Israeli-American writer, editor, reader. Columnist for McSweeney's. Contributor to The Rumpus, The Toast and Printer's Row. Founder of The Other Stories podcast

Want To Build Your Self Esteem? Read These Books

By Ilana Masad

What Would Alice In Wonderland Be Like In 2015?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , by Lewis Carroll, a pseudonym for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was published in 1865, 150 years ago. The book, its characters, its scenes, and something about its aura has been seared into our cultural consciousness.…
By Ilana Masad

16 Things Only Oxford Students Will Understand

A fascinating, beautiful, and historically important place, the University of Oxford is the alma mater of everyone from Sir Walter Raleigh to Stephen Hawking (and Hugh Grant). Infrared remote sensing was created at the school and Charles Lutwidge…
By Ilana Masad

If You Read One Book This Pride Month, This Is It

In 1973, a remarkable and revolutionary book came out: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It's being reissued in June with a new cover to the delight of many women for whom the book was the coming out story we identified with — before Alison…
By Ilana Masad

9 Big Reasons You Should Reread 'Little Women' Now

As I have mentioned before, I reread Little Women by Louisa May Alcott often and with much affection. Now that I'm almost in my (*gulp*) mid-twenties, I appreciate the book more than ever because of all the things it's taught me over the years. So…
By Ilana Masad

11 Books To Read In The Bathtub

Your life is stressful. I don't blame you for feeling spread so thin — most people's lives are pretty overwhelming with a job, or school, or kids to take care of, or parents to help out. And, oh yeah, you probably shouldn't ignore taking care of…
By Ilana Masad

Your Reactions To 'The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter'

Carson McCullers wrote her debut novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, when she was 23, which is both amazing and enraging; the vast majority of us don't get to produce a masterpiece when we're that young (you know, if ever). The plot revolves around…
By Ilana Masad

9 Things Anxious People Are Tired Of Hearing

Google likes to define anxiety simply: "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome." But those of us who suffer from an anxiety disorder know that it's not nearly that simple.…
By Ilana Masad

The Harry Potter Books Ending = The End Of An Era

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out a month after I'd turned 17. I literally grew up with these books (you won't judge me, I hope, for shedding some tears as I write this), and finishing the series was the signifier of a seminal era coming…
By Ilana Masad

Your 13 Emotional Reactions To 'Half-Blood Prince'

In 2005, it was time for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The wait wasn't so bad... because we needed those two years to process the fact that the character we grew to love despite his early-years dickishness, Serius Black, was (and is)…
By Ilana Masad

Your Emotional Reactions To 'Order Of The Phoenix'

When you finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (when it came out that first time, I mean — because you know you've read it way more than once), you were probably in shock. I know I was. And, unfortunately, that feeling had staying power; now…
By Ilana Masad

Here's How You Reacted To Reading 'Goblet Of Fire'

My first experience of really having to wait for a new HP to come out was with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire . I was living in Israel at the time, so I pre-ordered it from abroad, insanely impatient to read it in English instead of…
By Ilana Masad

Here's How It Felt To Read 'Prisoner of Azkaban'

When Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out, J.K. Rowling's fans didn't even need to crack the covers before freaking out. I know this first hand because my mom bought a copy for one of my cousins, and I witnessed her literally jumping up…
By Ilana Masad

What You Felt When You Read Harry Potter Book 2

So you got through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. You did it, and you loved it, otherwise you wouldn't have progressed to the second book, right? Right. But the first book left off with this super-positive note, remember? It was all like,…
By Ilana Masad

Remember Reading Your First Harry Potter Book?

I grew up as a reader, and spent tons of time with slim, easy reads, but the first big book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was nine, and I started out with my mom reading it to me night after night. One night, we got to the…
By Ilana Masad

Awesome Queer Authors You've Got To Read

Take a look at your books and count how many of them were written by straight dudes. Now, how many were written by queer authors? Fewer, I'm sure. The fact is that we need diverse authors as much as #WeNeedDiverseBooks. But authors who fall under…
By Ilana Masad

11 Books Every Queer Woman Should Read

Queer ladies come in all shapes and sizes. We're racially diverse. We're old and young, vanilla and kinky, butch and femme or neither. Some of us consider ourselves queer because we've always loved women. Some of us fell in love with one woman, and…
By Ilana Masad

Tamora Pierce Fans Have So Many Feels

There is a thread on Reddit devoted entirely to anything and everything Tamora Pierce — that is how beloved she is. If you don't know her, then I suggest you go out, right now, and walk — nay, RUN — to your local library. Request everything Tamora…
By Ilana Masad

11 Emotional Stages Of Reading 'Jane Eyre'

If you were forced to read Jane Eyre in high school or in a lit comp class in college and you hated it, then I'm here to tell you that you MUST read it again. Seriously. It's one of those classics that stick with you because (like most classics you…
By Ilana Masad

11 Books That Made Millennials Into Readers

Do you remember the first book you really connected with? The book that made you feel something? Made you disappear into another world, whether it was one of joy or adventure or fear or depression? Some of those books were the ones your parents gave…
By Ilana Masad