Lit Crush: Books We're Loving in February 2020

Here at Grub HQ, we're always talking about the novels keeping us up at night, the poems that call to us over our morning coffees, and those unputdownable memoirs you'll find us reading while walking through four lanes of traffic [Ed.'s note: all walk-reading is performed by Grub's trained extreme readers; do not try this at home]. Every month we're sharing a few of the GrubStreet community’s latest literary obsessions to add to your own never-ending reading list.



“I just finished Jeanette Winterson's Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal. What I find intriguing is how we love (and need) the monsters in our lives because we take ownership of them—even if that then means we have to discover new definitions of love as we grow into ourselves.” - Natasha Smith, GrubStreet Student


“I really love the mix of dry humor, situational comedy, and intellectual adventure. This memoir, organized as a collection of essays, describes Elif Batuman’s misadventures while studying Russian literature. These include being recruited to judge an “adolescent boys’ leg contest” in a Hungarian village, picking up Isaac Babel’s daughter from the airport for a conference at Stanford, and visiting an ice palace in St. Petersburg. Throughout all these events, Batuman makes reading about reading exciting—not an easy thing to do!” - GrubStreet student Justin Chen crushes on Elif Batuman’s The Possessed.



“I am reading Leading Men, by Christopher Castellani, for my book club. There is so much that is intriguing! Italy, the film scene of the 50s and 60s, but what I'm appreciating the most is the spot-on portrayal of an older woman.” - Diane Sundstrom, GrubStreet's Muse Volunteer Coordinator



GrubStreet Instructor D. Eric Parkison shares his fascination for Gjertrud Schnackenberg’s Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992“After reading a single poem in an anthology, I grabbed all of her books that I could find (shout out to Brattle Book Shop). I am in awe of the intelligence and concentration braided into these poems. Everything here is shaped with such a distinctive sense of form, and with the inspiring conviction that real thinking can still be done in poems.” 



Former co-ops Alex Pickering and Maura Intemann are currently reading the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


Want even more Lit Crush book recommendations and the latest news about classes and free events at GrubStreet? Follow us on social @GrubWriters on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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About the Author

Florann Estiler (she/her/hers) is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at GrubStreet. She supports the Director of Marketing & Communications in the promotion of departmental campaigns and events, including social media, email, print, and the web. She has a strong background in social media management, content creation, and online advertisement. She holds a BA in Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College. Prior to joining the team, Florann had the opportunity to work in the beauty, tech, and music industries, where she developed a passion for photography, videography, and writing. During her free time, Florann enjoys watching K-dramas, reading mystery novels, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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