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 Sarah Mangiola, Associate Director, Content Marketing & Editorial Strategy at Penguin Random House! Read on to hear in her own words what she’s reading and recommending right now.
Originally from California, I’ve been living in New York for the past 10 years — currently residing in my new favorite borough: Brooklyn. My job at Penguin Random House has less to do with the process of publishing amazing books, and everything to do with recommending them to our avid readers through digital content platforms. My love of reading started in my childhood and eventually turned into an all-consuming hobby and career. Though I used to read mostly literary fiction and fantasy, I discovered the romance genre a few years ago and never looked back. I read to immerse myself in different worlds — and to momentarily get some respite from this one. Here are some of the books I’ve loved lately.
I was completely swept up by Ali Hazelwood’s debut romance, The Love Hypothesis, and her sophomore novel doesn’t disappoint. This book is set at NASA and follows two rival scientists with a grad school past who are forced together on a new project. It’s steamy, smart, and full of heart.
Though this is a work of fiction, it taught me a history lesson on the deaf community. The story, which is set at a boarding school for deaf children, is told from multiple points of view. It tackles topics of cochlear implants, the importance of language, and so much more. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.
This popular work is worth the hype. Nora finds herself at a crossroads, but these crossroads take the form of a library. There, she’s able to delve into the “what if?” volumes of her life — living out various ways her life could have gone had she made a different decision at some point. Trigger warning: It includes the sensitive topic of suicide, so please keep that in mind before picking it up.
I slept on Brit Bennett for way too long. Her debut novel, The Mothers, is so well-written and, at times, complex, but it all weaves back together. At its core, it’s a story of — what else? — motherhood. The actuality and potential of it, through love, loss, and duty.
This body-inclusive, gym-set, enemies-to-lovers romance is a true delight. TikTok made me read it. And luckily, TikTok is almost always right. The story follows curvy fitness influencer, Crystal, and firefighter hunk, Scott, whose worlds collide when their grandparents decide to tie the knot.
My husband is vegan and also the self-appointed (conscripted?) chef of our household. We’re always looking for new, creative recipes to try, and The Korean Vegan Cookbook allows us to do just that (while also displaying a sleekly designed volume on our living room’s shelves). Current favorite recipes include Japchae and Sweet Hotteok.
I’m a sucker for a Pride & Prejudice retelling and this is one of the best I’ve read. It follows the Binat family and a cast of very familiar, yet new, characters as they navigate marriage in Pakistan. It maintains the overall themes of the original while breathing new life into the story and introducing readers to a culture with which they may be unfamiliar. It’s a true delight.
The Night Circus is one of my favorite books of all time, so I couldn’t provide recommendations without reminding readers about it! Its premise, a life-long competition between two young magicians set at a traveling circus where magic isn’t an illusion at all, is utterly unique and mesmerizing.
What are you watching?
I’m currently binging the new season of Never Have I Ever. In my eyes, Mindy Kaling is perfection and I love following Devi on this journey. I’m also wrapping up the second season of Only Murders in the Building, which I thought was slow to start but now I’m hooked! Love Island UK recently ended and I’ll be wallowing until the next season returns in approximately one year.
What are you listening to?
Maggie Rogers’s new album, Surrender, is currently living rent-free in my head. “Anywhere With You” and “Horses,” in particular, are on repeat.
I’ve been traveling a bit recently, and as a result, have had more time in a car to listen to podcasts. One of my favorites continues to be Stuff You Should Know. Hosts Chuck and Josh tackle seemingly random topics that are always informative and interesting — and they have great chemistry and rapport.
What are you cooking?
As previously stated, I’m not the cook in my household. However, I am a skilled recipe finder! One of my favorite go-tos is anything from Minimalist Baker. Her recipes are simple, healthy, and always deliver.
Thank you, Sarah!