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Hena Khan: Searching for Connection

Living through a pandemic, with movement restricted, we all yearn for places and people who are out of reach. This feeling has long been familiar to me. As a child of immigrants from Pakistan, I felt my parents' ache for their homeland, although they had settled happily into life in the U.S.

Hena Khan

A Year of Reading Women

Even before the pandemic sent me indoors last year, I had made a commitment to read only books written by women. With suddenly more time to focus on the TBR (To Be Read) pile that was teetering on the coffee table, I launched in, removed half of the pile and focused in on some neglected classics.

Christian Robinson: The Book I Wish I Had as a Child

As a child, I felt a lot of shame and embarrassment about having an incarcerated mother. I didn't know that I was living in the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world and that my experience was far from uncommon.

The Year of The Houseplant

I declare 2021 the year of the houseplant. There is a longing for the calming influence of greenery in my indoor spaces. A charming fiddle leaf fig tree for the living room, the whispery abundance of ferns overflowing in the study and a miniature lemon tree to cheer up the kitchen. Maybe even a tropical-leaved money tree, officially known as pachira aquatica, for the entrance hall, why not!

Poetry as Touchstone

Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, told the New York Times, "Poetry is typically the touchstone that we go back to when we have to remind ourselves of the history that we stand on, and the future that we stand for." Her poem "The Hill We Climb" (coming in March from Viking, $15.99) evoked the pain and loss leading up to this milestone Black History month, along with hope for the future. "Quiet isn't always peace," she wrote.

Hot and Hearty Bowls

Since that horrible little groundhog said winter will be lingering for several more weeks, why not weather that time over a bowl brimming with hot, decadent flavors?

The Paris Library

"I can't think of a more perfect novel to recommend to book lovers than The Paris Library! Not only does it bring to life the true story of the heroic librarians of the American Library in Nazi-occupied Paris, its interwoven narrative of a bereft teenager in 1980s Montana who finds a kindred spirit in her mysterious, reclusive, and book-loving French neighbor is a feat of extraordinary storytelling. The Paris Library is a testament to the everlasting power of literature and literary places to bring people together and be a home for everyone, even during our darkest, most hopeless, and divided times." --Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

Interior Design That Speaks a Tropical Language

Designing Paradise is not just about beautiful interiors, it’s about knowing ‘paradise’, feeling its spirit, and celebrating it. And, Juan Montoya’s interiors epitomizes all those elements. The Colombian-born designer speaks the language of tropical design, so poignantly displayed in Designing Paradise: Tropical Interiors by Juan Montoya.

Bill Gates: Man With a Plan for Climate Change

For more than a decade, Bill Gates has directed much of his focus toward the most important issue humanity faces: climate change. Of course, it’s a subject with no shortage of relevant literature, but few people in the world have a more prominent platform—not to mention the intelligence and resources—to tackle it than Gates. In his latest book, pointedly and appropriately titled How To Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need (Knopf, Feb. 16), the tech pioneer and philanthropist delivers what our starred review calls “a supremely authoritative and accessible plan for how we can avoid a climate catastrophe.” Gates answered our questions via email.

Developing a Mind for Winter

As a Texan transplant to the Northeast, I struggle with the cold and dark of winter. This year, with the ongoing pandemic, I'm dreading the icy isolation more than ever, and turning to books for comfort and distraction.

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