WLT’s Monthly Staff Picks – November 2022

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

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Recommended by WLT Executive Director Becka Oliver: “I listened to the audio version of this memoir on a recent drive to Houston for a WLT event. I’d heard the provocative title mentioned here and there but hadn’t really absorbed any information and didn’t know what to expect when I made the impulse purchase. Honestly, I’d rather not spoil too much and let anyone else enjoy it the same way that I did, but I will say this: It’s an unbelievably compelling story that is at times pretty dark in subject matter told in a tone that is honest, raw, and (if you can believe it) really very humorous. It’s a story of abuse and addiction and yearning and grief that benefits from the perspective of years and therapy. If you’re an iCarly fan, it will also be an inside glimpse at Hollywood in general and that show specifically. If you’ve never seen an episode of iCarly (me), no matter. Seriously, pick this book up and find out what all the fuss is about.”

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

Recommended by WLT Program Director Sam Babiak: “MORE THAN YOU’LL EVER KNOW by Katie Gutierrez is one of my favorite books of the year! Written in alternating chapters, this book follows Lore Rivera in the 80s as she leads a double life and Cassie Bowman, a true crime obsessed writer trying to put all the pieces together while struggling with her own dark past. This page-turner will leave you hungry for the truth until the very end. From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down – I can guarantee you won’t want to either.”

Pure Invention: How Japan Made the Modern World by Matt Alt

Recommended by WLT Member Services / Digital Content Manager Evan Parks: “Examining how Japan moved from a war-torn country post WWII to a cultural superpower within a few decades, Matt Alt frames this growth through the stories of various Japanese products and their creators and how they changed the world into how it is today. Covering the birth of karaoke, the beginning of anime, Hello Kitty, Tamogachi, and so much more Pure Invention shows how Japan became the blueprint for the current media-obsessed generation. What could’ve been a really dry history book is enriched by a connection to the stories and the people behind each of these phenomena.”

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Recommended by WLT Office Coordinator Austen Schreib:Passing Strange is a lovingly written historical fiction novella following the lives of a group of sapphics in the 1940s with a sprinkling of magic. What more could you want? Klages shows off her mastery of prose and her ability to create characters that will pull at your heart. It is a perfect mixture of joyous moments and heartache. It is an honest capturing of queer connections and struggles. I finished this book with tears in my eyes and immediately began to read it again. So what are you waiting for? Go read this book!”

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Recommended by WLT Social Media and Marketing Intern Emma Conatser: “Hamid’s novel captures the refugee’s experience at the intersection of all the optimism, heartache, loss, and hope that comes with exile. The work is centered around Saeed and Nadia, two refugees from an unnamed country who seek to make a new start. If you’re a reader of contemporary fiction or are interested in learning more about the nature of exile, Exit West is a fantastic place to start.”

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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