Books For Any and All Times

Words by Chloe Popove

Photography by Brit Gill

Whether you’re looking to escape, heal, learn, or be completely transported, this reading list has you covered.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

This book explores Buddhist philosophy in a way that’s accessible for the Western mind. And no, things don’t have to be falling apart for these words to be thoroughly enjoyed.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstoreby Robin Sloan

If you’re looking for something strange and wonderful, this is it. It’s delightfully funny and honest, and transports you back to a time when people spent endless hours exploring shelves of old bookstores, searching for their next escape. Plus, it’s full of magic and involves an underground book cult—what more could you ask for?

In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote

If I’m being totally honest, I would lie in bed and read murder mystery books all day if I could. However, this one is different from the rest. As the great Truman Capote tells the gruesome story of the murder of the Clutter family, he manages to create both suspense and empathy. This is done without the cheap ploys of typical books of this genre; don’t expect to find any outrageous twists, unbelievable climaxes, or unnecessary details purely for shock value. It’s beautifully written from start to finish and has the reader asking why, instead of how.

Sick in the Head: Conversations about Life and Comedyby Judd Apatow

No matter what type of person you are, there’s something for everyone in this book. Sick in the Head is a collection of personal interviews with today’s biggest names in comedy—and it’s not at all what you’d expect. The stories are personal and raw, and expose the utmost human-ness in all of us, famous or not. The conversations explore everything from first jobs and fuck-ups to break-ups and what it means to bring joy to others. This book feels like a front-row seat to the real lives of the people who make us laugh.

Vaginaby Naomi Wolf

Every woman needs to read this book. Actually, every person needs to read this book.