Dian's Staff Picks
This is a must-read book for anybody interested in social justice. Dunbar Ortiz clearly articulates a history of settler colonialism and its negative impacts on Indigenous lifeways. This book was life-changing!
Raw, dark, laugh-out-loud hilarious at times, complex, and quintessentially millennial, with deeply cutting descriptions of Edie’s experience as a young Black woman trying to make sense of her life. Leilani paints vivid yet succinct descriptions of the multiple microcosms of NYC and suburban NJ as she explores Edie’s relationship to work, self, her parents, and a complicated open relationship (with a white couple who adopts a Black daughter). Leilani’s breakout novel reads like a memoir as if she is drawing from her own lived experiences, or creating a composite narrative of the daily experiences of many Black women today—always under the watchful and powerful gaze of whiteness and misogynoir. You’ll finish Luster before you know it.
Rankine's newest set of essays explores her interactions with white people in her life and her travels. A must-read for all white people and others interested in anti-racism. I read it in a weekend. This is a new take on our relationships to whiteness and anti-Blackness. An auto/ethnographic read that asks many questions of its white readers and leaves you asking many more of yourself.
If you're exhausted with the world, check out Maree Brown's book on creating social change starting with small groups and upscaling to larger systemic shifts. I read this book in a weekend and it changed my entire outlook on how I wanted to do social change work in my life. 10/10 recommend!
This is a must-read cookbook for any level of chef. Samin enlightens us on the for most important cooking elements, Salt Fat Acid and Heat. Check out her Netflix special and podcast too!!!
I've loved David Chang ever since visiting Momofuku, watching Ugly Delicious, and reading Lucky Peach. Getting an inside look at this mastermind chef was a *treat*. Don't miss his 33 rules to being a chef, his musings about a future America, and his stories of childhood growing up as a child of a Korean immigrant.
A fun, dark, and witchy novel about the lengths you'd go for and what you'd risk for love. This debut novel is a page turner filled with action, magic, and serpents. I finished the back half of the book in one night!