Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #17: A Few Smart, Beautiful, Recent Books


You’ll want to devour this bunch—favorites of mine from a wildly disparate batch of recent reads.

Reading Mixtape Header

  1. Calf by Andrea Kleine
    This novel is smart, taut, and finely woven. Using actual historic events as a point of departure, Andrea twists her own narrative in a voice that is gripping and original. She masters story, character, and action, and we wind up thinking about big ideas after we’re done reading. What more do you want from a novel?
  2. Last Night’s Reading by Kate Gavino
    Kate’s drawings of authors at readings in New York are tremendous, but the quotes from each that she chooses to accompany her skilled art make this book a true treasure.
  3. Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
    Don’t dismiss this as “a celebrity memoir.” It’s not. It’s storytelling at it’s finest through a careful collection of letters from the author. Mary-Louise is an astute artist, a close reader and observer, and a woman in her own skin who knows a thing or forty-three about life and men and bodies and hurting and parenting and daughtering and loving and seeing the strange beauty in all this. To my writer comrades I say this: she’s one of us. I’ve fangirled for her since her earliest films started appearing—and I’ve seen her on stage a zillion times and and and and… so I didn’t want to read this book and get my heart broken if it was even a little bit bad. Hallelujah: it is not one iota off. It is delicious, informed with the sensibility of a woman whose pen is curved by the ancients and by the finest poets. She has a keen sense of language and beauty and pain and art and what happens in life. Go buy it right now, and while you’re at it—watch her back catalog of films. (And next time you see me at some literary event, let’s talk for a long time about the Amy Gardner character on West Wing and how fine Mary-Louise was in it. I can do that for hours.)
  4. My Unsentimental Education by Debra Monroe
    A vibrant, tough, interesting look at dating amidst class differences in a smaller community. A fascinating look at women shifting classes and the presence of our past selves we all carry – for better and worse Ultimately a story about finding our own center, about gaining our own self. Truly loved this book. Debra is a master of her craft.



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Original logo art by Esme Blegvad.

Anna March’s writing appears regularly in Salon and here at the Rumpus and her work has been widely published including in The New York Times' Modern Love Column, New York Magazine, VQR, Hip Mama and Tin House. Her essay collection, Feminist Killjoy, and novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank, are both forthcoming and she is at work on two new books. She teaches writing workshops, mentors writers, is active in promoting literary community and is the co-founder of LITFOLKS in LA and DC. She lives in Rehoboth Beach and Los Angeles. Sometimes she has pink hair. Follow her on Twitter @ANNAMARCH or learn more about her at ANNAMARCH.COM. More from this author →