Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
No one wants to admit to feeling left out, or out of step with your peers. But Mindy Kaling, the creator and star of The Mindy Project, asks the difficult question right on the cover of her collection of personal essays. Kaling lays out her quirks, fears, and insecurities–but most importantly, she’s unabashed about doing so.
Pride and Prejudice
This classic love story is also one of the most awkward. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy could have expressed their feelings much sooner, if it weren’t for his social anxiety: brooding at parties, insulting others’ social failings to deflect from his own. But Darcy’s greatest moments are behind-the-scenes, when he quietly saves the Bennett family from financial ruin.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Recently named the best book of the 2000s by BBC Culture, Díaz’s Pulitzer-winning novel gives us a seemingly hopeless protagonist in Oscar de León: overweight, more attuned to science fiction stories than exerting the masculinity expected by his Dominican family. While the story has a tragic end, Oscar’s journey to being someone worth writing about is ultimately fulfilled.
I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Another memoir that sets the self-effacing tone with the title, Crosley’s essay collection recounts her triumphs and pratfalls through a wide range of awkward situations: locking herself out of her old and new apartments on the same day; unexpectedly giving the toast at a horror wedding; and trying to determine who left a turd on her carpet.
We’re all a little bit awkward. You don’t always “get it.” You find yourself agonizing over social situations, or stuck at the center of cringe-inducing moments. You may feel as if you’re the only person who falls short at being “normal.” In your isolation (self-imposed or otherwise), you find comfort burying your nose in a book. But these books are what can draw you back, because embracing the awkwardness present in all of us creates solidarity. These authors faced their embarrassing moments -declared ownership of them by retelling them in memoir, or channeled them into socially-inept characters – and came out on the other side. From teens grappling with puberty and first love to adults still navigating personal and professional relationships, your people are here, in these pages.
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