The Year of Magical Thinking
This classic memoir by Joan Didion is the most popular and recommended book on Passerbuys. The Year of Magical Thinking documents Didion’s heartbreaking year grappling with the sudden death of her husband and her daughter’s serious illness. Speaking to Didion’s emotional prose, music editor and NYC passerby Lauren Nostro says, “As for reading Joan Didion, I like to make myself cry.”
The Rules Do Not Apply
This memoir by New Yorker writer Ariel Levy emerged as one of the most recommended memoirs on Passerbuys. It documents Levy as she leaves for a reporting trip to Mongolia while she was pregnant, married, and financially secure—all of which became untrue very quickly. Natalie Pace of West Elm wrote that The Rules Do Not Apply has easily become one of her favorite books—a story of Ariel’s life in New York, “and how she bent the rules to live the life she wanted.”
A Little Life
Featured on our weekly series, Popular Passerbuys, this novel traces the journey of four college classmates, the families they’re born into, and the families they make for themselves. Book publicist and passerby Angie Venezia says, “Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life was an incredibly important novel to me, so I felt like the luckiest gal on earth to work on it. Hanya is one of my favorite people.”
The Architecture of Happiness
Alain De Botton
This popular recommendation is perfect for creatives, but also for those who would like to learn more about the relationship between philosophy, psychology, and architecture. Alain de Botton teaches readers how our physical environment influences who we are, and how it can be used to reach our full potential.
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this novel follows a daughter of immigrants as she navigates her freshman year at Harvard while maintaining a romantic relationship via email. The premise alone resounds for many passersby, and Batuman’s writing is witty, sharp, and undeniably appealing.
Conversations with Friends
Rooney’s debut novel was selected as one of the best books of 2017 on Passerbuys. Gaining attention for its complex portrayal of female friendship, it covers the familiar feelings of passion and jealousy that saturate young adulthood through the relationship between Frances, a student in Dublin pursuing a career as a writer, and her best friend, Bobbi.
Against Everything is a fitting companion to today’s political and popular culture. A collection of essays both profound and entertaining, Greif’s topics include policing, protests, and the philosophy of pop music, among others. Pick up this book for an understanding of meaning-making among the chaos of contemporary life.
Ever wondered about a woman that passed you by? Where she’s going, where she got that bag, what book she’s reading? Passerbuys is the place that answers just that. Featuring interviews of the interesting women we see passing by, the website is built around their recommendations for everything from beauty products and books to local coffee shops and salons.
Passerbuys aims to build a community where women help one another—offering genuine advice, everyday tips, and reliable recommendations. Having interviewed over 300 women all over the world, we took stock of which books were repeatedly recommended by these fascinating women.
To meet the women who recommended some of these titles, check out their profiles on Passerbuys.
- Shawana Grosvenor, who recommends The Year of Magical Thinking and Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers
- Erin Allweiss, who recommends The Rules Do Not Apply
- Angie Venezia, who recommends A Little Life and Conversations with Friends
- Molly Young, who recommends The Rules Do Not Apply, The Idiot, and Conversations with Friends
- Natalie Fält, who recommends The Delta of Venus
- Fariha Roisin, who recommends Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers
Featured Image: Clémence Polès/Passerbuys; Author Photo: Matt-Glueckert