Must Reads

Moo
by Sharon Creech

When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora. This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.

Black Cake
by Charmaine Wilkerson

In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

The Sunday Lunch Club
by Juliet Ashton

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way. Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate. Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

Sea of Tranquility
by Emily St. John Mandel

The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

The Keeper of Lost Things
by Ruth Hogan

A charming, clever, and quietly moving novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

The Vacationers
by Emma Straub

An irresistible, deftly observed novel from the New York Times-bestselling author of Modern Lovers, about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.

The Viscount Who Loved Me
by Julia Quinn

The inspiration for season two of BRIDGERTON, a series created by Shondaland for Netflix, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn: the story of Anthony Bridgerton in the second of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family.

The Rules of Magic
by Alice Hoffman

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Yet, the children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep
by Beatrice Colin

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Tell Me Three Things
by Julie Buxbaum

“Here are three things about this book: (1) It’s . . .  funny and romantic; (2) the mystery at the heart of the story will keep you turning the pages; (3) I have a feeling you’ll be very happy you read it.” —Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

One Italian Summer: A Novel
by Rebecca Serle

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. To make matters worse, the mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town where Carol spent the summer before she met Katy’s father. But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and – of course – delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life. And then Carol appears, healthy and sun-tanned… and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how – all she can focus on is that somehow, impossibly, she has her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman who came before. But can we ever truly know our parents? Soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.

The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Dear Mrs. Bird
by AJ Pearce

In wartime London, Emmy dreams of being a lady war correspondent but instead finds herself typing up the agony aunt page column at Woman’s Friend, where she can’t help but add her own advice. This charming, joyous debut is a love-letter to female friendship and the Blitz spirit. A warm hug in book form.

The Authenticity Project
by Clare Pooley

This story of six strangers all drawn together by a notebook in which people share their secret thoughts and feelings is a lovely read. When Monica finds a notebook in her café, she discovers inside it the story of neighbor Julian, a once-famous artist who is grieving his late wife. A reminder of the importance of friendship and reaching out to others.

The Switch
by Beth O’Leary

This story has everything you want to lift your spirits: laughs, romance and lovely characters you connect with emotionally. After high-flyer Leena is forced to take a sabbatical from work, she and her 79-year-old grandmother Eileen decide to swap lives. As Leena struggles to fit in with small village life, Eileen tries online dating in London.

The Secret Women
by Sheila Williams

Elise Armstrong, Carmen Bradshaw, and DeeDee Davis meet in a yoga class. Though vastly different, these women discover they all have one thing in common: their mothers have recently passed away. Becoming fast friends, the trio make a pact to help each other sort through the belongings their mothers’ left behind. But when they find old letters and diaries, Elise, Carmen, and DeeDee are astonished to learn that each of their mothers hid secrets—secrets that will transform their own lives.

I Almost Forgot About You
by Terry McMillan

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life—great friends, family, and successful career—aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.

Some Places More Than Others
by Renée Watson

All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father’s family in New York City – Harlem. Maybe this will help her understand her family – and herself – in a new way. But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. Amara can’t help wondering, even if she does discover more about where she came from, will it help her know where she belongs?

The Maid
by Nita Prose

Not to be confused with the memoir Maid by Stephanie Land, or the subsequent hit Netflix series starring Margaret Qualley, this is a murder mystery novel—a twist-and-turn whodunit, set in a five-star hotel, from the perspective of the maid who finds the body. Think Clue. Think page-turner.

The People We Keep
by Allison Larkin

As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be.

Capote’s Women
by Laurence Leamer

New York Times bestselling author Laurence Leamer reveals the complex web of relationships and scandalous true stories behind Truman Capote’s never-published final novel, Answered Prayers—the dark secrets, tragic glamour, and Capote’s ultimate betrayal of the group of female friends he called his “swans.”

No One Will Miss Her
by Kat Rosenfield

A smart, witty, crackling novel of psychological suspense in which a girl from a hardscrabble small town meets a gorgeous Instagram influencer from the big city, with a murderous twist that will shock even the most savvy reader.

Once More Upon A Time
by Roshani Chokshi

Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose
and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…
But alas, no more.
“What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!”
their friends and family warn.
They resign themselves to this loveless fate…
A year and a day pass.
And then their story truly begins…

The Neighbor’s Secret
by L. Allison Hellner

With its sprawling yards and excellent schools, Cottonwood Estates is the perfect place to raise children. The Cottonwood Book Club serves as the subdivision’s eyes and ears, meeting once a month for discussion, gossip, and cocktails. If their selections trend toward twisty thrillers and salacious murder mysteries, it’s only because the members feel secure that such evil has no place in their own cul-de-sacs.

Or does it?

A Holly Jolly Diwali
by Sonya Lalli

The ever-practical Niki Randhawa finds an awfully handsome reason to throw caution to the wind in A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli. While attending her friend’s wedding in Mumbai, Niki meets a man who encourages her to embrace her creative side, but her new romance is threatened when a job offer back home leaves her torn between listening to her heart or doing what she feels is best for her family.

The Death of Jane Lawrence
by Caitlin Starling

Set in a dark alternate history version of post-war England, The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling is a creeping, Gothic horror novel full of unforgettable twists. For Jane, a marriage of convenience to a suitable man who will let her maintain her independence seems like a practical arrangement to enter into. But when her new husband begins to act oddly in his crumbling family home, Jane realizes there’s something very strange going on indeed.

Crossroads
by Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen serves up another American epic in Crossroads. The famed author’s latest novel follows the Hildebrandts, a family on the cusp of a seismic shift on the eve of Dec. 23, 1971, as their pastor patriarch prepares to ask his wife for a divorce — if his wife doesn’t ask him first, that is.

