I am told on a semi-regular basis that people miss Arabelle’s Book Club Recommendations, so I will dedicate this email to just that today. These all link out to Bookshop.org affiliate links, which directly supports local bookstores. I’ve also added them to my own Bookshop Shop Page, so in the future you can go there and see what I’ve read, liked, and added to share with you.
On Beauty and Wellness
Thick: And Other Essays, by Tressie McMillan Cotton. I bought it specifically for her essay on beauty, which does not disappoint, and is one of my favorite pieces of beauty writing I have read in ages.
Natural Causes, by Barbara Ehenreich. Going off of the last newsletter, I returned to reading this, her… second latest book? When I bought it, it had just come out, so I am both awed and infuriated with her speed of writing TBH! Anyway, this is about the medical industrial complex and, in the book jacket words: “how we over prepare and worry too much about what is inevitable.” It is a very bizarre - or perhaps perfect - self isolation read, perhaps antithetical to what you would expect to pick up. I do like it! She’s a smart researcher, scientist, and what she has to teach you in this makes you unlearn a lot of things.
The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work, by Miliaan Kang. This is an academic text, not a pop-culture one. I’ve had it for awhile and am using it for research, but as I just wrote a piece for Teen VOGUE about salons during COVID-19 (read here) it made sense to revisit. It’s a great project exploring nail salons in New York City.
Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the Immigrant Menace, by Alan M Kraut. I picked this up right before the NYPL shut down, for book research, and unfortunately it’s incredibly…relevant… right now….screams
Fiction and Other Things
Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food, by Kris Yenbamroong. To politely and lovingly go against the grain of the Alison Roman cookbook cult, I find reading asian cookbooks so much more rewarding for me personally. I eat some kind of Asian food 80% of the time, so I’ve been revisiting this one, by the chef of a great LA restaurant, and am planning to try his street food recipes next time I order groceries.
Priestdaddy: A Memoir, by Patricia Lockwood. This was everywhere when it came out years ago, but I didn’t get around to reading it until this month, and it is so funny and weird! It’s a great way to take a break from the world and news, this book. I am enjoying it immensely. It’s also a great education in how playful you can write memoir.
Anyway, that’s whats on my nightstand right now! What have you been reading? Feel free to share; I am pretty desperate for some fiction right now.
(P.s) This edition of the newsletter is free, but the next one won’t be! Please become a paid subscriber if you can. OK love you talk soon