What We’re Reading: October 2018

This month our picks are taking us to New York City’s kitchens, a California women’s prison, 1930s Harlem, the city streets of Kenya, and 500 years of American history.

By Celadon Team

Team Celadon does a lot of reading. When we’re not poring over manuscript submissions to find the page-turners of the future, we’re digging into our own must-read lists.

This month our picks are taking us to New York City’s kitchens, a California women’s prison, 1930s Harlem, the city streets of Kenya, and 500 years of American history. If you’re looking for your next book, try one of these reads:

Jamie Raab
President & Publisher

These Truths by Jill Lepore

Reading the reviews of this book and listening to interviews with the author convinced me that this was one of the most thought-provoking books of the season and prompted me to buy a copy. Any fans of American history and readers trying to make sense of the current political landscape, who are reading current books such as Fear or The Soul of America, will be drawn to this book. Every day in America now feels like a horrifying reality show episode, and this book puts the current craziness and divisiveness into historical context — and that, I find, is much needed.”

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I pulled this from my bookshelf after Bourdain’s death to once again enjoy his great spirit and storytelling.  Reading it didn’t mitigate the sadness of his death, but it somehow seemed like the best way to remember what made him unique. Enough said.

Randi Kramer
Editorial Assistant

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor is quirky and weird and frustrating, but her big heart peeks out in a way that keeps you coming back. The main character is a lot like Kimmy Schmidt from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt–Eleanor is a protagonist who doesn’t fit in and can’t understand what she’s doing wrong–just like Kimmy. And they both have pasts that are a little darker than you’d expect.

Plus, Reese Witherspoon is making it into a movie, so I figured I’d see what all her hype is about!

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

This was a gift from someone who has similar book taste to me, but I don’t know much about it!

From what I’ve seen, fans of Margaret Atwood will love this as the author tweeted about reading this book. I know it’s going to be a great read, because it was just longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.”

Heather Graham
Director of Content

Go Tell It to the Mountain by James Baldwin

I’ve read essays by writer and activist James Baldwin, but after watching I am Not Your Negro, a documentary that’s so relevant to the current climate, I felt compelled to read his semi-autobiographical novel Go Tell It to the Mountain. It’s a classic that’s been on my list for years. Baldwin’s writing is beautiful, impactful, and as important now as it was 65 years ago.

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson is a YA book that certainly appeals to adults, much like The Hunger Games. Living in the shadows of a city in Kenya, 16-year-old Tina is a street-smart thief set on avenging her mother’s death, but what she finds may not be what she expects.

Cecily Van Buren-Freedman
Editorial Assistant

How to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson

As it was for many women, last month was a taxing one for me (and this month continues to be). Which is why I’m excited to be reading this forthcoming title being published here at Macmillan! I’m hoping it will help me achieve that elusive blend of at-peace and fired-up that keeps me appropriately mad but also allows me to sleep at night.

The Girls by Emma Cline

My fascination with cults is never-ending, which is why, after reading Jeff Guinn’s The Road to Jonestown last month, I’m now on to Emma Cline’s 2016 bestselling novel, The Girls. A fictional imagining of the Manson Family and Helter Skelter, The Girls explores what it would have been like to be a young woman drawn into a cult at the end of the 1960s.

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