Top Shelf: Ashley C. Ford, Min Jin Lee, and Alexandra Andrews

Reading List

Payton Turner

Long hours of sunshine means more time spent outside reading books. Here are a few standouts that I have recently read and adored. One quick caveat: I am not a book reviewer nor do I pretend to be one, but I am a reader (don't make me say voracious!). I read widely and enjoy many different books for many different reasons, and love to share whatever it is that strikes my fancy in case it strikes yours, too. Let me know what you're reading, too!

If a deeply felt and sincerely written narrative about family ties that bind and that break is your cup of tea, I'd recommend picking up Ashley C. Ford's debut memoir Somebody's Daughter. Ashley examines her experiences with curiosity and admirable openness throughout the entire book. Her narrative gently and wisely unfolds even the most difficult of experiences and circumstances, leaving no stone unturned. I really admire the balance she strikes between the dark and light in her book. I think that's incredibly hard to achieve, especially in memoir.


If you liked Pachinko, might I suggest reading Min Jin Lee's first book, Free Food for Millionaires? I could not put it down nor could I stop thinking about it. Min Jin Lee is keenly observant and an empathetic writer. Her sensitively drawn and nuanced characters are remarkable. I also appreciate how candidly Min Jin speaks about the process of writing her book in the 10th anniversary edition. Excellent work like hers takes a long time to develop, but I don't think that's particularly popular to admit in this day and age. It's a helpful reminder for all artists, and makes me love her work that much more.

I had so much fun reading Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews in my book club. A thrilling suspense novel (and another debut!) that's perfect for poolside reading. I'm not going to say anything else. Just pick up the book. You won't regret it. As my friend Roxanne says, it's like All About Eve meets The Talented Mr. Ripley. Enjoy!



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