Award-winning author of Soy Sauce for Beginners and her most recent release, Bury What We Cannot Take gave She Reads an exclusive look at the books she’s currently reading, the books she’s most excited to read next and the works she reads over and over again.
Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard
Hannah Howard has an eating disorder so working in the frantic food scene doesn’t initially seem like the best career path to follow. Couple that with trying to find her place in the world through traversing college classes, unlucky relationships and her obsession with food, and you have the makings of a riveting memoir.
Summer vacation pick:
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
The Beijing Duck House is a beloved neighborhood restaurant that provides the perfect setting for great food and celebrations. Even more outstanding than the food and ambiance are the history of the restaurant and the lives of those who work there. The story, told from different perspectives, is touching and funny throughout and holds your attention from the first to the last page.
The latest book from an author that inspires my work:
Yiyun Li suffered from debilitating depression and struggled with thoughts of suicide. Her memoir shares her painful journey and chronicles how she lost herself in books as a sort of therapy. Her account of the most difficult time in her life bounces from personal experiences to homages to those literary figures that have influenced her and helped her to heal.
Books I read over and over again:
Waiting by Ha Jin
Lin Kong is in love with a woman who matches his education, passion and drive, but then there’s the complication of his wife. His wife (by arranged marriage) and daughter live in a small village, and each time he visits, he asks her for a divorce and while she initially agrees she always changes her mind by the time he leaves again. Waiting is a picture of what life is like when everyone is waiting; waiting for things to end or begin and for people to act.
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Edward P. Jones transports you to Manchester County in Virginia, a fictional locale, to the point that you could smell the sweet air blowing through the plantation fields. The Known World follows Henry as he transitions from slave to slave owner, spanning different timeframes and relationships throughout his community.
Books I can’t wait to get my hands on:
A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua
After an affair with her boss, Scarlett finds herself pregnant. The only problem is that her boss is married and has three daughters. To help keep his secret hidden she is sent to a secret maternity home in California which feels like it couldn’t be further from her home in China. When an unexpected doctor’s visit reveals a surprise, she flees to San Francisco’s Chinatown only to find she has a stowaway in the van she’s stolen.
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
Will has recently lost his faith and is struggling to come to terms with what that means for where he thought his life was headed… and then he meets Phoebe. Phoebe, harboring some seriously heavy guilt, has recently gotten involved in a small religious faction that is gradually becoming more and more radical. A significant split in faith is established when Phoebe’s group becomes violent and Will has to grapple with his desire to save her and the reasons she feels the need to be so embroiled in the group.
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Sisters Chula and Cassandra seem immune to the threats affecting their gated community in Bogota. When their mother hires Petrona, a new live-in maid, the young girls are immediately entranced, wanting to know everything about her. The relationship between the three delves deep into cultural obligations and the strength women possess, especially when facing danger.