Your Next Fave Book: What We're Reading in November

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.



Ren, Grub's Programs Coordinator, is rapidly devouring, in a manner of speaking, Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake. The prose is absolutely delicious.


Eson, Grub's Youth Program Manager, is also reading Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake. She's enjoying it immensely.

HR & Operations Manager Lauren just finished Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake, and can't wait to discuss it with Ren & Eson. She's  just begun another favorite Grubbie's new book: KL Pereira's A Dream Between Two Rivers: Stories of Liminality.


Dariel, Grub's Head of Faculty and Curriculum, is finishing the second installment in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, titled Authority. It's not as good or original as Annihilation (the first book), but still an engaging and slightly disturbing read.


Christopher, Grub's Artistic Director, has been on a binge: Margot Livesey's essential The Hidden Machinery, Steve McCauley's wise and wistful and witty My Ex-Life, Marianne Leone's heartbreaking and hilarious Ma Speaks Up, Maud Casey's uniquely powerful The Art of Mystery, Amor Towles's delicious A Gentleman in Moscow, and Lynn Freed's fierce The Last Laugh. All highly recommended.


Alison, Grub's Director of Programs & Marketing is reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk, and it is fascinating.


GrubWrites Editor Sarah is switching between multiple books at the mo. Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead is a beautiful, complex, riveting new poetry collection. Donald Maass' The Emotional Craft of Fiction is a really useful way to think about novel plotting, arc, and affect, especially for plotting the "non-plot-driven novel." If, that is, you can get past the wobbly gender politics and the lack of diverse representation in the example texts. She's also finally reading We The Animals by Justin Torres and hopes very much that it will prove to be the third great novel she's read this year.


Administrative Assistant Erin is waiting for the paperback version of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko in the mail! Last week, Joseph O'Neill's story in the New Yorker, "The Sinking of the Houston," made her laugh and cry.

Development Manager Alyssa Mazzarella is reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire aloud to her partner's daughter and going to sleep before getting to start Jenna Blum's Those Who Save Us.


Shuchi, Grub's Advocacy Coordinator, is reading Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge and is daydreaming of Antarctica.


Muse & Events Coordinator Hanna is almost done with Teju Cole’s Every Day is for the Thief. For her upcoming trip to Australia she’s packed The Nix by Nathan Hill, Birds of America by Lorrie Moore, and The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.


Denise, Grub's Neighborhood Program Fellow, is finally reading and loving The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and has a lot to say about it but all of it sounds kind of pretentious in this format.


Alysia, Director of the Boston Literary District, is reading Reckless Daughter, David Yaffe's fascinating biography of her favorite singer-songwriter, Joni Mitchell. Alysia's sort of wishing she could break her leg so she could have an excuse to read this book for hours at a stretch.


Eve, Grub's Founder and Executive Director, is just cracking open Best American Short Stories 2017. She started with Sonya Larson's brilliant "Gabe Dove," which she will be reading again tonight because she loved it so much and feels there's more to explore in another read. She has plans to start Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere this weekend.  And she's a bit embarrassed to admit that she's still making her way through Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. It turns out it's not brief enough.


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

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