Diana Athill's A Florence Diary is a deceptively sweet and slim book. What could be a casual tour of Italy describing its spoils is actually a meditation on female friendship, war and the rebuilding of the self. It's the ideal book for this moment in time, and she's the ideal writer so show us what survival looks like.
As the election neared and my anxiety continued to spiral out of control, I realized I needed something to immerse myself in, to take me out of real life. I had been thinking about reading Vivian Gornick's The Odd Woman and the City for months, and it proved to be exactly what I needed. Vivian's memoir is a love letter to New York City recalling the life that she lived, how she was shaped by the city and its characters, and the things she felt as she walked up and down the streets of this place that I too call home. Immediately, I felt comforted. It was like meeting someone at a party that you instantly click with. Vivian's words made me feel less alone in the world as a person and helped me recognize the beauty of spending time alone in my thoughts, with the city always as my friend.