January 2024 Dispatch

Melissa Morano Aurigemma
3 min readFeb 8, 2024


A lighter reading month I suppose as things ramped back up into the new year. I actually have a pile of half finished books on my nightstand…the trouble of reading multiple books all at once — which I typically do — is this bizarre assembly of books that are waiting around to be picked back up and read in their entirety. So, next month or the month after, just know that some of the books I may complete, I likely began in January.

I Remain in Darkness — Annie Ernaux: Anyone with parents or elders (so, everyone) should consider this book. I have a historical gripe with books that do what I feel is a disservice to the act of aging. This is the opposite. I also read I Will Write to Avenge My People, which was her Nobel Prize in Literature speech. She could write about anything and I would read it.

A Feather on the Breath of God — Sigrid Nunez: Her first novel I believe? Interesting to go back and read an earlier work after reading (almost) everything else by an author. Strong TW for ED in this book. However, I think the visual into diverse immigrant experiences (in NYC) was extremely well done. And I appreciated how the book was segmented into distinct sections.

Monaco — Juliet Jacques: Travel writing can really be boring. Often becasue its so sugary and poetic and romanticized. I loved this as it was raw and honest.

I Could Read the Sky — Timothy O’Grady & Steve Pyke: Wow. This book had unreal photography and such an expansive account of Irish life early 20th c. Immigration and more; and immigration not from the perspective of leaving a home behind but also what is left behind at home. Beautiful story and I think valuable for anyone of Irish descent to read. And again — the photography? I would get the book just for that.

Kick The Latch — Kathryn Scanlan: Yes, it is a book (in part) about life lived working at race tracks. Its also about women working and existing in places that historically have not included their gender. Many moments of relevance. Creatively executed narrative from interviews.

Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life — Natasha Lennard: An accumulation of essays that I think likely will not suddenly become irrelevant. Well executed and though provoking arguments.

Possessed — Witold Gombrowicz: A little slow going — and yes, a bit of a clunky translation potentially — old novel, Polish to English, but still well executed I thought (as not a Polish speaker). Still, the story had suspense, a haunted castle, a weird romantic triangulation thing (sort of??), a secretive professor, a depressed and tormented prince, an alarmingly skilled tennis coach…I mean the cast of characters goes on. Entertaining!

Special shout out to P&T Knitwear another favorite of mine in nyc. A creature of habit, I am there most Saturdays to browse and buy (at least one) thing.



Melissa Morano Aurigemma

Philosopher, artist, poet, etc, etc by night and by day Chief of Staff at Exceptional Capital