Welcome to Greta's staff recommendation page. Check out what Greta has been reading below.
In Dolan's sophomore novel, The Happy Couple, the characters take precedence. It is centered around a newly engaged couple and the people in their wedding party. Celine, the bride, is hyper-fixated on playing the piano, in which she is classically trained. Luke, the groom, can't stop himself from being promiscuous and has slept with everyone in the wedding party. The writing style is similar to that of Sally Rooney (except Dolan uses quotations marks, when there is dialogue, unlike Rooney). Though the main cast of characters is unlikeable, they feel like real people, and they speak to the human condition where some readers might be able to relate to them. You'll want to find out what happens as it leads up to their happy day. The United States is lucky to get a release of this Irish gem.
This book stretches like a dream you can't wake up from. It centers around a woman who is grieving the death of her mother, with whom she had a very complex relationship. Both women share an obsession with beauty and skin care. The main character comes to California to manage her mother's remaining estate and large debts when she discovers that her mother was a part of very exclusive spa that promises advance treatments. Although it delves into topics that are feminine in nature such as beauty standards, this is largely a horror novel, and I would not recommend it to those who are very faint of heart. In her writing, there is a certain sinister energy, but it is as intriguing as it is devilish. This world Awad has created has many layers, and nothing is as it first seems to appear. It is revolutionary in its satire of the beauty industry, achieving what lesser books only scrape the surface of.
Have you ever asked yourself, why are women's pockets generally smaller than men's pockets? In the book Pockets, by Hannah Carlson, the author will answer this question and more. This book goes all the way back to the beginning. Surprisingly, this account of history has a feminist lens. It is more interesting than one would think, and you don't have to be very knowledgeable about fashion to be able to enjoy this book.
All Night Pharmacy is a riveting account of early adulthood and learning how to live for yourself. The narrator suffers from an unhealthy relationship with her older sister nursed by booze, sex, and pills. She must find a new sense of identity when her older sister disappears after an outburst of violence. Strange and vibrant characters come in and out of her life as she tries to put the pieces together. It transports to you a wild LA landscape and showcases the transitory nature of life. One theme that is very present in the book is generational trauma, especially within immigrants of the Jewish community. Madievsky is a Jewish immigrant herself, moving to the US when she was just two years old. One of my favorite things about the novel is that, although it is full of dread at times, there is a lot of character growth in the main character, which I found to be kind of hopeful. It is highly emotion-fueled, but what is the point of art of any kind if it does not evoke some sort of emotion out of its audience?
A young woman starts working at her family’s book store after breaking up with her boyfriend and quitting her job. The author obviously loves books. The family relationships in this novel are so nuanced and interesting. I related a lot to the main character and it had made me feel like I was on the right path by becoming a bookseller.
Monstrilio, by debut author Gerardo Sámano Córdova, will blow you away with its depiction of the ugliness and otherworldliness of grief and how it affects people differently. When Magos and Joseph lose their only child, Santiago, Magos cuts him open and takes a piece of his lung. The lung starts to grow into a monster, and they try to raise it as they would a son. The story is told from the perspective of four different narrators. The final narrator is the monster, Monstrilio. This is a book will beautiful prose and intricate imagery that will stay with you. Monstrilio will make you contemplate what it means to be human and rethink the nature vs nurture debate. I loved this novel like it was my own sick and twisted child.
For fans of books about unhinged women, this book from debut author Alice Slater will meet your criteria for the elusive genre of sorts. It follows Roach, a bookseller whose obsession with true crime makes others uneasy. The reader will be these among these people. When a new bookseller, Laura, comes to Roach's store, she sees an opportunity to make a friend who also possibly also likes to read true crime, but Laura has a dark secret that she wants to keep hidden. As the story unravels, chaos ensues. It is characterized by Roach's compulsive behavior while pursuing friendship. It is a thrilling read.
This is a nonfiction book like no other that I've ever read. It's a case study where the author follows three women for the span of eight years and brings nuance to the subject of female desire, a topic that lacks thorough discussion in modern society. It reads remarkably similarly to the style of a novel and will make the reader stir with feeling. It is a book that leaves a mark on those who choose to participate in it.
Eileen lives at home, tending for her alcoholic father, while working as a secretary at a prison for young boys. She lives a bleak existence in X-ville until a new hypnotic woman starts working with Eileen and changes the trajectory of her sad life.This is a twisted book, but what really made this work is Moshfegh's voice as a writer. It’s witty and sardonic. The author subverts genres by fusing the boundaries of literary fiction and thriller. She puts you in the headspace of an unlikeable character but still has you rooting for the protagonist. The ending will have you on the edge of your seat. I felt the tension in my body as I read her words. It was a visceral experience.