The Lilith Blog 1 of 2

July 27, 2018 by

Five Books We’re Loving This Summer

The dog days of summer are here, but there’s still plenty of time to stretch out with a good book. Here is a glimpse of what we’re reading this August — look for part two coming soon!

Drawing BloodDrawing Blood, Molly Crabapple (Harper Collins, 2017)

If you’re not familiar with Molly Crabapple, you should remedy that immediately, starting with her memoir. Drawing Blood begins with her childhood in New York City, and follows her as she draws her way through art school, traveling in Europe, Morocco, Marrakech, modeling with Suicide Girls, and witnessing, through illustration, Occupy Wall Street, Syria, on Rikers’ Island, and in Guantanamo Bay (the book opens with Crabapple sketching the trial of 9.11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed). Crabapple hasn’t just made a book about becoming an artist, but how art creates a revolution inside oneself, and in the whole world.



Invitation to a BonfireInvitation to a Bonfire, Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury, 2018)

If you’re looking for a novel that includes murder (not a spoiler), a thorough and complicated exploration of class, and a literary love triangle inspired by actual events, this is the summer read for you. Adrienne Celt have written a gutsy and graceful book that reimagines the story of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov’s marriage, but also what it means to have your allegiances constantly questioned, even by your self. Invitation to a Bonfire is set in the 1930s, but it’s bound to remind you of the current day, in ways that will create urgency and stir up your insides, in the best way possible.

Little Panic

Little Panic: Dispatches From An Anxious Life, Amanda Stern (Grand Central Publishing, 2018)

I don’t know about you, but one of the main reasons I read is because it has always made me feel less alone. Amanda Stern is a writer who knows this, I suspect, and it’s probably because that’s the reason that she too reads, and writes. Her memoir, which begins with her childhood in New York City (starting the summer of the Etan Patz kidnapping), isn’t just about someone with anxiety—as if that is ever really simple— but of how we’re affected by the stories people tell us about ourselves, and why it’s so vital that we learn to tell our own. (Read our Q&A with Stern here). 



You All Grow Up_1

You All Grow Up and Leave Me: Memoir of Teenage Obsession, Piper Weiss (William Morrow, 2018).

There’s are few things more unsettling than a world seen through the eyes of teenage girls, where life might appear ordinary, but is truly anything but. Weiss’s book is one part dream (and nightmare) for true crime enthusiasts, and one part “Gossip Girl” (in the best way possible). It’s a lush, complicated, and disturbing descent into the well-appointed world of the Upper East Side, but you don’t need to have grown up there to feel a connection to this intimate story of a young girl who learns something beyond horrible about a person she trusts.



Optimistic Decade

The Optimistic Decade, Heather Abel (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018)

This brave and original novel by Heather Abel will appeal even if you have never set foot in Jewish summer camp. The Optimistic Decade is about what happens when you bring a group of hopeful, radical, well-intentioned people, in search of redemption, to a place that’s supposedly “unsettled”? (Sound familiar?) Abel’s book is uncharted territory, it’s an artfully constructed confrontation of what makes the personal political, and vice versa. This is a novel that transforms— not just its characters, but the reader.