Hunger by Roxane Gay


Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: Roxane Gay reflects on her life in her body. She explores struggles with size, eating disorders, assault, and what it’s like to exist in a world that wasn’t designed to accommodate your body.

What made me pick it up: I love Roxane Gay’s work and I thought this book sounded important.

My favorite things: Take a deep breath before you dive into this because it is deep, raw, and painfully honest. She doesn’t shy away from details of her assault or the ways she thinks of her assailant to this day. She even takes the time to explain why she’s more comfortable identifying as a victim of sexual violence rather than as a survivor – without condemning or questioning those who do identify as survivors. The courage and openness throughout Hunger is consistently inspiring.

Who it’s great for: Fans of Roxane Gay’s other work. Memoir readers looking for something heavy to dig into.

Abby’s rating: five-shells

Find this book at Amazon or in your local library.


The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers


Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: The authors use text mining and and a fine-tuned algorithm to identify commonalities between chart topping bestsellers and help predict whether or not a book is likely to reach that status.

What made me pick it up: It’s never too early to start prepping for NaNoWriMo, right?

My favorite things: The authors explain complicated research and results in a very accessible way, pointing out the shared characteristics of many bestselling books with seemingly little in common. I appreciated the detailed breakdowns of exactly what made each book successful-it’s fascinating to learn which themes, plot structures, and emotional roller-coasters are most likely to top the charts.

Who it’s great for: Avid readers and aspiring authors of bestsellers. Readers interested in why bestsellers and award winners aren’t always the same books.

Abby’s rating: three-and-a-half-shells

Want a copy? Find one at Amazon (affiliate link) or see if it’s available at a library near you.