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What We’re Reading Right Now

The Nation

The QEEP UP Spring Book List

It’s Read Across America Day and we’re admittedly a bunch of book nerds here at QEEP UP.

While we haven’t launched a QU Book Club (yet!), we’re constantly sharing our reading recommends amongst ourselves. So we decided to share some with you.

What are you reading these days?


Selina Mohr Executive Assistant and Creative Content Manager

Currently Reading:The Forbidden Stitch, edited by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim and Mayumi Tsutakawa
This was the first anthology of Asian American women’s writing to appear in the United States. This anthology celebrates all cultures and intersections of Asian American women. The essays, stories and poems within this anthology were curated from an open call for submissions in 1985.
Just Finished:Queer in Asian America, edited by David L. Eng and Alice Y. Hom
This is a curated anthology of Asian American activists, writers and artists who detail their queer experiences through essays, personal testimonies, fiction and art. A must for anyone interested in learning about the current Asian American queer diaspora.
Personal Favorite:Just Kids by Patti Smith
I cannot rave enough about this book. It is so beautifully written, I cry every time I read it. There are very few books I have read that have made me feel touched by each word choice and line intended. Just Kids does that for me. Patti Smith has created a special pocket in the universe for her story.


Amanda Schardt Brand Director

Currently Reading:Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, PHD LMSW
I find business reads to be motivating, and this book explores courage building and how to build organizational culture and define values. I am even channeling my inner student and doing the workbook and assessments online to push the insights.
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
The Founder of Patagonia, also a legendary climber and environmentalist, is a true example of how thought leadership can still align with business success. He is a role model and I hope I will have a voice like his when I am eighty-one.
Just Finished:Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
I don’t work in Hollywood, but I found this feat of journalism very compelling. In an era where a social media headline becomes “news,” the diligent standards of true reporting should be protected and supported. Bravo to this journalist, as he tirelessly challenged for truth and changed the course of many lives.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

This author owns one of my favorite bookstores (Parnassus Books in Nashville) and sometimes you just need to zone into a novel. This story is complicated, melancholy, and wistful, like many family dynamics are.


Maggie Kim Editor

Currently Reading:Fleabag, The Scriptures by Phoebe Waller-Bridge
My life is too [fill in the blank] to watch many TV shows, but when two good friends whose taste I trust implicitly said I HAVE to watch Fleabag, I binged it in three days. Waller-Bridge is brilliant and when I heard she was publishing the scripts for both seasons, I had to get it. I’m happily reliving the show while reading The Scriptures and her additional commentary about the making of the show is insightful for an aspiring TV writer.
Currently Listening:Letting Go, The Pathway Of Surrender by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
I only started listening to audiobooks two years ago when someone I liked said it was a great way to consume books. As a new Angeleno who’s driving more than I’ve ever done in my entire life, I’m doing a lot of audiobooking. Maggie gave me a copy of Letting Go, saying it would change my life—and it has. This is my second listen because the insights are that invaluable. Dr. Hawkins is a bodhisattva and this book has given me peace, hope, and direction when I’ve been feeling especially lost.
Just Finished:Interview With The Robot by Lee Bacon
While I usually listen to nonfiction books, my kids (7 and 10) love listening to stories. Interview With The Robot is one that appeals to both kids and adults, which doesn’t always happen. The story about AI, ethics, love and family is exciting—with quite a few plot twists—and incredibly well-performed. Now we’re hoping to find a next family book that’s as good.

About Author

Maggie Kim

Maggie Kim is a writer and former rock musician. Find her byline in Glamour, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Salon, MSN, People, In Touch, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and more.

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