Hi <<First Name>>!
Have you read anything great lately? I’ve noticed a trend in three of my favorite books from the past year: they are ostensibly about really small things, but are in fact about Really Big Things. Each author uses the miniscule as a vehicle to describe the macro, and each book ends up being an incredibly satisfying read. Stay with me...
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatatil focuses on unsung heroes of the natural and animal world, ranging from cassowaries (I saw one once in Australia! It was awesome!) to fireflies. Within those descriptions, Nezhukumatatil weaves in stories of her upbringing being raised by a Filipina mother and Indian father. It’s lyrical, it’s fascinating, it’s at times purposely jarring. It’s quite a feat.
My Inner Sky by Mari Andrews is focused on four parts of the day: twilight, golden hour, night, and dawn. As she explores each phase of time, Andrews navigates her struggles (and triumphs) with illness, grief, relationships, and loneliness. I realize the premise sounds depressing, but the book itself isn’t—Andrews finds huge joys and wins in the quotidian, showing us that even when we are working on some Really Big Things, the small things are what keep us going.
The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo is maybe the weirdest of the three, but I mean that in a good way. What a cool concept—a whole book about fruit that doesn’t cooperate! It’s a fascinating dive into esoterica… and also pivotal moments in Lebo’s life ranging from leaving a claustrophobic long-term relationship to exploring family secrets.
This story-behind-the-story subgenre of personal essays feels especially timely. Getting to do small things again like having friends over for a casual pop-by (I made last-minute hummus! It was thrilling!) and eating in restaurants (it was nice to meet you, sweet potato shakshuka) feel rather monumental.
Hope you can dive deep into a great read (and some barbecue) this weekend.
— Carey Polis, senior director of content & audience strategy, GNI
P.S. We’re experimenting with a new format for our Shopping emails (coming at ya next week) and feeling excited about it. If you’re intrigued and not already on that list, update your email preferences here.
P.P.S. If you have a book-loving friend, we’d love for you to forward this newsletter to them.