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Spring has sprung, which means you might be looking forward to enjoying the warmer weather. A great way to spend time outdoors, whether it be on the beach or your own backyard, is with a captivating read.
While you might already have April's Read With Jenna pick on your list, Isaac Fitzgerald, the bestselling author behind "How to Be a Pirate" and the soon to be released "Dirtbag, Massachusetts," stopped by 3rd hour of TODAY to help you find a new page-turning book to read this April.
From a science fiction pick to a laugh-out-loud collection of essays, see all of Fitzgerald's recommendations for your next book below.
Best funny read
"Girls Can Kiss Now," by Jill Gutowitz
Fitzgerald calls this essay collection a piece of "comedy gold." In this book, author Jill Gutowitz shares her journey of identity, desire and self-worth while charting how she feels queer culture has gone mainstream since she was a closeted teen. While examining the power of pop culture, Gutowitz takes detours to talk about anything and everything, from when the FBI showed up at her door after she tweeted about "Game of Thrones" to what liquids are gay and the soundtrack for the worst moments of her life.
"You'll be laughing so hard that you won't notice how deep this collection goes—until you do, as Gutowitz also has a lot of knowledge to share about overcoming homophobia, and the numerous ways she has learned to love herself," Fitzgerald said.
Best vacation read
"Lessons in Chemistry," by Bonnie Garmus
"This is a triumphant and totally original debut novel about a woman who refuses to live by society's strict and oppressive gender rules and follows her dream of becoming a scientist even as the world tries to stand in her way," Fitzgerald said.
The story follows Elizabeth Zott, a chemist who is determined to change the status quo in the early 1960's. Through the unpredictable nature of life, Elizabeth finds herself on a different path, but that does not stop her from inspiring women to pursue their hidden ambitions and imagine a new future for themselves.
Best nonfiction read
"Easy Beauty," by Chloé Cooper Jones
Through this memoir, Chloe Cooper Jones takes readers on a journey through her life as a person who was born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis, which affects her stature and gait. jones uses her experiences, observations and more to interrogate standards of beauty, desirability and her own complicity in those myths.
"Here is a rich, decadent book that rewards close reading and has so many facets to discuss, but anyone who immerses themselves in Chloé's writing will come away with a greater understanding of everything beautiful about the human experience, and how to behold it," Fitzgerald said.
Best children's read
"Nigel and the Moon," by Antwan Eady and Illustrated by Gracey Zhang
"A beautiful children's book about dreams, ambition, and speaking aloud who we want to be, 'Nigel and the Moon' is as uplifting as it is tender," Fitzgerald said.
While looking at the moon, Nigel has no problem imagining his bright future as an astronaut, superhero or even a dancer, but in school Nigel can't seem to find the courage to share his dreams.
"With beautiful artwork that will have you swirling along with Nigel amongst the stars, here is a story about believing in yourself that is as much a joy for parents as it is for young readers," Fitzgerald said.
What Isaac is reading now
"Sea of Tranquility," by Emily St. John Mandel
Fitzgerald describes this novel as a "mind-bending, science fiction journey." In this story readers meet a time traveler, a pandemic novelist in the future and a young man on a steamship in the 1800's. These characters seem to have nothing in common, however their stories weave together through time travel and metaphysics.
"Here is a writer at the top of her game, showing off the best of her bag of storytelling tricks, and the results are both thrilling and breathtaking," Fitzgerald said.
For more stories like this, check out:
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