Book Picks From TBF Interns

Meet the 2021 TBF Interns! Learn more about the newest additions to our team through the books on their desk. 

From Olivia Hesse, Event Production Intern: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This was the first book I have read in years that made me cry, and not just a little either. A father and son walk through a post-apocalyptic world trying to survive hunger, cold, and the others that are left.

One of my favorite quotes from the book: “Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered, Oh God.”

From Leah Rosenberger, Texas Teen Book Festival Intern: Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

While wandering from my usual cast of fiction reads — I am currently juggling The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Dune by Frank Herbert, and High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby — I stumbled upon one of my favorite books of the year so far! This non-fiction gem is Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino, a collection of essays revolving around cultural touchstones, bitter realizations, and through it all, existence and the rhetoric of individuality in the post-Internet age. Houston-native Tolentino unfolds her experiences with femininity, religion, scams, literature, reality TV, and more into neat, journalistic sheets of omnipresent “Aha” moments. My favorite essay so far is titled “Always Be Optimizing,” a deep dive into the dysfunctional narrative of the ideal modern female worker and citizen, and how the fusing of the physical and moral value of a woman has been defined by this “punishingly natural” standard.

From Krysta Herrera, Literary Programming Intern: Circe by Madeline Miller

From the first sentence, Circe’s command of the narrative demanded my attention, and I felt as if I was listening to the wonders and woes of an old friend. Circe illustrates how myths are rooted in truth. The truth about ourselves, the truth about reality. And it is this very sentiment, these very human emotions that will resonate with audiences, and whose message will triumph.


From Roxanna Sanchez, School & Community Outreach Intern: Lily-Livered  by Wren Hanks

Wren Hanks presents a beautiful collection of poems about one’s relationship to their body, especially one that is viewed as “wrong” or “abnormal” by society’s standards. This chapbook is insightful, poignant, and a must-read!



From Ana Krueger, Marketing & Communications Intern: Confessions by Kanae Minato

Thrilling, jaw-dropping, and unlike anything I’ve read before. I read Confessions by Kanae Minato on a whim and within the first 10 pages had audibly gasped. Going into this novel prepared or not, you will be swept away in Minato’s meticulous, yet compelling storytelling. She weaves together revenge, mystery, and heartbreak beautifully in only 167 pages. The novel follows a middle school teacher grieving the tragic loss of her daughter. Before departing from her class, she confesses an act of revenge upon the two students who are believed to have murdered her daughter. She leaves and we read on.

From Justine Lockhart, Development Intern: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

I felt this book calling to me in a Half Price Books and it quickly became one of my favorites. The writing is beautiful, the story is captivating, and the characters feel very real.



From Erin O’Shea, Literary Programming Intern: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson.

This book is one of the best reads ever, it quickly jumped to my top five favorite books of all time. The prose is incredibly well- written and the end of the world seems simultaneously terrifying and exciting–it really made me stop and think about my own view on how the world is right now. Shaun David Hutchinson captures joy and sorrow and all of the emotions in between.