The Bear Radio Book Club for January

Every month our team members pick a book that’s tickled their fancy and we recommend it to you, our network so that we can all read, learn and grow together – just think of it as our own little book club!

Because reading is what? Fundamental! 

Jill’s Book Recommendation:

Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon

I’ve always adored Molly Shannon. From her time on SNL to Superstar to her stint on White Lotus, this woman has never not been hilarious. That’s why I was so shocked when I read her memoir and learned about some of the downright tragic events that took place throughout her childhood. The way she approaches life and uses humor to get through the toughest times is inspiring and left me in awe throughout the book. It’s always the funniest, lightest people who have the most surprising pasts. I listened to this on audiobook, narrated by Molly Shannon herself. 

Julia’s Book Recommendation:

Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasana So

Reading over the holiday period proved itself to be tough which is why I opted for this incredible collection of short stories. Anthony Veasna So was a young, queer, Cambodian American writer who passed away in December 2021, at the age of 28, of a drug overdose, and Afterparties was his debut short story collection. The stories specifically explore the lives of Cambodian-Americans and ask the hardest questions with such beautiful and often darkly humorous writing. How do you live in the aftermath of the Cambodian Genocide? How do you bridge generational gaps? Who determines family dynamics? What happens when my career dies? It could be bleak, but it’s not, So manages to beautifully blend the serious and the frivolous. I recommend this read 100% and encourage you to keep an eye out for his other work, soon to be released posthumously. 

Sara’s Book Recommendation:

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

I read this book for the first time in 2014 and started re-reading last month because I knew that the plot was good, but I couldn’t remember what happened. Wow, this book. Set in a fictitious Balkan country trying to reconstruct after a civil war in the mid-90’s, the protagonist is a doctor who is left grappling with her grandfather’s mysterious death while on a mission trip to an orphanage. The book jumps between the present and the past, as her search for clues takes us through her grandfather’s childhood. It’s full of the kind of magical realism that only comes from the stories grandparents tell their grandchildren. I highly recommend for a snowy, winter weekend.

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