9 Books We’re Reading Right Now

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April’s installment of the Cut Book Club includes a popular memoir by television megaboss Shonda Rhimes, a photographer’s tales about growing up in the South, and a novel best described as what would happen if you took a certain Virginia Woolf classic and mixed in some witchcraft. Scroll down for the best books we’re reading this month — both new and old. If you have other recommendations, let us know in the comments. 

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“I can’t say enough good things about Americanah. It made me cry, it made me feel, it made me think about racial and ethnic complexities in America that often go overlooked. They should teach this book in American history classes, or at least give a free copy to every single Trump supporter.” — Dayna Evans

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Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

“My friends know not to call me on Thursday nights, because I’m the biggest Shonda Rhimes fan. But when she came out with this book, I wasn’t in a hurry to buy it because self-help books aren’t my thing. Now that I’m halfway through, I wish I’d read it sooner. She’s a lot funnier than I expected, and gives relatable advice about issues she’s navigated in her career. One of the most unexpected things I learned: Saying yes also means saying no to behaviors and people in your life in order to grow.” — Lindsay Peoples, Associate Market Editor

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Hold Still by Sally Mann

A scrapbooklike memoir by controversial photographer Sally Mann, this book sets personal observations on art and family life against the backdrop of growing up in the South. It made me want to take a vacation to Lexington, Virginia, and that is not something I ever thought I’d say.” — Jessica Roy, News Editor

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Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick

“’It is June. This is what I have decided to do with my life just now. I will do this work of transformed and even distorted memory and lead this life, the one I am leading today.’ This book has been on my bucket list for more than a decade, and I’m so happy that it finally floated to the top. It’s short, but every sentence is worth hovering over.” — Laura June, Staff Writer

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Lolly Willowes: Or the Loving Huntsman by Sylvia Townsend Warner

“This novel is about the same stuff as A Room of One’s Own, but it’s also about becoming a witch. Fun! — Molly Fischer, Senior Editor

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Just Kids by Patti Smith

Enough people have recommended Patti Smith’s Just Kids that I finally caved and read the damn thing. My thoughts are: (1) I’m brimming with awe and jealousy at how few fucks Patti Smith gave (gives?), and (2) Guys, should I start a band? (Patti, if you’re reading this: I love you. Adopt me.)” — Aude White, Publicist

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The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934 by Anais Nin

Anais Nin was years ahead of the literary-sad-girl trend. So many feels! She mostly writes about finding herself as a writer and her relationship with Henry Miller’s wife, June — the manic pixie dream girl of bohemian France. Even though the diary isn’t full of the smut you might expect based on Henry and June, I’m enjoying losing myself in the socialite’s 1930s world, when it seemed a lot more romantic to be a writer.” — Leah Rodriguez, Producer

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You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures With Two of Music’s Most Maligned Tribes by Nathan Rabin

I’m reading an insightful book about Juggalos. Wait, hear me out. Nathan Rabin is one of my favorite culture writers, and after falling in love with a Phish fan, he decided to take a look at the two most maligned types of music fans: Phish heads and Juggalos. So far, I’ve learned that both Phish and Insane Clown Posse have dense, Lord of the Rings–like founding mythologies. It goes far beyond face paint and Faygo. Rabin’s book reminds me of Let’s Talk About Love, Carl Wilson’s book on Celine Dion, in that it’s also about how music taste reflects class anxieties and why we decide what music is and isn’t cool.” Véronique Hyland, Senior Fashion News Editor

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Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 (P.S.) by Elizabeth Winder

This is a biography of one month of Sylvia Plath’s life, in the summer of 1953, when she was a 21-year-old guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine in New York. Refreshingly, this isn’t the suicidal Sylvia Plath we often imagine. This Sylvia lives at the Barbizon Hotel for Women, wears red lipstick to Yankees games, spends hours at her typewriter late at night, and dates plenty of men. It’s the story that inspired The Bell Jar, with all the allure of vintage New York: nylons, kitten heels, dancing, and drinks at the Stork Club.” — Catie L’Heureux, Assistant Editor