My list of books to read this month

“American Fire”

by Monica Hesse

Diligently reported by Washington Post writer Monica Hesse, this is the true story of a decaying rural town in West Virginia that faced down a pair of arsonists who set fire to 60+ abandoned buildings over the course of half a year. The book covers the town, which as become symbolic of the struggle of modern middle and working class America, and the confounding couple that struck the match to burn it down.


“Eat Only When You’re Hungry”

by Lindsay Hunter

I just joined Book of The Month Club, a monthly online book service that lets you pick from its selection of new book recommendations. For $14.99 a month, you get a new book that’s been curated by a panel of voracious readers just like you. This August selection was my first pick. It’s written by a Chicago writer (heyyy!). It’s an anti-hero’s journey of a father on a mission to find his addiction-addled son, who has been missing for months.

“Plot & Structure”

by James Scott Bell

A Writer’s Digest University find. This book promises to help me understand the difference between plot and structure and how to outline like a pro. (Almost-Pro-Tip: Check out Groupon for deals on the magazine’s classes and workshops before you pay full price.)


“The Wrong Way to Save Your Life”

by Megan Stielstra

Anything Roxane Gay-recommended will make my to-read list, but Stielstra does her own heavy lifting in this book of literary essays about fear, faith and how to live a better life. Yes, please.

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