My reading slump was REAL! I didn’t read a book for 7 weeks. But then I reached out to you, my fellow readers with a cry for help, and boy-o-boy did you respond.

You guys came through with fantastically broad suggestions. Elizabeth suggested re-reading Rebecca, a classic favorite, while Stephen recommended tackling a doorstop-size book, such as Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson. Others encouraged me to venture out of my reading comfort zone to spark a new interest.

three books on a chair in a bookstore

Ultimately I took Laurel’s advice and turned to my favorite genre: short stories and essays. Laurel had just finished Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King, but I was struggling to find THE ONE for me. Nothing doing, even with my beloved —Munro, Gay, Oates, Irby, Didion. Then I saw it! The cover and title pulled me right in: Shit Cassandra Saw by Gwen E. Kirby is one of the most refreshing, irreverent, and creative story collections I have read in years. Her writing is like looking at a Salvador Dalí painting but your eyes are kaleidoscopes.

After reading Kirby’s stories I was on fire with excitement to read again and maybe a little bit rageful—but good productive rage. I picked up An Abolitionist’s Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World by Patrisse Cullors to foster more courageous discussions about race and gain enlightenment in an attainable way. As a cool down, I read through Love and Saffron by Kim Fay in a single sitting. A tender and funny read that proves food really is the best medicine.

There you have it, the three books that freed me from my slump, lifted me up and brought me back to the world of books.

I can offer you the same relief! Don’t know what to read next? Get a Just the Right Book subscription, tell me about your reading tastes, and each month a carefully curated book will show up at your door to relieve you from your literary ails.

Let me know what’s on your mind,

east of hounslow book cover

Letter from a Happy Customer

I just wanted to tell you that the two books you’ve selected for me so far with my gift subscription have been excellent choices.

I enjoyed East of Hounslow so much that I bought the other two books by Khurrum Rahman and read them.

Can’t wait to see what book you choose for me next.


the fields book cover

JTRB Staff Pick

The Fields is a grippy tale of murder(s) in small town rural Iowa that takes on big-time issues like industrial farming, backdoor politics and prescription drugs in a debut novel introducing Sergeant Riley Fisher, a compelling and complex lead detective who has plenty on her plate besides policing. This debut by author Erin Young is a fast, twisty ride through cornfields and creepy locales that provides a solid start to her forthcoming series. —Emily, JTRB Newsletter Editor


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