The best books to read when you need a lil bit of everything to finish one thing

The Books I Picked & Why

Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life

By Bell Hooks

Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life

Why this book?

What bell hooks has shown me about the possibility of personal narrative and memoir writing is endless because she consistently shows that your story is never-ending. But mostly bell hooks likes to hurt me on purpose. This is my favorite memoir by her because it centers on two of my favorite topics: words and whirlwind romance that refuses to interfere with the words at stake, and I knew this book would be one I would return to in order to figure out my own priorities once I read, “I’m willing to give up everything I love if it means I won’t be crazy.”


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

A Fortune for Your Disaster

By Hanif Abdurraqib

A Fortune for Your Disaster

Why this book?

Hanif Abdurraqib has a way of making you forget you’re reading poetry while also reminding you that nothing else could be as poetic as one of his poems. They always unravel in a way only his unique way of storytelling permits. It’s truly a skill that is mastered beautifully in this collection.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Lima:: Limón

By Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Lima:: Limón

Why this book?

I had been wanting to read this book for a while. Then I read this book. Then I realized I needed to revise my book. Then I reread the book. Then I researched Natalie Scenters- Zapico because I think I fell in love.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired

By Dany Laferrière, David Homel

How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired

Why this book?

Of course this title will catch anyone’s attention, but I’m including it here because of how mundane the plot is. It’s just people people’ing and therefore experiencing and learning. They just happen to be all the things they are. It’s a fun and funny ride living in a small Parisian apartment with these characters, eating their food, and laying with their friends. 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative

By Vivian Gornick

The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative

Why this book?

Sometimes I need a book that will inspire me not to continue writing, but to start; kinda like when I binge watch YouTube book talks—that’s the feeling this book brings over me—inspired. It’s a book that helps me write anything because I’m a person who struggles with—yet craves the ability to— strip a piece as bare as possible. Strip a story of its fluff and dissect its roots. I need to know what to save for later, and Gornick expressing the difference between situation and story is something I always go back to in order to help declutter my work. 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists