Erin and Elizabeth with their picks
Erin and Elizabeth with their picks

Erin's Picks

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. After watching her mother succumb to cancer in her 40s, ultimately leading to the dissolution of her marriage, Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all by herself at age 26. This memoir is for any girl who loves hiking, dreaming about hiking, has ever gone through something, has ever been married, has ever lost a mother, has ever been 26. Heck it is for every girl! And boys too. After returning it to the Library I immediately bought a copy from Barrett Bookstore because it is just that good.

The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich. I read this because of an excerpt from Wild:

I’d read The Dream of a Common Language so often that I’d practically memorized it. In the previous few years, certain lines had become like incantations to me, words I’d chanted to myself through my sorrow and confusion. That book was a consolation, an old friend, and when I held it in my hands on my first night on the trail, I didn’t regret carrying it one iota—even though carrying it meant that I could do no more than hunch beneath its weight. It was true that The Pacific Crest Trail, Volume 1: California was now my bible, but The Dream of a Common Language was my religion.

Pariah This film is about 17 year-old Alike in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood (where I live, holla!) who is just beginning to embrace her identity as a lesbian. She lives in a conservative household though with a very religious mother who refuses to accept Alike's sexuality. A very powerful movie with a wonderful father/daughter dynamic. I'm a sucker for those. Adepero Oduye's performance is extraordinary.

Elizabeth's Pick

Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison. We all know what ultimately happened to Russia's Romanov family, but author Kathryn Harrison imagines a special and brief friendship between the your Tsareivich Alexei suffering from hemophilia and Gregory Rasputin's eighteen-year-old daughter Maria in the months following the royal families house arrest. Enchantments is a love story about two people who come together as everything around them is falling apart. The prose is magical. Historical Fiction.