Last month I asked the author about what she was reading. Racculia's reply:
The last book I fell in love with was My Misspent Youth: Essays by Meghan Daum. I don’t typically seek out essay collections, which may be part of the reason why this book—like David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again—totally blew me away. It felt so fresh yet so familiar, hysterical and smart and quietly heartbreaking. Her essay about being a lapsed oboist, “Music is My Bag,” sang to me, as a fellow former double-reed player myself (albeit a lapsed bassoonist). Whether she was explaining the no-man’s land that exists between a relationship online and in person, the literal and figurative cost of being a young professional writer, or her soul-deep aversion to wall-to-wall carpeting, I felt as though Meghan Daum had plugged her brain straight into mine and said, Hey, here is a new way to think. And also, hey, I think that way too.Visit Kate Racculia's website.
Before My Misspent Youth, I’d been carrying on with Pamela Erens’ The Virgins, which I picked up after months of hearing its praises sung. I’m always skeptical of coming to a book with expectations—it isn’t fair to anyone—but in this case, even my expectations weren’t high enough. The Virgins gutted me. It’s a prep school story, a teenage love story, a story about privilege and who tells stories—who has the right, and who takes the right. And it’s a master class in point of view while simultaneously being an intensely beautiful, pleasurable read.