“The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro
One of my favorites of all time. Ishiguro’s ability to embody a character and dive into their mind is a joy to read. The discipline it takes to write a novel that happens over the course of only a few days, with very little dialogue no less, always impresses me. Buy. Read more about my thoughts on Ishiguro.
“Saturday” by Ian McEwan
The discipline. The restraint. The detail. This novel is a masterpiece in all three and was the inspiration for the structure of my M.F.A. thesis. Told over the course of one day and with intricate details of the main character’s mind, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Buy.
“Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf
A classic full of lovely language, long sentences, and beautiful characters. Also the inspiration for “The Hours”, which is told over the course of a day. Yes, I see the trend too. Buy.
“The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion
Didion is a goddess and it’s never more apparent than in this heartbreaking, poetic, and elegant account of her husband’s death. Her language is beautiful and the way she uses time as a tool is incredible. Buy.
“Franny and Zooey” by JD Salinger
A short read and perhaps one of my favorite displays of dialogue and human interaction by the master himself. Buy.
“Harry Potter” series by JK Rowling
Can't leave it out. This series remains an inspiration for me to create new worlds, keep writing, and believe in magic. Buy.
I listen to NPR every morning on my Amazon Echo (how millennial am I?).
If you haven’t listened to Serial season one, first of all welcome back to the world, and secondly DO IT NOW. Centered on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, host Sarah Koenig investigates this case with passion and vulnerability. It’s a masterpiece of storytelling and the first of its kind.
“Crime Writers On”
This show started as a let’s-talk-about-Serial-season-one podcast, and now I’ve come to love the four quirky panelists who discuss the latest in crime fiction, television, movies, and podcasts. It’s the one of the only podcasts I listen to that is not highly structured and edited.
A spinoff of Serial (but not about the same subject matter), this series is compelling and well told.
“In the Dark”
This is some of the best storytelling I have ever heard. It’s clean, organized, compelling, and beautifully produced. This critical look into the 1989 kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota intends to communicate to the listeners how police botched the search for Jacob, as well as the investigation that followed.
Pssst...see more of my crime podcast recommendations 👉 here.
Hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, this podcast is my stand-in therapy when I have a few days until my next appointment. Their empathetic and experienced perspectives are so valuable to me.
This show is still finding its grounding, but the subject matter focuses on the human brain and emotions and is fascinating.
“Death, Sex & Money”
Regular people and celebs talking about the things we’re not supposed to talk about in vulnerable ways. Always good for a dose of reality.