30 Days of Wow

THE BEST NEW BOOK FOR...

1

For understanding
the economy


Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

by Thomas Piketty

Yes, this is 700 pages of French economic theory, but it’s also the 2014 book on taxation, income inequality and the shifting of the middle class. (Don’t want to read the whole thing? Here’s a four-paragraph summary.)

2

To keep in your
bathroom


Women in Clothes

by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavitz and others

In 642 succinct essays and interviews, women like Molly Ringwald and Kim Gordon talk about what defines their style. Pick it up and put it down as often as you’d like.

3

To get garlic
sauce on


Prune

by Gabrielle Hamilton

The beloved Manhattan chef has finally released a cookbook. Grilled shrimp with anchovy butter? Ten varieties of Bloody Mary? Yes, please.

4

For sounding
like a book snob


The Bone Clocks

by David Mitchell

This novel is on everyone’s best-of-the-year list. Once you’ve read it, practice saying things like “My, how Joycean” and “The metaphysical becomes metaphorical!”

5

To read to a
3-year-old


The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

by Mo Willems

Dude. This pigeon really needs a bath.

6

If you think
you’re the third
Coen Brother


To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

by Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris’s most recent novel--about a baseball-obsessed dentist grappling with his own existential relevance (it’s funny, we promise)--has definite undertones of A Serious Man and Fargo.

7

To read before a
job interview


The Confidence Code

by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Working women today are better educated and more qualified than ever before. So why are we still so damn timid? This groundbreaking study explores our lack of confidence and offers tips for overcoming it.

8

For the “I miss
Katniss” set


Red Rising

by Pierce Brown

There’s a color-coded caste system on Mars, and everybody at the bottom (the reds, natch) is royally screwed. That is, until one plucky youngster dares to betray. Yay, Young Adult dystopia!

9

If you just
bought stock
in Kleenex


Unremarried Widow

by Artis Henderson

When Artis Henderson’s soldier husband died in Iraq--suddenly and horrifically--she was forced to reimagine everything she knew. This memoir is 300 pages long, and you’ll cry for approximately 280 of them.

10

For beefing up
your online-dating
profile


Dataclysm

by Christian Rudder

Why are North Dakotans more sexually liberated than New Yorkers? What’s a black man least likely to say in his profile? This fascinating nonfiction book from the founder of OkCupid explores the science behind the online-dating universe.

11

To listen to
in the car


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

by David Sedaris

Any David Sedaris essay is a pleasure. But it’s only made better when the drawling, self-deprecating author reads it aloud. His tirade against litter might be his funniest rant yet.

12

If you’re secretly
dark and twisted


Confessions

by Kanae Minato

Murder. Retribution. Japanese schoolchildren. This chilling, concise novel about a teacher on a horrific revenge spree is the kind of book that’ll keep you up way past your bedtime.

13

To inspire your
DIY business


#Girlboss

by Sophia Amoruso

This memoir cum business manual tells how one woman started her own $100 million 350-employee company from scratch. Consider it your motivation to finally open that taco truck.

14

For the NPR
diehard


Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We counted no fewer than eight NPR profiles of this highly acclaimed (and, admittedly, outrageously good) novel. Set in a hair salon in Trenton, New Jersey, the stunning book tells the story of Nigerian immigrants in a post-9/11 world.

15

If you’re into
sexy Tudors


The King’s Curse

by Philippa Gregory

It’s the blood-and-sex Henry VIII story you know and love, but told from the perspective of a behind-the-scenes lady-in-waiting. So. Much. Beheading.

16

For anyone with
aging parents


Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

by Roz Chast

Charming neurotic and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast’s first graphic memoir takes on the harrowing--yet darkly comic--story of her parents’ descent into dementia. A must-read for anyone navigating a relative’s decline.

17

If you’ve got a
thing for
Founding Fathers


John Quincy Adams: American Visionary

by Fred Kaplan

Poor guy. History has not remembered the sixth U.S. president fondly. But in this thoughtful biography, Fred Kaplan gives him his due. Fun fact: Did you know JQA compiled more than 50 volumes of diaries? (Narcissistic much?)

18

For the smart
book club


Casebook

by Mona Simpson

Ack, this book is devastating, but there’s soooo much to talk about. The basic crux: A young boy turned “amateur detective” decides to investigate his parents’ marriage--and stumbles upon information that makes him wish he hadn’t.

19

For the stupid
book club


Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

There’s no shame in not wanting to think too hard. Moriarty’s follow-up to her best-selling Husband’s Secret also explores the myth of the happy marriage, but with a murder mystery thrown in.

20

For finally
getting world
politics


World Order

by Henry Kissinger

The Arab Spring. The Ukrainian uprising. Whatever the F is going on Scotland. Perhaps no one is better poised to explain the global landscape than former secretary of state and national security adviser Henry Kissinger. Read it to feel real smart about the news.

21

If you’re worried
about… what was
I saying?


I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia

by Su Meck

In 1988, a ceiling fan fell on Su Meck’s head, instantly wiping clean her entire memory. (Seriously. Terrifying.) In this gripping and inspiring memoir, Meck talks honestly about her injury and the process of putting a life back together.

22

If you love-hate
Lena Dunham


Not That Kind of Girl

by Lena Dunham

If you’ve ever seen Lena Dunham’s backside (and really, who hasn’t?), you know the actor/writer/“voice of a generation” doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Her new essay collection follows suit, pairing cringe-worthy stories with smart-girl advice.

23

If you’re ready
to try Y.A.


Belzhar

by Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer is a grown-up’s writer at her core, and her short, sweet novel about a troubled teen at an enchanted boarding school falls somewhere between Prep and Harry Potter.

24

If you need to
bring more green
into your home


The Plant Recipe Book

by Baylor Chapman

Want to learn to make an Aeonium terrarium or African-violet flower box? Baylor Chapman--author of the wildly popular Flower Recipe Book, takes his hip, refreshingly un-manicured aesthetic to the world of DIY plant arrangements.

25

To devour in
a weekend


The Fever

by Megan Abbott

Things are getting real weird in the town of Dryden. All the high school girls are falling ill and developing Crucible-like seizures. Are there toxins in the water? Are they faking? Or is something more sinister afoot?

26

If you care about
global warming


The Sixth Extinction

by Elizabeth Kolbert

When it comes to respecting our planet, humans are just the worst. In Elizabeth Kolbert’s sobering nonfiction tome, she traces the history of the first five major extinctions (it’s not just dinosaurs, people) and warns against the next one.

27

If you care about
Wonder Woman


The Secret History of Wonder Woman

by Jill Lepore

Did you know that Wonder Woman was loosely based on birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger? Or that her creator considered himself both an ardent feminist and devout polygamist? This account of the most famous female superhero shows the political and social forces behind the red-booted warrior.

28

For the lazy
dieter


Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight

by Will Clower, Ph.D.

Diet books aren’t typically our thing. But a scientific study by an acclaimed neuroscientist about why you should consume chocolate multiple times a day? We’re listening.

29

To give to your
aunt--for her
third wedding


Eat, Drink & Remarry: Confessions of a Serial Wife

by Margo Howard

The longtime advice columnist for Slate and Yahoo waxes philosophical on the merits of multiple marriages--and talks plenty of trash on her exes.

30

To read in bed
(wink, wink)


I Take You

by Nikki Gemmell

When Connie’s high-powered banker husband becomes paralyzed from the waist down, he finds more creative ways to satisfy his wife’s demands. (Whips, chains, icky hurt-y stuff.) But can she remain faithful in the wake of his perverse desires?