Dessa defies category: She is an intellectual with an international rap career and an inhaler in her backpack; a creative writer fascinated by philosophy and behavioral science; and a funny, charismatic performer dogged by blue moods and heartache. She's ferocious on stage and endearingly neurotic in the tour van. Her memoir, My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love, stitches together poignant insights on love, science, and language—a demonstration of just how far the mind can travel while the body is on a six-hour ride to the next gig.
So what does Dessa read on the road? See her picks and why she chose them below, and look here for the latest celebrity favorites. For even more recommendations, learn more about the Amazon Books Editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year.
Fascinating revelations about the machinations of our own bodies, in Mary Roach's signature style: clever, curious, easy to read, hard to forget.
I'd braced for the charm, the wit, and the candor, but I hadn't known Bourdain to be so writerly a talent. He's got an unusual ability to convey ambivalence and ambiguity--doesn't cave to the temptation to clean up a bit before company comes. A mind that will be missed.
This collection is worth recommending if only for the first story, "The Tomb of Wrestling" by Jo Ann Beard. I read her piece on a plane, middle seat, and more than once considered apologizing to my seat mates for all my open-mouthed squirming—a feat of both suspense and style.
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