Welcome to our Ten Book Challenge where our favorite authors share their “Book-It List”—a book bucket list with 10 of their most beloved and memorable reads—from the books with their favorite covers and best opening lines, to the reads they gift and the bookstores they frequent. This is a peek into your favorite authors’ perfect bowl of literary comfort food. We hope you discover something delicious! 

This month, our April guest editor Sarah Lotz, author of The Impossible Us, is sharing her Book-It List with SheReads. Lotz’s novels include the bestselling The Three and Day Four, both of which are currently being adapted for television. The Impossible Us is a funny, sharp novel, a perfect summer read for fantasy and sci-fi lovers. Bee feels like she’s living the dream—she runs a successful business repurposing wedding dresses and her friends love and support her—the only negative her inability to find love. But there’s always Tinder. Then there’s Nick, who is recovering from a failed marriage and hit a wall with his writing career. But as long as gins is around, he’s happy.

One day, Bee opens her email to find a hilarious story written by Nick, intended for one of his clients, and she decides to respond. As they get to know each other over email, bonding over odd pop culture and political references, they realize they’re falling hard for each other. But whenever they try to meet, they fail spectacularly. Turns out they’re actually living in near-identical but parallel worlds. How will they overcome the odds to be together—and at what costs to both of their worlds?

The Book I……

I last bought/am currently reading: Shit Cassandra Saw by Gwen E Kirby (loving it).

I recommend to everyone: Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. My friend Lauren bought it for me, and it blew my mind.

That was my favorite to read last year, and why: Bunny by Mona Awad (another rec from Lauren – she has excellent taste). Witty, funny, sharp and I couldn’t put it down.

Which author I would love to have lunch with: I need to take Lavie Tidhar and Sarah Pinborough out for a very expensive lunch. Not only because they are masters of their craft and it’ll give me an opportunity to fangirl them shamelessly, but because they were extremely kind to me when I needed it most.  

That made me realize language had power: Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda. It made me look at mortality in an entirely different way.

I’d like to see adapted to the screen: Acts of the Assassins by Richard Beard. Doubt anyone will have the guts to do it though…

That made me laugh out loud—or cry—while reading it: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it, and it gets me every time.

That has the most gorgeous cover: I’m going to cheat here and say any cover designed by genius illustrator Joey Hifi, a.k.a. Dale Halvorsen.

With the best opening line: The Crow Road by Iain Banks: “It was the day my grandmother exploded.”

Bookstore that I frequent/is my favorite: The Book Lounge in Cape Town. I left South Africa six years ago and I still miss it.

Don’t miss our exclusive interview with Sarah Lotz about the inspiration behind her parallel worlds, writing during UK’s lockdown, and her favorite speculative fiction.