As any voracious reader knows, there are so many books out there, it can be hard to choose just what to read next. So what could be better than a hand-picked recommendation from someone in the know? Every Wednesday the XOXOAD team likes to find out what some of its favorite authors are reading. Along with watching Younger, the new show on TV Land that’s based on her book, we’ve asked Pamela Redmond Satran to tell us what she’s been burying her nose in these days!
Like many people in this distracted age, I’m often reading a lot of things at once: ebooks and paper, modern works and classics, novels and nonfiction, books by friends and works by authors I only dream of knowing.
I just finished Elena Ferrante’s first novel, The Days of Abandonment, and while I knew I loved her work, I was especially blown away by the quiet-yet-intense tale of a woman in the weeks and months after her husband leaves her.
A wonderful novel is always a difficult act to follow, but I have two on deck I have high hopes for. One is Ann Packer’s The Children’s Crusade, which has been attracting amazing reviews. Ann was my teacher at Berkeley when I was struggling with my first novel and I love her work, so I’m excited about this new big juicy book.
I also have Anthony Doerr’s bestseller All The Light We Cannot See on my night table. I heard Anthony read a handful of years ago at The Story Prize event and thought he was fantastic – smart, funny, engaging – so I’m sure this novel that has won him so many fans will be the same. (I also want to read Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck, winner of this year’s Story Prize.)
I like reading books about writing so on my Kindle I just finished Ann Patchett’s The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life. And another writing book I recently read and loved is Louise DeSalvo’s The Art of Slow Writing, which will give heart to any writer who’s not an overnight success.
Another friend with a new book coming out I’m excited about is Benilde Little, whose first memoir is Welcome To My Breakdown. Living through tough days with a friend is one thing and reading about it is something else. As a novelist who’d also like to write a memoir, I can’t wait to see how Benilde turned her pain into art.
As a new transplant to Los Angeles, I recently visited the wonderful Last Bookstore, where I bought City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion from Bohemian to Rock, by Melissa Magsaysay. Excited to read this practical guide!
But distracting me from all these books is the complete first season DVD of all 13 episodes of the Younger television series. You can watch with me….but you have to bring me a book as a thank you.