It’s Girl Scout Cookie season, and when you’re tearing through yet another sleeve of Thin Mints, you’re going to want a good book on hand to assuage the gluttonous guilt. That's why we’ve paired each signature cookie with an upcoming March release — just try not to get too many crumbs on the page. Also, a tip for New Yorkers trying to find a cookie dealer: there is a man on 18th street between 5th and 6th avenues selling cookies from the back of a station wagon.
The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte (March 5) // Samoas
In a way, it's fitting that Sam Lipsyte’s name is an anagram for Slimy Pest: his newest collection of stories is a signature blend of hilarious and depressing. The story “Snacks” will have you reaching for that purple box in solidarity with the protagonist, an overweight boy who comforts in the fact that he’s not “mall obese.” As one of the most calorie-dense cookies, Samoas need an equally hefty book as a companion – and Lipsyte has got you covered.
The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp (March 7) // Shortbread
This memoir forces the reader to ask heavy questions about faith, mortality, and grief. What better cookie to bear the brunt of this than sweet, simple shortbread? You’ll need something uncomplicated and dependable to munch on while reading about Rapp’s tragedy-laden relationship with her newborn son, who was diagnosed with the fatal Tay-Sachs disease. She turns to everything from Sylvia Plath to Pablo Neruda to the Buddha for comfort, just as you'll turn to shortbread for a shoulder (or sleeve) to cry on.
Mary Coin by Marisa Silver (March 7) // Do-Si-Do
Did you know peanut butter’s popularity peaked during the Great Depression due to its affordability and satisfying taste? Keep that in mind while reading Mary Coin, a novel that takes Dorothea Lange’s famous photograph, Migrant Mother, and infuses it with a sprawling narrative. The relationship between the photographer and her subject is fraught with class issues and emotional ties, and you’ll need a strong cookie to get you through the tear-jerking final chapters.
How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid (March 3) // Thanks-A-Lot
The Thanks-a-Lot is a shortbread cookie embossed with “Thank You” in different languages. Being multilingual is one of the many tips this faux-self help book provides, along with “Don’t Fall in Love” and “Befriend a Bureaucrat.” Told in the always-polarizing second person, the book will have “you” compulsively stuffing cookies into your mouth as “you” rise from a poor DVD bootlegger to an international businessman. Good job!
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (March 26) // Thin Mints
For many, the tried and true taste of a thin mint can transport them back to their youth faster than Proust’s madeleine. This will come in handy with Strout’s new book, a pseudo-retelling of the Prodigal Son’s return, set in the perpetual sweater weather of Maine. When two brothers find themselves in their childhood home, they bump into all kinds of skeletons in their closets. And nothing soothes the burn of reliving your formative years like the cool taste of mint.
Middle C by William Gass (March 12) // Tagalongs
Since this is Gass’s first novel in almost two decades, an equally important cookie is in order. Tagalongs contain both chocolate and peanut butter, a combination that is mighty in both style and substance. Expectations are running high for this novel and its self-proclaimed “decayed modern” author. And believe me, you’ll need a good cookie to deal with the Nazi-escaping, piano-playing hijinks that ensue.