As my dad used to say to me growing up, “readers are leaders,” whenever I would be in the middle of yet another teen beach novel. He had a point, as most of the successful people I have met in life have been voracious readers. However, in B.C. time (before Coronavirus), there simply was not enough time in a day for both weekend plans and weekend reads. As we are now in the A.C. period, we have a surplus of time on our hands, and reading is the perfect activity to get your mind off things.
While I still love my beach reads, I have started to diversify my bookshelf with some nonfiction books. There’s a certain appeal to walking away with information or wisdom that can be applied to my daily life and flexed at parties. There are a ton of good options out there, but here are our favorites.
Iman Balagam, Writer
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
My name is Iman Balagam, and I am addicted to self-help books. This book is one I keep going back to because Rubin does a great job of combining scientific research and real-world examples. So many of us are privileged enough to live such wonderful lives, yet so few of us would say that we are “happy.” Rubin finds herself in the same boat and sets out on a year-long mission to discover and create true happiness. A lot of the things she suggests you can easily replicate and right now feels as good a time as ever to get started on your own personal happiness project.
Lauren Hitzhusen, Fact-checker/Proofreader
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou
This book is a completely wild ride from start to finish. It tells the story of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of unicorn startup Theranos, and her rise and fall. Theranos claimed to have developed a device that could detect hundreds of diseases from a single finger prick. The device was small and compact enough to be able to sit on a countertop. It could solve all the world’s health problems. Except… it did not exist. As the book goes on, Holmes is caught in lie after lie, and investigators come after her. Even if you know the ending, the story is like nothing I’ve ever read before. I devoured it over the course of four flights and recommend it to everyone. It is fantastic.
Briahna Roberts, PR/Editorial Assistant
More Than Enough, by Elaine Welteroth
Women work twice as hard to get a seat at the table. But Black women work twice as hard even to be considered for a seat at the same table. Elaine Welteroth embodies this in her memoir of manifestation. Welteroth is the youngest editor-in-chief in Teen Vogue history and is the second African-American to hold the title at Condé Nast. This is one of those books that wakes you up to the reality that the world is not fair, but you can overcome it. When you manifest your dreams to a reality, you will not just have a seat at the table but will be on a path to create tables of your own.
Mylan Torres, Creative Producer
How to Murder Your Life, by Cat Marnell
True to its title, this book is a cautionary tale on how to destroy your career ambitions by succumbing to your vices. Cat Marnell is, by all intents and purposes, handed every opportunity to succeed: growing up in a wealthy D.C. suburb, attending boarding school and landing a dream job at a Condé Nast title that millions of people would kill to get. But she has a secret. She is an addict. Prescribed Adderall in her teens by her psychiatrist father to treat her ADHD, Cat’s affair with amphetamines begins innocently enough but quickly spirals into an all-out addiction. Soon she is taking anything and everything to be awake, to go to sleep, and, most importantly, so as not to feel. This brutally honest memoir, written in Cat’s staple humorous, self-deprecating tone, details her struggles with addiction as she rises through the ranks of the magazine world and her eventual fall.
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