Lit Hits: What We're Reading in October

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 un-put-down-able 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'll share our staff's latest literary obsessions to add to your own never-ending reading list.


Dariel, Grub's Head of Faculty & Curriculum, recently finished Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez. Not as good as his earlier novels, but still an engaging and socially relevant exploration of memory and our inability to escape the past. Currently Dariel is being haunted by the first installment of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach sci-fi trilogy Annihilation, in preparation for the film version by Alex Garland (Ex-Machina), which comes out next year.


Alison, Grub's Director of Programs & Marketing, is reading Nicole Krauss’ Forest Dark (recommended to me by the intuitive and luminous Shuchi Saraswat), and it is, as it turns out, everything she needed in life right now.

HR & Operations Manager Lauren just started Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose, which is meandering and transportive--she can already tell Chew-Bose will be an influence on her own future writing.


Founder and Executive Director Eve is reading Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process, edited by Joe Fassler in which a dizzyingly amazing array of writers choose a passage from literature that they keep coming back to and write about why it matters so dearly to them. It's a really engaging and rich read with many nuggets of wisdom and insight.


After buying this book a couple of months ago, Youth Programs Manager Eson is finally digging into Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. It's the kind of historical fiction that is meant to be savored; the story of survivors with strong will and fierce love of family. A box of tissues might be in order when it's all said and done. Perfect for any autumn day.


Hanna, Grub's Muse & Events Coordinator recently finished the captivating Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran, and she's now a few chapters into Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.


Programs Coordinator Ren just finished Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, a modern take on the Trojan War, focused on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Ancient Greek mythology, queer representation, and a love story that made her sob at the end? Sign her up. After a minor online ordering snafu, she's psyched to finally dig into The Best American Short Stories 2017, especially the incredible Sonya Larson's "Gabe Dove."


Erin, Grub's Administrative Assistant is reading The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, Stephen Greenblatt's expansive history of the story of the beginning of man, as told and retold over centuries and across cultures. She is especially enjoying learning about the rocky love lives of St. Augustine and John Milton, and watching the ways the story mutates within different political and social contexts.

GrubWrites Editor Sarah is destroyed by the brilliance of Tiana Clark's Equilibrium.


Artistic Director Chris is skipping around The Best American Short Stories 2017, having started at "L" with Sonya Larson's "Gabe Dove," and hoping A-K and M-Z can live up to her example. He also just finished The Garden Party, a novel by Grace Dane Mazur, that will come out sometime in 2018.


Literary District Director Alysia recently finished reading Pricilla Gillman’s poetic and thoughtful memoir about her hyperlexic son, The Anti-Romantic Child. She is also in the throes of Tom Perrotta’s latest novel, Mrs. Fletcher. When she’s reading it on the T she’s relieved the book doesn’t bear the title originally proposed by the author: MILF.


Senior Communications Manager Liz is in the middle of Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica, and she's finding it to be the slowest-paced suspense novel she's ever read.


Director of the Muse Conference & Advocacy Sonya just re-read Grace Paley's Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, which left her destroyed. Here is the first (very short) story, if you want to be destroyed too.


Alyssa, Grub's Development Manager, just finished reading Cottonmouths by Kelly J Ford, which she's psyched to talk about soon with her book club buddies. 


Missed an edition of Lit Hits? Fear not! Find the entire back catalogue of Grubbie-recommended titles right here.

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