• The cover of the book Dreams from My Father

    Dreams from My Father

    This autobiography really spoke to me, probably because the President and I have so much in common. We were both raised by caring, supportive grandmothers. We both attended Harvard Law School. I applied for a job at the White House a few years ago. Never heard back.

     
  • The cover of the book Discourses and Selected Writings

    Discourses and Selected Writings

    My fiancé Will gave me this book. He’s an archaeologist, and he’s always yammering on about Stoic philosophy. Frankly, I can’t relate. Epictetus says we’re the only ones in control of our emotions and our destiny, and most of us fail to realize that “no one is ever unhappy because of someone else.” I read that and was like, dude. You obviously never worked at a big law firm.

     
  • The cover of the book Much Ado About Nothing

    Much Ado About Nothing

    My best friend Freddy insisted I read this play. She said, “Look at the relationship between the cousins Beatrice and Hero. It’s just like our friendship.” I said, “Which of us is Beatrice and which is Hero?” She said, “I’m Beatrice, obviously.” “No fair!” I said. “Beatrice has all the snappy lines. And Hero is falsely accused of being a drunken slut, whereas I actually am a drunken slut.” Freddy said, “You’re missing the point, idiot.” I shrugged. “Whatever. You can be Beatrice. Robert Sean Leonard is way hotter than Kenneth Branagh anyway.” “Oh my God!” she cried. “You didn’t read it! You just watched the movie!” Busted.

     
  • The cover of the book Little Women

    Little Women

    I read this book when I was 10, and it blew my mind! So many confluences and mirror-opposites with my life. Instead of a family of four daughters and a mother, I had a family of one daughter and four mother-figures (I have stepmothers out the wazoo). Also, like the March sisters, I had an absent father. Only mine wasn’t off fighting the Civil War—he was in New York getting drunk and burning through his inheritance. And while I didn’t have a sister with scarlet fever, I did remember overhearing Dad tell the story of the time his uncle caught syphilis from an exotic dancer. The coincidences went on and on. I wrote a long book report about them and read it to my second-grade class. My teacher sent a note home.

     
  • The cover of the book Ada, or Ardor

    Ada, or Ardor

    Frankly, the only worthwhile part of this book is Part Four’s dense metaphysical lecture on “The Texture of Time.” Kidding! It’s all about the sex, people. The filthy, filthy, pre-teen sex.

     
  • The cover of the book Against Love

    Against Love

    A stunning, hilarious polemic about the capitalist underpinnings of monogamy and the insanity inherent in our propensity to pair off. As someone about to get married, maybe I shouldn’t have been quite so enamored of this book. But it’s definitely got me thinking…