{reading} backlist fiction

Over the summer I read a lot of books published this year, mostly because that is primarily what was on the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide. (Anne Bogel rarely lets me down.) However, new books often mean longer wait times at the library, and recently I wanted a book and I wanted it NOW (just call me Veruca Salt), so I hit up my Goodreads for some backlist.

I picked up Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, a “big buzzy book” (as they say on the Reading Glasses podcast) from a few years ago. I remember hearing mixed reviews at the time, but it was a win for me.

Tess is a young college graduate who decides to shake up her life and move to New York, and lands a job as a “backwaiter” at a ritzy restaurant in the city. From the restaurant staff she learns all about food and wine, with a hefty side of drugs and partying mixed in. Simone, a long-time server, takes Tess under her wing and educates her on the restaurant and its patrons, cuisine, and fine beverages. However, when Tess falls for Jake, a bartender who has a known history with her new mentor, her laissez-faire restaurant life begins to get complicated.

I worked as a hostess and a server at a few restaurants in my younger days, and while my experience was far different from Tess’s, her story made reminisce about that part of my former life. I liked Tess. She was flawed and made some poor choices, yet I liked her earnestness and honest observations. It was a book I enjoyed getting lost in. I recommend reading this book with a glass of wine.

Have you enjoyed any backlist titles lately? 


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