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Recommended Reading

We've partnered with Penguin Press to provide books to complement many of our Olios. 

Better Living Through Criticism

The New York Times film critic shows why we need criticism now more than ever.

This book was matched with Casting a Critical Eye on Culture: Arrested Development and the Power of the Sitcom

Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby

“Churchwell… has written an excellent book… she’s earned the right to play on [Fitzgerald’s] court. Prodigious research and fierce affection illumine every remarkable page.”

This book was matched with The Secret Role of Zelda Fitzgerald: A Deeper Look at the Creative Life of a Jazz Age Legend


“If Jim Thompson had married Patricia Highsmith – imagine that household – they might have conspired together to dream up something like Eileen. It’s blacker than black and cold as an icicle. It’s also brilliantly realised and horribly funny.” —John Banville

This book was matched with Monsters From the Id: Horror and the Darkest Corners of the Human Psyche

Hit Makers

“This book picks up where The Tipping Point left off.” – Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

This book was matched with Work is Dead: Questioning the Promise of Basic Income Guarantees

How to Change Your Mind

A brilliant and brave investigation by Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs–and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences.

This book was matched with Psychedelics & Shadow Deities

How to Make a Spaceship

“The Right Stuff with afterburners. Intrepid designers and innovators risk their reputations. Gutsy test pilots risk their lives. Explorers push new boundaries of what so many once thought was impossible. —Captain Mark Kelly (USN, Ret.), NASA astronaut

This book was matched with Humanity's Place in the Solar System: Latest Discoveries and a Tour of the Universe

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse, and the Birth of Modernist Art

A lively and deeply researched group biography of the vibrant figures who invented modernist art in bohemian Paris at the dawn of the twentieth century.

This book was matched with Free As Gods: Picasso, Calder and Artists Take Center Stage

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

“As if to prove his point, Adam Alter has written a truly addictive book about the rise of addiction. Irresistible is a fascinating and much needed exploration of one of the most troubling phenomena of modern times.” —Malcolm Gladwell

This book was matched with Big Brother is Watching. And Maybe That's a Good Thing: Race, Technology & The Future of Policing

Modern Romance

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices.

This book was matched with The Psychology of Relationships: How Experimental Science, Empirical Data, and Seinfeld Help us Understand Love

Swing Time

“Every once in a while, a novel reminds us of why we still need them." - Megan O'Grady, Vogue

This book was matched with What Would Buffy Do? A Radical Feminist Seeks Answers from The Slayer

The Genius of Birds

“Delightful, revolutionary, and illuminated by the clean, curious gaze of an intelligent seeker, The Genius of Birds is fueled by awe and always, its close cousin, deep respect for the condition of life. It’s a book that demands a moral consideration of the world.” 

—Rick Bass, author of The Ninemile Wolves and For A Little While: New and Selected Stories

This book was matched with Man's Separation from Nature and Where to Go from Here

The Idiot

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

This book was matched with Buffy 20th Anniversary Party // A Radical Feminist Seeks Answers from The Slayer

The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses

“Terrific…. The Most Dangerous Book is the fullest account anybody has made of the publication history of Ulysses. Birmingham’s brilliant study makes you realize how important owning this book, the physical book, has always been to people.”  - The New Yorker

This book was matched with Music, Drugs & Altered States of Mind

The Night Ocean

A riveting novel about secrets and scandals, psychiatry and pulp fiction, inspired by the lives of H.P. Lovecraft and his circle.

This book was matched with What's in a Name?: H.P. Lovecraft, Unnameable Horror, and Fear of the Unknown

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

Not since Michael Pollan has such a powerful storyteller emerged to reform American food.” —The Washington Post

This book was matched with Eating with Hedonism or Morals?: Aesthetics & Ethics From Vegetarianism to Cannibalism

The Trauma of Everyday Life

“Epstein’s book is a guide to viewing trauma realistically, not striving to avoid it or even suss out its cause, but use it as a means of understanding “the texture” of our own suffering. If, as the Buddha said, life is suffering, why not suffer wisely?”

—Nancy Haught, The Portland Oregonian  

This book was matched with Buddhist Realism and Dark Comedy: It's Funny Because It's True

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine

“Ben Ehrenreich’s rendition of the Palestinian experience is powerful, deep and heartbreaking, so much closer to the ground than the Middle East reporting we usually see. I wish there were more writers as brave.” —Adam Hochschild

This book was matched with Human Rights at the Edge of Darkness: We are the Resistance


“A tremendously vitalizing read…grounding and elevating at the same time.” —Brain Pickings   

This book was matched with That Fresh Sound: Modern Poetry, Kanye West, And Shaking Your Mind Out of Its Rut

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

Franklin Foer reveals the existential threat posed by big tech, and in his brilliant polemic gives us the toolkit to fight their pervasive influence. 

This book was matched with How to Talk About Privacy (Without Sounding Like a Conspiracy Theorist)

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