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  • Madeline Topf

Book Recommendations

Blogging is narcissistic. Here are books I read recently that I think are good.


This memoir details the life of a woman working at a high end restaurant. She eats good food, works long hours in heels, and parties. It's a fast and engaging read.

Why Fish Don't Exist

Miller sets out to describe the life of David Starr Jordan, a Stanford scientist who cataloged fish species. Though her reflection on his life, the book turns more engaging, diving into the "bias" that is research, both scientific and historical. Lulu makes facts enjoyable to read by weaving in mystery and suspense. Great model for how science can be engaging and how to provide historical context to "objectivity." A great book.

An African in Greenland

Tete-Michel Kpomassie is an anthropologist from Togo who always dreamed of traveling to... Greenland. He details his journey to and his stay in Greenland. I knew nothing about Greenland, but Kpomassie's engaging storytelling kept me interested.

How to Change Your Mind

Psychedelic enthusiasts and skeptics both will enjoy this historical and personal engagement with schedule I drugs. Pollan notes on the healing and transformative power of psylocybin and LSD and documents his trip with them himself. This book will change your mind !! (MOM hint hint... u should read this... i told you they weren't dangerous)

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

I was raised Catholic and have recently been grappling with how much or little I want to continue to participate in my faith. This book is deeply personal and raw. Lamott and I align on our political views, I'll just say that. I sometimes feel that to be religious means perpetuating hate and oppression. Lamott has created a Christian experience for herself that does not.


I read this book when I was in 7th grade. I was probably a bit too young to read it, but I LOVED IT. I still love it now. The format is instant-messenger chat between friends. They talk about first kisses, pubic hair, a creepy teacher who wants to sleep with one of them (??). Basically everything I wished I talked about with my friends but was too scared. In a way, instant messenger allows a more private space to discuss things. Super quick read.

If you want to read any of these books but can't find them, email me at and I'll send you my copy! :)

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