What Mary H.K. Choi reads

Guest Editor and two-time New York Times bestselling novelist, Mary H.K. Choi is a major book lover and spends a lot of her time reading books by writers she loves. When we asked her to pick a few of her favorite books, she added this highly-relatable statement. “Obviously I cannot pick three to five. My palms are itching that I can’t pick EVEN MORE.” Learn more about the books that Mary H.K. Choi loves reading.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Teenager Xiomara Batista is growing into her body and mind at a steady pace, coming up against plenty of frustration along the way. To relieve this frustration, she begins writing about her feelings in a notebook, keeping it hidden from the rest of the world. With pressure from her mother and community, she knows she shouldn’t share her poetry but when an opportunity comes to read her writings aloud to her school’s slam poetry club, she finds the offer hard to pass up.


Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Elio is only 17 when he meets 24-year-old Oliver, who has come to live with his family in the Italian Riviera for the summer. Oliver and Elio quickly realize their feelings for one another and become swept up by the chemistry between them. The two embark on a passionate romance that will leave lasting effects on them.


The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend

Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 is an interesting and unique story consisting of diary entries made by teenager Adrian Mole. From his first love to his mother’s affair and other matters that an average 13-year-old would face, this legendary book is both quirky and relatable.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

In The Secret History, a life-changing classics professor teaches his students how to live a life that will actually make them happy. As they learn these new teachings, the students discover the fragility of life and the ways in which everything can end in a matter of minutes.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean Song has loved a few boys throughout her life, writing each a love note that she stores in her mother’s old hatbox. Then everything changes when those letters are sent out to the boys she had addressed them to and suddenly she has to face the consequences of her present and past feelings.


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hazel and Augustus have both been plagued with a cancer diagnosis and when they meet in a support group, their lives change forever. Augustus shows Hazel what it’s like to truly live despite the treatment and the long road ahead of her. This John Green classic is a book that many have read, re-read and absolutely loved over the past seven years.


On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

Florence and Edward are celebrating their new marriage in 1962 on the Dorset coast. But as they spend time together, the expectations of their marriage and what they owe each other become overwhelming. It’s through this trip that the two come to fully understand their relationship and set the stage for their future forever together.

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Mary H.K. Choi

Guest Editor

Mary H.K. Choi is a writer for The New York Times, GQ, Wired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. Her debut novel Emergency Contact was a New York Times bestseller. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs and Hey, Cool Life!, a podcast about mental health and creativity. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York. Follow her on Twitter @ChoitotheWorld.

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