5 Things You Should Read (Cross-Smith)

by a contributor

from Leesa Cross-Smith, author of A Modest Guide to Truculence/Survival: Girls

  1. Gospel of John, The Bible – I love Jesus. The story of Jesus is unrivaled as my favorite story of all time.
  2. War by Sebastian Junger – Junger has a way of laying something out and then circling back around it and unpacking it to make sure you really get it. I love that. And he says these gorgeous, important things about war, in general, … as well as the lure of war to young men. Things like “don’t underestimate the things young men will wager in order to play that game one more time.” This is a rough beauty of a book and I love it.
  3. The Beach by Alex Garland – Garland does that thing (more than once) where he writes about something I wouldn’t normally necessarily be interested in, then earns my interest because he’s such an awesome, compelling writer. The Beach is one of my favorite summery-sit-outside-all-day-and-only-come-inside-to-refill-my-drink-and-get-snacks books.
  4. “Man in Space” (poem) by Billy Collins – Because Billy knows what’s up and so should everyone else.
  5. “North Country” (short story) by Roxane Gay – Roxane writes about a lot of things and I love when she writes about bearded, outdoorsy Carhartt overall-wearing men who are good to women. I love those men, I love reading about those men and I write about those men too. Roxane is one of my favorites.