Lit Hits: What We're Reading in September

Here at Grub HQ, we're always talking about the books that keep us up at night, the novels we can't put down, the memoirs that call to us over our morning coffees. Every month, we'll share our staff's latest literary obsessions to add to your own never-ending reading list.


Development Assistant Grant is reading Resistance, Rebellion, and Death by Albert Camus.

Executive Director Eve is reading The Sympathizer which is brilliant, and it's the first book she's reading on her Kindle and also listening to in her car:  she's toggling back and forth. She's learning that she likes reading books better than listening to books.

Sarah, Grub's Marketing and Community Engagement Manager, returned to McBride's A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing in preparation for her latest, The Lesser Bohemians, which is just out. She's also reading a stream of bad-ass short stories and craft essays, courtesy of Chip's excellent Master Fiction syllabus.

Director of Development Stephanie is reading Ann Patchett's Commonwealth. Next on her list is Claudia Rankine's Citizen.

Alison, Grub's Director of Programs and Marketing, is blazing her way through Elana Ferrante’s Neopolitan series (which could just as easily be titled How Men Ruin Things: A Brief and Inexhaustive History).

Programs and Advocacy Manager Jonathan took a break from fiction this week to read Karrine Steffans' Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Head Instructor Chip is reading Lucia Berlin’s collection A Manual for Cleaning Women and it’s amazing.

Chris, Grub's Artistic Director, read Zadie Smith's Swing Time and is just about to start Lincoln in the Bardo, the first novel by George Saunders which comes out in January.

Programs and Marketing Assistant Lauren is reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and pretending that it's helping her organize her apartment. She also just finished Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Lauren, our Office Manager, is mostly reading essays (craft essays, published narrative personal essays, and the essays of my classmates from Master Personal Essay), but she's also about to begin Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, courtesy of Alison's prompting. She can't wait! 

Neighborhood Program Fellow Denise is reading a hodgepodge of things (mostly for classes she's teaching) but is about to start re-reading Shirley Jackson's novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And also because she's looking at it, she wants to heartily recommend Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta by Aglaja Veteranyi, a super spare and white-space-filled semi-autobiographical novel from the POV of a girl whose circus performer family flees Romania under austerity to Switzerland, where her mother (among other things) slaughters and cooks chickens in hotel rooms.

Sonya, Grub's Assistant Director of the Muse, is reading plays: Annie Baker's "The Flick," Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," and Yasmina Reza's "Art." She says they're so engrossing!

Boston Literary District Director Alysia is still reading The Lonely City by Olivia Laing.

About the Author

GrubWrites is a space for the writing and reading community to share ideas and seek advice, a place where writers at the very beginning of their careers publish alongside established authors. Book lovers, we bring you reviews, recommendations, and conversations with exciting new authors to keep you up to speed on all things lit. Writers, this is your one stop shop for expert craft talk, opinions on how we learn and teach writing, and essential advice about the publishing industry.

Plus, we want to hear from you! Our ongoing call for submissions is open to literary community members of all types and persuasions. We want to hear from students, teachers, authors, readers, editors, agents, publicists, and any devotee of the written word. If you have something to say about writing, reading, the publishing industry, or anything related to the literary world, this is the place to voice it. We’re particularly committed to advocating for a diverse range of voices in the literary marketplace and raising the visibility of writers from under-represented communities.

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