We asked some of the most bookish people we know to share what they’re enjoying these days, from the latest unputdownable novel to their current movie obsession. We’re excited to hear from Neda Dallal, Marketing Manager for Avery Books and TarcherPerigee at Penguin Random House! Read on to hear in her own words what she’s reading and recommending right now.
I’ve worn many hats in my years at Penguin Random House, but my favorite by far is my current role as Marketing Manager for Avery Books and TarcherPerigee, working on nonfiction in the mental health and self-improvement spaces. I love shepherding books through the promotion process and working closely with authors to get their words and ideas into as many hands as possible. I also read a lot of fiction in my spare time, and am a huge devotee of the romance genre. You can find me on Instagram @thebookishpersian sharing my favorite reads and, more recently, some of my writing!
Central Places is my most recent read, and one of the best distillations I’ve seen of what it’s like to be a child of immigrants. Delia Cai brilliantly lays out the nuances of being raised into a different culture than your parents, and all the beautiful and difficult things that come with it. The book also delves deep into interracial relationships, the complexities of “good whiteness,” and what it is to confront uglier parts of your past. A knockout read that I’ll be recommending to everyone I know!
I’m biased since I worked on this title, but it’s one of my favorite books I’ve marketed for Avery and TarcherPerigee. Colin Campbell and his wife’s lives were forever altered when a drunk driver hit their car at high speed, killing their two teenage children. Plunged into deep despair, Colin realized quickly that our society’s relationship with grief is quite unhealthy. In this stunning meditation on loss, Colin has written an incredibly important, practical guide to becoming an active protagonist in your grief, leaning on community, and performing grieving rituals in order to live more fully while still holding lost loved ones close.
An absolute force of a novel. I read Homegoing almost four years ago but still think about it constantly. It follows several characters over many generations, starting with two sisters in Ghana who are separated during the height of the African slave trade. One remains in Ghana, one is forcibly enslaved in America — and the rest of book follows the sisters’ descendants in their respective lands and the hardships and discrimination they experience. This book fundamentally gets at the heart of America’s racialized consciousness, and it’s an absolute must-read.
I’ve been following Rachel Lynn Solomon’s work since her first young adult novel, and I think she just gets better and better with each new book. If you love smart romance novels from the likes of Emily Henry and Ali Hazelwood, Weather Girl is right up your alley. Don’t sleep on this warm and swoony story!
This book tore me apart in the best possible way. A beautifully crafted memoir of nine-year-old Javier’s harrowing journey migrating from El Salvador to the United States, Solito is a grueling and all-encompassing read. It makes sense that the author is a poet because his written memories are so vibrant and sensory. This book will radicalize you, and I encourage you to let it.
I can’t wait for this gorgeous debut novel from my former writing teacher Haley (out June 20, 2023)! It’s a bold, emotional, community-oriented, and unapologetically queer story that will make you cry and laugh all in the same breath. Haley is a sharp and sensual writer, and I think this book will mean so much to so many.
I’m a sucker for a great, sweeping family story, and this one delivers like no other. The story of this Chinese American family who loses a daughter goes back and forth in time and reveals so much about each character’s passions, fears, and motivations. Celeste Ng is a master at examining the granular human things that make us tick, and this book will make you feel every emotion imaginable.
A gorgeously written second-chance romance full of yearning, pining, and steaminess! I’m in awe that this is Carley Fortune’s debut novel — no one is writing romance like her. This book was the sound of my summer last year, and I’ll probably re-read it this summer just to inhale those vibes again. And I can’t wait for Carley’s second book, Meet Me at the Lake, either!
I loved this unique, unforgettable story about a residential school for Deaf students. This is in equal parts a comedy, a coming-of-age story, a devastating reminder of the ways we fail people with disabilities in our society, and a touching celebration of community care. I’m grateful to the author for teaching us about the history, culture, and language of the Deaf community.
What are you listening to?
Hosted by Saeed Jones, Sam Sanders, and Zach Stafford, Vibe Check has quickly become my favorite podcast. I’ve loved the individual works of the three hosts for a while now, and when they all come together, it creates a supernova of hilarious and brilliant observations about pop culture, our ever-shifting political landscape, and humanity at large. The hosts approach every story they cover from a Black and queer lens, which also lends a deeply valuable perspective to what’s going on in the world. I highly suggest everyone give it a listen!
Thank you, Neda!