I already mentioned that I packed the poems of the eccentric and iconoclastic Stevie Smith to calm me at the DNC. After all, no one is funnier, stranger or further from our current political reality. Smith's awkward and slightly deranged line drawings accompany poems that play fast and loose with the art of language — and ask big (and funny) questions about identity and meaning along the way.
As previously noted here, I'm a long-time fan of books that could be described as hot Edwardian Gossip: chronicles of British rich people things from the early 20th century. This is the universe that the Mitford sisters—six brilliant, scandal-prone, aristocratic babes—were born into. They've been the subject of other great biographies before (my favorite previously was The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family) but the new entry into the Mitford library, The Six, by Laura Thompson, is just as juicy and delightful. If you're not familiar with the Mitford girls, they include Nancy, the novelist behind the bestselling Pursuit of Love; Jessica who was a communist and the investigative journalist behind The American Way of Death; Diana who was a fascist and married to the leader of the British fascists in the 30s and 40s; and Unity, who was literally obsessed with Hitler—she stalked him at his favorite lunch place and tried to commit suicide when England went to War with Germany. For fans of WWII history, funny, complicated, fascinating women, and sisterly spats.