Lit Hits: What We're Reading in September

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.


Chris, Grub's Artistic Director, read Karan Mahajan's extraordinary, The Association of Small Bombs, listened to Tom Perrotta's Mrs. Fletcher, read by some of the great people from The Leftovers, and is now luxuriating in a galley of Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe.


Alison, Grub's Director of Programs & Marketing, will never write in the third person as GrubWrites Editor Sarah well knows, but she's starting Underground Railroad, a year behind everyone else as usual.

Development Manager Alyssa is reading Marlena: A Novel by Julie Buntin, which has already stunned her in the first seventy-five pages with its emotional density, twisting composition, and unflinching depictions of rural Michigan, girlhood friendship, and adolescence.


Youth Programs Manager Eson just picked up Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork because her author buddy Katie Bayerl recommended it, and Katie is seldom wrong. Eson is just at the very beginning of the book, but it's off to a lovely start already.



Programs Coordinator Ren just finished Megan Abbott's The End of Everything, and is currently furiously digging through Dennis Lehane's Mystic River, a master class on the crime genre.


Head of Faculty and Curriculum Dariel is still reading and enjoying Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes’s The Sleeping World, and will decide what to read next when he’s done unpacking his endless stacks of books after a recent move.


Literary District Director Alysia recently finished reading This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett (great beach reading) and recently started reading The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, which feels incredibly urgent and timely, even though it was published in 1963.


Erin, Grub's (newly minted!) Administrative Assistant is slowly savoring Knots, a collection of stories by Gunnhild Øyehaug. These stories hug closely to convention--until they don't, in the most breathtaking ways. Her language is both vibrant and sad, and each of these tiny, strange tales takes much longer to process than it does to read.

GrubWrites Editor Sarah is fully committed to hounding Alison until she responds in the third person. Sarah is also inhaling bedtime snippets of Ellen Bryant Voigt's The Art of Syntax, and is consistently staggered by how little she knows about poetry.


Hanna, Grub's (also brand new!) Muse & Events Coordinator, is halfway through Elif Batuman's The Idiot. So far, she's loving the novelized study of the role words play in our lives and how the rise of email changed personal relationships.


Eve, Grub's Executive Director, is reading The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall and is about to crack open Yuval Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind even though when her husband finished it, he was a bit depressed and it weighs more than any other book she's read of the same size.


Senior Communications Manager Liz just finished Garrard Conley's Boy Erased, which she flew right through. Hours later she began reading Danzy Senna's New People.


HR & Operations Manager Lauren is starting Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing, in preparation for her trip to Barcelona next week. She thanks Ren for letting her borrow it!  


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

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