Heidelberger recommends:



I’d love to recommend Dennis Covington’s “Revelation.” Covington’s searing memoir on the relationship between religious faith and horrific violence was published in February of this past year, and has taken on new poignancy in the wake of the escalation of the situation Aleppo. The book works both as memoir and first-rate journalism, and Covington’s final thoughts manage to be heartbreaking, beautiful, and unresolved.

Erin Taylor recommends:

Oryx & Crake


I recommend Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood. I recently picked it up at a bookstore in Shanghai and it’s honestly so incredibly engaging, I haven’t put it down since buying it. Having been so focused on reading poetry for awhile now, it’s a fantastic fiction read.

Claire Hopple recommends:

How to Get into the Twin Palms


Unashamedly blunt and beautiful, How to Get into the Twin Palms is a tale of an immigrant trying to fit in with another kind of immigrant. The distant wildfires are a leveling force, making everyone blank-slated, empty-pocketed and foreign. With quirky characters and a carefree spirit, this book is unassuming in its goodness.

Mallory Smart recommends:

Nobody Belongs Here More Than You


I recommend Nobody Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. It’s one of my favorite books that I read while having a panic attack this year. Miranda July always has such a whimsical and humanistic tone in her writing.  It’s hard not to relate and fall in love with this short story collection.

Bulent Mourad recommends:

Bream Gives Me Hiccups



This is an excellent short story collection by Jesse Eisenberg that sort of takes you on an adventure of different narrative styles from Yelp reviews to texting conversations. Though you might think “Oh…another celebrity got a book deal”, this book is cleverly full of humanity. It feels exactly as you might expect the inside of Jesse Eisenberg’s head to be.