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Staff Picks: What We’re Reading Before Bed

The team behind #readtosleep has inspired us to read more and sleep better, and they’ve also made a personal commitment to do the same. Discover what they have to say about their bedtime stories below as they commit to better rest and better reading in 2020.

  1. 1
    One to Watch Book Cover Picture
    One to Watch Book Cover Picture

    One to Watch

    by Kate Stayman-London

    Kelsey Manning:
    This book isn’t out until June but I just started my advanced copy and am SO excited about it. It’s about a plus-size fashion blogger who finds herself starring in the dating reality show Main Squeeze, and it is the perfect book to read before bed. Since I’ve been working on our #readtosleep campaign for a few months, I’ve really been trying to put my phone away and read instead, and it makes such a difference. I’ve found that my mind has a much easier time quieting down, compared to going straight from furious Instagram scrolling to trying to fall asleep. (Shocking, I know.)
    One to Watch Book Cover Picture
    One to Watch Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  2. 2
    Say Nothing Book Cover Picture
    Say Nothing Book Cover Picture

    Say Nothing

    by Patrick Radden Keefe

    Amy Brinker:
    Ok, so a detailed and devastating look at the Troubles isn’t exactly a bedtime story, but it’s one of the best books I read last year. I found myself heading to bed a little early just to squeeze in more time with this story – if you, like me, are trying to read more nonfiction, I can’t recommend this gripping and eye-opening book enough.
    Say Nothing Book Cover Picture
    Say Nothing Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

    Also available from:

  3. 3
    Juliet Takes a Breath Book Cover Picture
    Juliet Takes a Breath Book Cover Picture

    Juliet Takes a Breath

    by Gabby Rivera

    Christine Hung:
    Wow, what a voice and what a book! I am LOVING this book that stars Juliet, who’s a Puerto Rican lesbian grappling with the world. Juliet moves from the Bronx to Portland, Oregon for a summer to intern with famed feminist author Harlowe Brisbane. I can’t put it down (so perhaps it’s not the BEST recommendation for reading before sleep). Juliet addresses so many issues that I’ve been thinking about lately – gender identities, America’s ugly history, and what it is to be a woman in a traditionally male world.
    Juliet Takes a Breath Book Cover Picture
    Juliet Takes a Breath Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $17.99

    Also available from:

  4. 4
    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden Book Cover Picture
    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden Book Cover Picture

    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

    by Denis Johnson

    Sarah Graves:
    As a person who often struggles to put a book down, short stories make perfect before-bed reading for me. This book of stories by Denis Johnson has so much beauty and humor it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite collections, and I’ve been having the most colorful and mysterious dreams night after night.
    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden Book Cover Picture
    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  5. 5
    Weather Book Cover Picture
    Weather Book Cover Picture

    Weather

    by Jenny Offill

    Rachel Krupitsky:
    Before heading to bed to get lost in my own unconscious thoughts, I’ve been enjoying dipping in to the mind of the amazing Jenny Offill. Much like her bestselling Department of Speculation, Weather is a trip through the narrator’s inner monologue, less of a narrative story than a collection of ruminations, anxieties and conversations. There are lines that stay with me as I’ve falling asleep and well into the following days.
    Weather Book Cover Picture
    Weather Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $23.95

    Also available from:

  6. 6
    Gods of Jade and Shadow Book Cover Picture
    Gods of Jade and Shadow Book Cover Picture

    Gods of Jade and Shadow

    by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

    Haley Larson:
    Instead of scrolling through Instagram every night before bed, I’ve been going on a much more satisfying journey through the world of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Gods of Jade and Shadow. It follows a young woman in 1920s Mexico who is enlisted by the Mayan god of death to help him reclaim his throne, taking her on a wild adventure through jungles and cities alike. I do have to make sure I leave a good amount of time to read before bed with this book, though; this mesmerizing tale is one you won’t want to put down for a while.
    Gods of Jade and Shadow Book Cover Picture
    Gods of Jade and Shadow Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  7. 7
    A Dream About Lightning Bugs Book Cover Picture
    A Dream About Lightning Bugs Book Cover Picture

    A Dream About Lightning Bugs

    by Ben Folds

    John Clinton:
    As a former aspirational rock star and continuing piano player I have enjoyed getting a peek into the mind and journey of one of my early musical heroes. Beyond learning about some super cool behind the scenes elements of Ben Folds’s journey through the music business, he does a good job distilling a number of key takeaways for anyone tackling creative pursuits. What’s also nice is that this book has a light tone that makes it an easy read and pleasant way to tee up drifting off to sleep.
    A Dream About Lightning Bugs Book Cover Picture
    A Dream About Lightning Bugs Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  8. 8
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture

    Dear Girls

    by Ali Wong

    Rianna Jobanputra:
    Listening to Ali Wong account hiliarous and heartwarming stories from her life before bed just puts me in a great mood and helps me unwind after a long day. While Ali addresses this book to her daughters, it’s so relatable and inspiring for all readers as she recounts stories about dating, growing up, work, being a mom, and so much more. I highly recommend the audiobook since she narrates it herself, which lets her personality and signature sense of humor really come to life. Her stories literally have me falling asleep crying from laughing so much.
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture
    Dear Girls Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

    Also available from:

  9. 9
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture

    The Water Dancer

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Taylor Borda:
    As an avid fan of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ nonfiction works, I couldn’t have been more excited to hear about his foray into the fiction world with The Water Dancer. The story of Hiram Walker and his character arc completely captivated me from the onset and I simply could not put this powerful read down. This book also possesses elements of magical realism that transported me to a different place in time and night after night, put my mind at ease prior to falling asleep.
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture
    The Water Dancer Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $28.00

    Also available from:

  10. 10
    Real Life Book Cover Picture
    Real Life Book Cover Picture

    Real Life

    by Brandon Taylor

    Brian Orloff:
    It hasn’t been so tough to trade scrolling through the internet in bed on my phone or iPad now that I’ve started devouring my advanced reader copy of Brandon Taylor’s novel Real Life. The book, which comes out in mid-February, drew me in immediately thanks to a well-drawn narrator, Wallace, and a compelling set of characters. I now find myself battling dueling instincts — the need to turn off the light and get 7-to-8 full hours of sleep vs. my desire to follow Wallace’s story for a few more pages.
    Real Life Book Cover Picture
    Real Life Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $26.00

    Also available from:

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