From the beginning of lockdown, model Kaia Gerber, took to Instagram to create her online book club. Initially, Gerber explained her favourite books and suggested current reads, this has now developed into interviews with authors and wider discussions between her followers. Here are a few of her recommended books and authors which are ideal for a hot girl summer:
To begin 2021, Gerber recommended Joan Didion’s Let Me Tell You What I Mean. She also indicated her love for the author when sitting down with fellow model, Emily Ratajkowski, to discuss Didion’s Play It As It Lays. The pair discuss the experience of the protagonist, Maria, who is recovering from a mental breakdown in a Los Angles’ psychiatric clinic. The novel reflects upon Maria’s life before the hospital, her family life, and the encounters she has. Joan Didion’s realism is as equally interesting as her fiction. As a component of New Journalism, her writing often mimics narrative forms and explores the subjectivity of the writer. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is an example of Didion’s journalistic writing as she explores the American experience of the 1960s, through a collection of essays.
Early in the book club, Gerber recommended Normal People by Sally Rooney. The novel was an immediate bestseller and was adapted into a hit series, starring Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones. Set in Ireland, the story follows Connell and Marianne from high school to post-graduate years of university. Navigating relationships and avoiding difficult or uncomfortable conversations is a theme between her characters who lack communication. Coming in September is Rooney’s third novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You. Following similar themes of love, relationships, power, and sex, the story unfolds via multiple narrative forms, from prose to emails. Beautiful World, Where Are You is set to be one of the most anticipated novels of Autumn.
Crying in H Mart is a recent recommendation for Kaia’s book club. During an Instagram live (available on her IGTV), she dived into themes of grief and mother-daughter relationships, along with the author, Michelle Zauner. The book is a memoir by the singer/guitarist of Japanese Breakfast, in which she explores her human experience. Family, food, grief, and endurance are encompassed as Zauner reflects on her life growing up as the only Asian-American in her school, to her move to the East Coast, and later coping with her mother’s passing.
Kaia Gerber recommends a vast range of authors and various books, from poets and journalists to memoirs, plays, and classic prose. The variety of suggestions ensures at least one of will lands with you. Whilst a good book is perfect to accompany you on a beach holiday, as we move into Autumn, there is also the option to be cosy from the comfort of your own home as you curl up with a book on a rainy day and transport through the pages.
Here are Kaia’s recommendations:
Words by Caitlin Sahin