Nikki Barnhart recommends:
Meet Me in the Bathroom by Elizabeth Goodman
“Meet Me in the Bathroom” by Elizabeth Goodman is an oral history of the NYC rock scene from 2001-2011, in the vein of the classic “Please Kill Me.” It’s (probably) the closest you’ll ever get to hanging out with the members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, The Strokes, Interpol, Vampire Weekend, (and more) and hearing them all gossip about each other. It’s 640 glorious pages of tell-alls and dirty secrets – I’m actually pretty amazed that half of this was legally published. “Meet Me in the Bathroom” is a must-read for any die-hard music fan, or anyone with, to riff off of LCD Soundsystem “Losing My Edge”, borrowed (or real) nostalgia for a grittier, rockier, rougher New York. My favorite part of the book though might be the way it perfectly exemplifies the way music affects the cultural zeitgeist, and vice versa. (One qualm though – I can’t stop thinking about how slightly better this book would be if it had been titled “This Was It”… seriously, how could they ignore that screaming opportunity)
Benjamin Lee recommends:
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
Beautiful prose. A touching story. Annie Proulx’s short story about the secret love between two young men was also adapted into an academy award-winning film. If you’re looking for a short read, this is the one to check out.
Radio Iris by Anne-Marie Kinney
An omnipresent radio white noise protects Iris from the all-consuming silence that would otherwise invade, completely leveling everything but memory. This book is oddly symmetrical and delightfully set in a minor key.
Laura Knicklebine recommends:
An elusive, elegant tragedy spun into 784 pages. An explosion goes off, a mother dies, and a famous painting goes missing. I happily let this novel envelop half of my summer last year, as the story kept unfolding and unfolding into tenderness and detail.
Kyle Flak recommends:
Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me by Mark Leidner
Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me is one of my all time favorite books of all time! Seriously. It makes me laugh out loud, but also it whispers the secret meaning of life at me in sad, quiet ways. Thank you, Mark Leidner, for writing this awesome book.
Greg Zorko recommends:
Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose
The first piece in this new collection of personal essays from Durga Chew-Bose is worth the price of the entire book. It journeys through many digressions that manage never to feel like ramblings, all about culture, the life of a writer, memory, family and identity. The rest of the collections follows the same pattern, a personal and intimate mix of criticism and memoir.
Mallory Smart recommends:
Amulet by Roberto Bolaño
Amulet is a short novel that is both beautiful and bleak. It’s a strange non- linear plot that centers around the massacre at Tlatelolco in 1968 and is a story that will always stick with me.