Diana Athill's A Florence Diaryis 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.
What our deputy editor Laia Garcia is reading:
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.
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What our assistant Dianca London is reading:
I'm still digesting the aftermath of our election and the countless -isms that led to Trump's triumph. As I cycle through my grief over Hillary's loss and the disappointment of seeing my home state of Pennsylvania turn red, I've found solace and courage by reading bell hooks. In Killing Rage: Ending Racismhooks unpacks our nation's legacy of white supremacy and its impact on the bodies and psyches of people of color. She reminds us that by "addressing our individual and collective suffering, we will find ways to heal and recover that can be sustained" and "endure from generation to generation." She reminds us that no matter how grim the future might seem, hope is never lost.