We get sent books, buy books, check out library books, and talk about all things books all. the. time. So in this new Skimm Reads series, we’re sharing a little about what we're reading and what made our TBR pile in the last few months. Some reads old, some reads new, all reads that we deeply enjoyed. On your mark, get set, add to stack.
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“When this came out in 2013, it was my first summer in New York and I was unemployed. I remember spending money I knew I shouldn’t to buy it, and finishing it in just a day or two. Now, somehow, both the book and I are ten years older. Reissued with a new introduction by Adichie, I found it just as impossible to put down and just as resonant. Certain aspects feel dated — it was published during the Obama years, after all, and the main character’s central outlet is a blog — but, in 2023, the sharp observations about race in America ring even more true. If you read it a decade ago, it’s more than worth diving back in. And if you’ve never heard of it or never got to it the first time around, allow me to introduce you to your next must-read.” –Jana, Skimm Reads editor
“Late Bloomers” by Deepa Varadarajan
“One of the perks of my job is getting advanced review copies, but the “downside” is that I had already devoured this year’s beach reads in early spring. By summer, I was trying to figure out what exactly to read. This debut from law professor Deepa Varadarajan was just what I needed. Equally funny and heartwarming, ‘“Late Bloomers” follows an Indian-American couple recently divorced after a 36-year arranged marriage. Ex-husband and father Suresh Raman bops around on dating apps. Ex-wife Lata discovers what it means to have an independent life. Meanwhile, their adult children Priya and Nikesh are unpacking their own relationships. In the end, secrets are revealed and the whole family collides in an endearing, humorous finish. This is the book I rave about when people ask me what I’m reading.” –Margo, Skimm Reads Editor
“Chemistry” by Weike Wang
“There was lots of buzz around “Joan is Okay,” Wang’s pandemic-set novel that came out in 2022 — and I loved it so much that I looked around for what else she had written. I’m so glad I did, because her first novel turned out to be an all-time fave. It’s about a young Chinese-American woman pursuing her doctorate in chemistry, along with her live-in boyfriend who’s doing the same. But after she has a panic attack in the lab, she decides to simply stop going, and the rest of the life she’s constructed begins to crumble, too. It’s a quiet story with a sharp undercurrent of emotion — plus, it’s set in my hometown of Boston, which I’m always a sucker for.” –Jana
“Honey, Baby, Mine” by Laura Dern and Diane Ladd
“I don’t usually go for celebrity memoirs, but I can’t resist Laura Dern. I recently listened to this podcast episode with Dern, Ladd, and Cleo Wade discussing their book and I knew I had to read it. When Dianne Ladd was diagnosed with a life-threatening lung condition, her doctor told her to walk at least 15 minutes a day to build back her lung capacity. Ladd hates walking, and her daughter, actress Laura Dern, knew the best way to get her mom to comply was through endless chit chat and storytelling. Together, the two begin to walk daily, with Dern recording their conversations. They cover everything from art and their careers to parenthood, love, marriage, and so much more. I’ve alternated between listening to this on Audible and reading my physical copy, but listening while you walk feels authentic to what this book is all about.” –Margo
“Banyan Moon” by Thao Thai
“As soon as I heard the premise of this book — a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter; a saga that spans decades and gives them each time to tell their story — I knew it’d be extremely for me. And then it turned out to be even better. It follows Ann Tran, a young illustrator living in Michigan with her boyfriend; her mother Huơng, living in Florida; and her grandmother, Minh, who is close to death when the book opens. After Minh passes, Ann returns to the sprawling house where she grew up, and she and Huơng settle into a new kind of life. But Ann finds secrets lurking in the house, and new truths emerge about each woman while they look for a way forward. I found this hard to put down — especially Minh’s stories, which take place in 1960s Vietnam — and it’s really stuck with me. If you were in my group chat, you’d already know.” –Jana
“Hello Beautiful” by Ann Napolitano
“Guess what? We get book recommendations from theSkimm too. When Jana included this book from Ann Napolitano in Skimm Your Life, I was instantly intrigued. So I bought it and it sat in my TBR stack for three months (I was busy reading “Harry Potter” for the first time). This month, I finally got to it, and all I can say is…woah. It’s a modern classic with Austen, Brontë, and Alcott energy, following four sisters and the saga of their everyday lives. If you’re looking with something filled with more substance for summer, definitely check this out. Psst…if it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s definitely good enough for me.”–Margo
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.