Ditch The Novel: 8 Books That Will Get You Out of Your Reading Comfort Zone


Cozying up with an Anthropologie candle and a fresh read is my favorite way to spend a chilly January afternoon, and it also means I get to stick to our 2018 bucket list item to read more. My twist on it? Breaking out of my novel-after-novel pattern and reading books from a bunch of different genres. Here are eight options we’re checking out this month that’ll shake up your reading routine.

Hope Jahren
Lab Girl

In this funny, sentimental, and informative memoir, geobiologist Hope Jahren presents her far-less-than-glamorous experience of being a scientist. Complete with moving insights and hilarious, relatable road trip stories, Jahren’s life story promises adventures, big and small.

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Matthew Desmond
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

In this heavier read, sociologist Matthew Desmond “follows eight families from Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads.” Vivid scenes and touching storytelling make this book one of the most read and critically acclaimed books of the last year.

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The New Yorker

My favorite collection of American short stories is found between the pages of the New Yorker magazine — and lots of them are free to read online! I’m currently loving Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person,” a story about an abysmal and all-too-relatable collegiate date. Check the site weekly for new short stories.

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Daniel Kahneman
Thinking, Fast and Slow

This book — an awesome combo of psychology and economics — totally changed how I think about thinking, and helped make sense in an interesting way of how people and institutions (like the economy) are similar and different. This is definitely a book to pick up if you’re interested in learning something new about yourself and the world!

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Tim Ferriss
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World

I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get to get through life. Enter: Tim Ferriss’s Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World. So while I can’t get elite athlete Maria Sharapova, Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton, and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz together for dinner at my apartment, this book is the next best thing.

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Tiffany Haddish
The Last Black Unicorn

If you don’t know who Tiffany Haddish is at this point, you are big time missing out on this funny lady. The self-proclaimed “last black unicorn” tells her life story of moving from “nothing and nowhere” to hosting acclaimed comedy specials and starring in A-list movies. Filled with hilarity and heart, Haddish’s memoir is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day.

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Jenny Zhang
Sour Heart: Stories

In another soon-to-be classic collection of short stories, Jenny Zhang takes us through the immigrant experience in a fresh and meaningful way. Each story is narrated by the same daughters of Chinese immigrants, and this collection is sure to move you to laughter and tears.

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Sloane Crosley
I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays

Premise of this essay collection: Sloane moves to New York to become a writer; everything goes wrong. From burning maxi-pads as torches at a Christian summer camp (she’s Jewish) to revealing her collection of pony figurines from a myriad of exes, Sloane can do no right. If you’ve ever messed up before (so yes, you) you’ll find yourself laughing along with Sloane as she tries her very, very best.

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