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FOR THE PERSON WHO CASUALLY REFERENCES CHARACTERS FROM POP CULTURE AS THOUGH THEY’RE FRIENDS

1. There are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black woman sipping rosé and drawing a lavender bath, texting her mom, belly-laughing in the therapist’s office, feeling unloved, being on display, daring to survive. Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and deja vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power. These poems celebrate and mourn. They are a chorus chanting: You’re gonna give us the love we need.

2. Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

A new rip-roaring essay collection from the smart, edgy, hilarious, unabashedly raunchy, and bestselling Samantha Irby about aging, marriage, settling down with step-children in white, small-town America, health food and skincare obsessions, money trouble, the real story of glamorous Hollywood life and more.

3. Why You Like It by Nolan Gasser

From the chief architect of the Pandora Radio song recommendation engine comes a definitive and groundbreaking examination of how the mind and body influence the music you love.

Everyone loves music. But what is it that makes music so universally beloved and have such a powerful affect on us?

4. Over the Top: My Story by Jonathan Van Ness

Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to become the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the queer eye.

5. Literally Show Me a Healthy Person by Darcie Wilder

It’s a book of grief and anxiety, of questions and confessions. One that explores the way pain and anxiety can be simultaneously public and private, constant but not always at the top of a person’s mind. A book that asks: what if the words we angrily (or drunkenly) tap out on our phones, that we save as notes, or send to ex lovers, or post publicly on social media, the ones we send without bothering to correct for typos, are the words we mean the most?

6. Molly Bit by Dan Bevaqua

A haunting and provocative debut novel about the stratospheric rise of an enigmatic Hollywood star and her legacy, from Columbia MFA graduate Dan Bevacqua.

7. Ain’t I a Diva? by Kevin Allred

A pedagogical primer on integrating Black feminist thought, critical race studies, and America’s most beloved pop star.

8. The Answer Is . . . : Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek

This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment.

HOLIDAY 2020 GIFT GUIDE: POP CULTURE AFICIONADO
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