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WLT’s Monthly Staff Picks – May 2022

The WLT staff has compiled a brand new list of book recommendations for the month of May. Check out our WLT bookshop for new literary suggestions from your friendly WLT staff every month: https://bookshop.org/shop/WLT

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole - Cain, Susan

Recommended by WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver: “Susan Cain delves into the power of melancholy and longing and the oh-so human ache for “the perfect and beautiful world” in a way that will especially resonate with writers and other creative spirits. As she says much more eloquently than I could, “Bittersweet is the hidden source of our moon shots, masterpieces, and love stories. It’s because of longing that we play moonlight sonatas and build rockets to Mars. It’s because of longing that Romeo loved Juliet, that Shakespeare wrote their story, that we still perform it centuries later.” This book is a balm (especially in today’s world) and I can’t recommend it enough.”

A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande

A Ballad of Love and Glory - Grande, Reyna

Recommended by WLT Program Director Sam Babiak:A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande is a must-read for lovers of romance and historical fiction. This expansive novel follows John Riley, an Irish immigrant who desserts the Yankee army for the Mexican army, and Ximena Salomé, a Tejana who has lost her family and her home to the war as they journey through Mexico in its fight for freedom. This book is essential because it teaches us about a forgotten time in our history that still affects us today, but it also centers a romance that will leave you breathless and wanting more.”

The Emissary - Tawada, Yoko

The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

Recommended by WLT Office / Member Services Manager Kelsey Williams: “Yoko Tawada is one of my favorite authors, The Emissary, one of my favorite books. It’s hard to pull off an eco-terror, dystopian novel with a ton of heart, but Tawada does it beautifully, and in a tight 128 pages. The Emissary is a great book.”

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor - Zhao, Xiran Jay

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao

Recommended by WLT Member Services / Digital Content Manager Evan Parks: “The author of Iron Widow does it again. Simultaneously about the importance of connecting to your roots (though not afraid to question the stories we learn about them) and a rollercoaster of an adventure through Chinese legend. There’s a lot of really big thoughts processed in a really relatable and easy to understand manner here.”

Conversations with Friends - Rooney, Sally

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Recommended by WLT Special Projects Staffer Sloane Smith: “My book for May is Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. It makes me think of summer travels and feels similar in a way to another summer favorite of mine, Tender is the Night. I’m looking forward to the TV adaption of it dropping this month!”

Read one of our recommendations? Leave a comment and tell us what you thought! And if you’re ever looking for more reading material, don’t forget to check out the WLT Bookshop for craft and business of writing book recommendations from WLT instructors or more monthly picks to keep up with what the WLT staff is reading.

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