After starting Lahiri’s collection of short stories, we were instantly hooked to her writing style and subject matter. Some of us are the children of immigrants, one from Pakistan, so reading her stories about the South-Asian immigrant experience in the U.S. was quite validating.
"On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous," Ocean Vuong
This novel by breakout author, Vuong, is a tender tale of the relationship between a first-generation immigrant from Vietnam and his mother. Written as a letter to his mother, who cannot read English, the narrative style is refreshing and unique. This novel is a compelling coming-of-age story that explores family, sexuality and trauma in a way that few authors ever have.
"Giovanni’s Room," James Baldwin
This classic Baldwin novel is a perfect summer read for those of us who can only afford to travel to Paris within the margins of a book. This book is one of our favorite queer stories, as it explores the loyalties to ourselves, our relationships and, ultimately, ourselves as we discover who we are, what we want and why we love who we love.
"All About Love," Bell Hooks
Literally just read this if you're as perpetually single and hopelessly romantic as we are. It's a mash-up of a spiritual novel and self-help book that will guide you in how to love yourselves, your trauma and your significant others (if you're lucky) better.
"A Little Life," Hanya Yanagihara
This one will probably take you all summer to read; not only because it's over 800 pages but also because it's an emotional labor of love. Exploring childhood trauma, sexuality and the lifelong bonds of friendship, this is one of the greatest love stories ever written.
"salt.," Nayyirah Waheed
If you're looking for something light on word count but emotionally heavy, this book of poetry will leave you inspired, empowered and a little shaken up.
"Americanah," Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If you can't tell by now, we're suckers for a love story. More than a classic romance, however, this novel explores the immigrant experience through tales of code-switching, colorism and the constant desire to return to one's roots.
"Becoming," Michelle Obama
If you haven't read this yet, we're sorry. Go buy it. Right now!