Literaryswag Book Club Pick for February: Olivia Laing's The Lonely City

As I'm always trying to pick books that will be of value to the people who read them, I chose Olivia Laing's The Lonely City because Laing writes and thinks about loneliness in a very empathetic and sincere way. "You can be lonely anywhere," Laing writes in the book's opening pages, "but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city surrounded by millions of people. . . and yet mere physical proximity is not enough to dispel a sense of internal isolation." This political climate—with its rhetorical violence and vitriol—has done a lot to exacerbate those feelings of loneliness. While it's relatively easy to allow ourselves to fold in on ourselves when we're enveloped by intense fear, it's important to understand that a life lived in fear is its own suicide note. "Your suffering does not isolate you," James Baldwin said to Nikki Giovanni in a conversation once, "your suffering is your bridge." Our suffering, like our fears, must be used as bridges if we're to ever see that we're never as alone in this world as we think. For those newly coming into the fold of what I do regarding Literaryswag Book Club Picks: every month I buy ten (10) copies of the title we'll be reading for the month and including them (FOR FREE) with the first ten (10) orders of Literaryswag Enamel Pins. It's my way of helping people say money while also adding some swaggy titles to their libraries. This month, the dope people over at Picador helped the young god out and sent over 10 copies of Olivia Laing's The Lonely City, for the culture. So if you want to save some funds and come up on some swag at the same damn time, hit the link in the bio and do the damn thing!

Jennelle Gordon