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.
Former Washington resident Stephanie Land’s bestselling 2019 memoir, “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” recently inspired a Netflix limited series, “Maid,” which premiered Oct. 1. Now she’s at work on a new book called “Class,” about where class, low-income populations and education collide, and the roadblocks low-income people face in achieving a degree in higher education.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading “Nomadland.” I watched the movie on Hulu and the book is just amazing. The last book I read was “Big Little Lies,” which is just, like, visually eating candy. I love the [HBO] series. I read on planes the most, so I took that with me on a trip to Michigan a few weeks ago for a speaking gig and just devoured it. Before that, I read Lauren Hough’s “Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing,” and I read that book almost in one sitting, which is kind of a feat for me. And even my husband read it really quickly and it was just incredible. Her story is just phenomenal. And I can’t stop talking about it.
What book have you reread the most times?
I don’t want to say it’s “The Elements of Style.” I mean, we all go back to that one, right? It’s like the Bible. To just be completely honest, it’s “The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing” by Melissa Bank. I used to read that every single time someone broke up with me. I would just have a day where I would read this book. And so the book has so many passages that are underlined in different colored pens, because I had read it at different times. And it’s dog-eared and I have notes in it. I guess for a while in my 20s it was my pick-me-up book.
What book would you recommend everyone read and why?
For the last few years it’s been “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond. He did a lot to show what it’s like to be in that level of housing insecurity and what happens when you have to struggle to provide shelter for your kids. To me, it was a really accurate story about the daily fear that you go through.