In My Time of Dying: How I Came Face to Face with the Idea of an Afterlife by Sebastian Junger

Part medical thriller, part inquiry into human consciousness and what it means to be human, this is a brilliant meditation on life’s biggest questions occasioned by the author’s own near death experience.

Even with the abundance of riches on my to be read pile, I’ve been wanting to go back to this book since hearing the audio edition, read by the author.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr7474620


Peggy: A Novel by Rebecca Godfrey

A posthumous novel by the author of Under the Bridge, Peggy examines the life of arts patron and heiress Peggy Guggenheim.

Godfrey worked on this novel for ten years prior to her death in 2022 (author and friend Jamison finished it with the help of Godfrey herself before her passing) and it shows in its incredible attention to period detail. The “Googs” weren’t just one of the wealthiest families in the US throughout the last century; they had prominent roles in politics, business and the arts.

From the death of her father on the Titanic to looking back on her life while living in Venice, this book not only looks at Peggy’s role as a patron and gallery owner, friends and colleagues including Emma Goldman, Djuna Barnes and Man Ray, but the struggle to balance the roles of daughter, motherhood and wife alongside the desire to find one’s own independent, creative place in the world.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr7046399

All Fours by Miranda July

An unnamed 45 year old artist sets out to drive cross country from LA to NYC and detours for a reckoning with middle age and the expectations society has for women of a certain age.

This heavily autobiographical novel is erotic, hilarious, and while I cringe a bit to put it this way, brave. July’s work has always been interesting, regardless of the medium she’s worked in, while suffering from what has seemed like affected quirk. Moments of brilliance, without being fully realized. This time she nails it.

Adult Fiction Hardcover pr7426813


Somehow: Thoughts on Love by Ann Lamott

Meditations on love in its various forms from the self-help/religious maven of Marin County; a bit like a NorCal version of an AA-going Oprah. Lamott’s books have become somewhat repetitive of late, but that’s OK. We all need reminders.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr7375157

Magic Pill: The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight-Loss Drugs by Johann Hari

A fascinating look at the new drugs that have dramatically shaken up weight loss treatment, and an exploration of the broken relationship that the West has with food, body image, and pharmaceutical interventions as solutions rather than systemic ones.

25% of the US population are expected to be taking these medications within the next two years; if it wasn’t for the current cost of treatment, I expect those numbers would have already been achieved. Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic, has already climbed into the #1 spot for the most valuable company in Europe.

Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream, Stolen Focus, Lost Connections) is a somewhat polarizing author. He doesn’t seem to be able to write without firmly placing himself into the narrative. Magic Pill details his own use of Ozempic after life long struggles with his weight, including being an emotional eater that always enjoyed feeling stuffed after gorging on fast food. This is part of what endears his writing to me: how personal it can be. Give me what some critics disparage as “breathless style” any day. The appeal of this book should be fairly obvious, with over half the people in the US & UK overweight or obese, with Canada coming in at 35% overweight, 30% obese. Even if this isn’t an issue for the individual reader, odds are it affects someone in their life, not to mention the societal ripple effects (e.g. the effect of an obese population on health care costs).

It won’t surprise me if this book sparks contentious debate and some angry reviews. Hari left his journalism job at The Independent in 2012 after it came out that he’d stolen quotes and libelled rivals and has never been forgiven or forgotten for this in some circles, despite his owning it and apologizing for it. Others are already crying foul for “classic fatphobia” simply based on language found in the book’s blurb. Hari does write at length about the effect these drugs are having on the body positivity movement, which has already resulted in some leading figures that have lost weight being shamed for it, as though abandoning the cause. But I’d urge people to read it and make up their own minds.

Adult Non-Fiction Hardcover pr7458617

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