The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.
This month: Seattle’s Lindy West, national columnist and author of “The Witches Are Coming,” “Shrill” and more. West is also a co-creator and executive producer for the TV adaptation of “Shrill,” which kicked off its second season last month on Hulu.
What book are you reading now?
I just got my copy of Samantha Irby’s new book, “Wow, No Thank You.” [available for purchase March 31] and it’s a book of essays. She’s my favorite author and I’m obsessed with her. She’s just the funniest observer of life.
Another book I read that I loved is called “The City in the Middle of the Night” by Charlie Jane Anders. It’s this gorgeous sci-fi, this beautiful little adventure about a planet that is “tide locked,” so half the planet is dark and half the planet is light. Half the planet is frigid, half the planet is a burning wasteland, and all the people live in these dystopian communities in this little ring of twilight around the planet. I found it to be really affecting. I travel so much and I have so many jobs at the same time, and I find myself just constantly searching for escapism. I also spend all my time reading the news, but it’s just depressing news and think pieces about depressing news, so I’m constantly searching for stories about other places.
What book have you reread the most?
I’ve been so depleted from [my] book tour that I’ve been listening to all the “Harry Potter” books in order on audiobook. I’ve reread [them] a million times and again it’s very soothing. When I was a kid, I reread everything. Then as an adult, I don’t have time to reread, but I do relisten to “Harry Potter” so I can fall asleep.
What book do you recommend other people read and why?
I always recommend Sam [Irby] to everyone. Her first two books, “Meaty” and “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.,” are both absolutely incredible. She writes essays about her life. In “We’re Never Meeting in Real Life.” she writes about meeting her wife and getting married. She had Crohn’s disease and writes about the indignities of living with a chronic illness. She writes about growing up poor and dating, and it’s all just so funny and beautifully written, and I’m just constantly jealous of how funny and talented she is. And also, this is not a book, but sorry, I’m obsessed with Sam, she has an email newsletter where she recaps [daytime TV court show] “Judge Mathis,” which is truly incredible literature. She should compile them all into a book and I would buy a thousand copies.