Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

If you visit any bookish corner of the internet, Sweetbitter has likely been slapping you across the face all year with an impossible mission to avoid seeing its striking cover around every turn, and for good reason.The story follows a hungry Manhattan dreamer in her first year living in the city while working (and getting wrapped up in) a trendy restaurant near Union Square.  It's witty, unique, and a truly satisfying portrayal of NYC livin' in your 20s. The narrative weaves around complex relationships that are all too familiar, sprinkled with food + wine tellings that made it stand alone. 


“It’s an epidemic with women your age. A gross disparity between the way that they speak and the quality of thoughts that they’re having about the world. They are taught to express themselves in slang, in clichés, sarcasm—all of which is weak language. The superficiality of the language colors the experiences, rendering them disposable instead of assimilated. And then to top it all, you call yourselves ‘girls.’ ” 
― Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter


I have been on a huge audiobook kick lately (HI AUDIBLE!) and am buzzing through fantastic reads with even better narrators, such as this one. If you are looking to start with audiobooks, or have been listening to non-fiction and want to plunge over, this is a fantastic start. Read by Alex McKenna with a beautiful raspy voice, it totally brought the story to life and I could not stop listening/put it down. There are about 10 characters in the book around 2-3 locations, so it's not difficult to follow and the alternate character voices aren't annoying, which typically turns people off to books-by-tape. 


Below are 5 of my favorite audiobooks this year I cannot get enough of + highly suggest, in order, from top to bottom (after Sweetbitter), in which I first suggest listening to a sampling to see if you can spend 8-10 with the voice, which is crucial: 

1. All of the Harry Potter books, obviously (fantastic for every single moment in life, but escpecially calming and comforting.) 

2. Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman (OMG, read by Reese Witherspoon, insanely fantastic. Do not listen to what ANYONE says about this book, just read it yourself.) 

3. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold, read by the author (This is incredibly heavy but so beautiful and fascinating. The mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine shooters, writes a heartbreaking narrative that actually covers so many topics.) 

4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler, read by the author (so good, so funny, so sweet, and has great guest appearances by all your favorites) 

5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (unexpectedly sweet, a perfect winter listen when cooking all your comfort foods, not that it has anything to do with cooking, but its a great pair)


**Note: since my review on Sweetbitter was captured via audiobook, the 4 photos posted are from instagrams I love: @cassij_, @lastnightsreading, @thenextdoorgirl @smdanler. Instagram is my favorite source for all bookish reviews + discoveries! Thanks for sharing!