books and their questions

3 reading recommendations

For the past few months, I’ve been heavily relying on books to teach me how to question, how to consider the subtext of things & ponder sharply, how to let go & let the meaning, if there is any, arrive organically.

Here are a few books and the questions I’ve learned from them:

  • Pew, Catherine Lacey (literary fiction, mysterious, full of stunning prose and dark humor) — at what point does a social idea become a standard, a rule? how can a community create standards of living without impeding on the pleasure of individual choice and definition? what is the purpose of defining an identity? can we define ourselves outside of race/gender/sexuality? is that a good idea?

  • Dreaming of You, Melissa Lozada-Oliva (poetry, weird & comedic & freaky, Selena is brought back from the dead, also wonderful love poems) — what is the difference between fandom and obsession? can we truly understand the things/people we’re obsessed with? what haunts you and why? why are scary things kinda funny in a certain light? what is beauty and what significance does it have in a world full of horror?

  • The Shame, MaKenna Goodman (literary fiction, sarcastic and sharp, yet soft, i read this book in early May and i still think about it) — what is the difference between envy & jealousy? how has the internet transformed the experience of envy? if we lived in a society where everyone’s needs were met, then would we still covet what others have? is contentment difficult because of capitalism or human nature?

take care,


P.S. - i’m learning that maybe some questions don’t have answers.