Laila's Top 5 (with Noodle the Cat)

As someone who loves reading emotionally exuberant and thrilling books, who also has a cat named Noodle with a wide array of facial expressions (to the point where I think there's a little human trapped inside him), I’ll be matching some of my favorite books of the year with pictures of my cat to express how the books made me feel. I hope you enjoy!

Everything I Know About Love: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062968791
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 9th, 2021

This book sent me through a journey of every emotion, even ones I didn't know I had. From laughing to crying, feeling nostalgic to embracing the present, feeling young and then old, Dolly Alderton makes you feel it all. An incredible memoir of growing up, navigating relationships, and self-discovery that will leave you with expressions like below, but also wrap you in a warm hug from someone who feels like an older sister or wise godmother. 

Me laughing at Dolly Alderton's wit:          Me looking into oblivion reflecting on her anecdotes:     Me feeling impressed by how relatable this book is:


In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020

This bone chilling account of domestic abuse will leave you on the edge of your seat with your mouth hanging open. This was one of the biggest page-turners I've ever read. With her lyrical composition, unique metaphors, and brilliant tropes, Carmen Maria Machado is filled to the brim with talent and an eye for storytelling in such a way that you feel physically drawn to every word.

Me shocked by the creative prose and drama:     Me creeping around every page with suspense:     Me feeling angry about the abuser's behavior:


Hangsaman Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780143107040
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - June 25th, 2013

Shirley Jackson’s irrefutable ability to convey the inner monologue of an adolescent girl is the reason why this book is on the list. This is the first Shirley Jackson book I've ever read and it definitely won’t be the last. Her detailed and articulate descriptions of everything, specifically womanhood, had me annotating every other page, wanting to keep it in my memory forever. Although a thriller, this book is somehow comforting as it makes you feel as though you’re understood.

Me examining every sentence with utter awe:    Me feeling caught by how well Shirley Jackson gets me:        Me hiding under the covers for what's about to come next:


Staff Pick Badge
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525657743
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 20th, 2021

Another gut wrenching memoir that'll bring you through all the stages of grief that the wonderful Michelle Zauner experienced during her mothers cancer diagnosis. It’s heartbreaking but hilarious, terrifying but reassuring, and above all, uncomfortable but necessary. The anticipation was addictive and the recipes were mouth watering.

Me knowing what's coming but not wanting to accept it:      Me licking my lips at all the mouthwatering Korean dishes:       

Me feeling sad for days but knowing it was worth it:


Staff Pick Badge
Convenience Store Woman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802129628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - September 17th, 2019

At first read, this novel seemed mundane and simplistic, but I found that as I kept reading I was blown away by the feelings that arose. An extremely introspective and captivating portrayal of non-conformity, status, and societal pressures on a woman who just wants to do what makes her happy and has to choose between the comfort of others or her own. I highly recommend this book to anyone because I guarantee you’ll find parts of yourself that you didn’t know were there. 

Me thinking hard about the underlying meaning of life (and the book):     

Me completely shocked by the unexpected plot line and relatability:                     

Requiring Me Time to truly absorb what this book meant to me:


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