With Teeth: A Novel
by Kristen Arnett 

A sharp, often wryly funny, sometimes heart-wrenching look into parenting, queer marriage and growing up, this searing novel feels like walking across a lawn gone crispy in the sun. It’s deeply satisfying and a little painful, all at once.

This Close to Okay: A Novel 
by Leesa Cross-Smith 

We all carry our past with us, and that’s never clearer than in this powerful story about two strangers who come together when they both need someone the most. 

I Hope We Choose Love 
by Kai Cheng Thom 

Written by a trans woman, this is a collection of essays and prose poetry that look at the world we live in and try to find a reason to create. It pushes you to acknowledge how we deal with the hard stuff, especially within marginalized communities, and how we sometimes turn that hurt to each other. But it also looks past that, saying we can do better, we can love better, and that compassion will make it easier for us to rebuild the world. 

The Life of Pi 
by Yann Martel 

When Pi is 16 years old, he, his family, and their entire batch of zoo animals board a boat that will take them from India to North America. The ship sinks, and Pi is the sole survivor. Well, let’s revise. Pi finds himself sharing a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a massive Bengal Tiger. In long, surreal, sparkling passages, Martel describes Pi’s fight for survival and sanity over his 227-day journey. 

A Man Called Ove 
by Fredrik Backman 

After his wife dies, Ove is prepared to follow her into the Great Beyond. Too bad his new next-door neighbors — an Iranian immigrant, her Swedish husband, and their two daughters — keep asking the grumpy but handy Ove for help around the house. Reluctantly, Ove becomes pulled into the lives of his neighbors. This tale of friendship and redemption is wildly popular for a reason. It’ll make you cry. 

Ridgeline 
by Michael Punke 

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a new conflict between native tribes and a brash new nation breaks out on the Western frontier. Colonel Henry Carrington has arrived in Wyoming to open a new road for gold miners and settlers, while Red Cloud, a respected Lakota chief, understands exactly what this will mean for his people. From the bestselling author of “The Revenant.” 

The Plot 
by Jean Hanff Korelitz 

Back in the day, Jacob Finch Bonner was a hotshot young novelist with a promising first book. But all that promise amounted to nothing much. Now he’s teaching in a D-list MFA program and hasn’t written a word in years. When an obnoxious student comes in with an amazing idea, Jacob doesn’t think twice about it. But when the student mysteriously dies, the professor starts to think that a good idea shouldn’t go to waste. 

Palace of the Drowned 
by Christine Mangan 

It’s 1966 and Frankie Croy has retreated to her friend’s palazzo in Venice, looking to bounce back from a breakdown triggered by a scathing review of her debut novel. While there, she meets a young woman named Gilly, who describes herself as a huge fan. Something about Gilly seems off, but Frankie can’t quite put her finger on it. Then a flood ravages the city, and the two women will never be the same. 

The Guncle 
by Steven Rowley 

Patrick — “Gay Uncle Patrick,” or “GUP” for short — has always been a loving and fun uncle. But when his niece and nephew lose their mother and their father goes into rehab for the summer, he’s suddenly in charge. Patrick might not know much about parenting, but he’s determined to be the best uncle he can be, inflatable pool toys, house parties and all. 

Hell of a Book 
by Jason Mott 

A black author embarks on a cross-country book tour to promote his new book, but he’s followed by a (possibly imaginary) child. The author’s story is intertwined with the narrative of Soot, a young black boy living in a rural town. Mott has written a clever meditation on race and violence in America. 

Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty 
by Lauren Weisberger 

Peyton seemingly has it all: a job as a famous TV anchor, a loving husband and a Princeton-bound daughter. But when a college admissions scandal threatens to engulf her family, she flees to her sister’s upscale NY suburb to hide out — and try to rebuild her reputation. 

The Color Purple 
by Alice Walker 

Walker’s masterpiece about the love between women isn’t just an LGBT classic, it’s a must-read book in just about every way. Made into a major motion picture, this National Book and Pulitzer Prize-winner follows the story of two sisters living very different lives and the unbreakable bond between them, even through impossible circumstances. 

My Year Abroad: A Novel 
by Chang Rae-Lee 

This wildly original novel carries us across the world as Tiller, a mediocre college kid, gets tied up with Pong, an international businessman who takes him on the trip of a lifetime. We bounce between those adventures and the life Tiller finds afterward with Val, a single mom in witness protection, as he tries to figure out what it all means. It’s by turns dark, humorous and almost sneakily insightful. 

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: A Novel 
by Cherie Jones 

This transporting novel set in Barbados reveals the way even the most disparate lives are interconnected. It delves into wealth and class, love and crime — and the emotional turmoil that roils in a rapidly gentrifying area and the people who live there. 

Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close
By Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman 

Now two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship in this honest and hilarious book that chronicles their first decade in one another’s lives. As the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, they’ve become known for frank and intimate conversations. In this book, they bring that energy to their own friendship—its joys and its pitfalls. 

In Five Years: A Novel   
by Rebecca Serle 

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan. 

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary  
by Catherine Gray  

Learning how to be exalted by the everyday is the most important lesson we can possibly learn. In Catherine Gray’s hilarious, insightful, soulful (and very ordinary) book, you may learn to do just that. 

All The Light We Cannot See  
by Anthony Doerr 

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. 

Stamped From The Beginning
by Ibram X. Kendi

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America–it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

Recollections of my Nonexistence: A Memoir
by Rebecca Solnit

In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Rebecca Solnit describes her formation as a writer and as a feminist in 1980s San Francisco, in an atmosphere of gender violence on the street and throughout society and the exclusion of women from cultural arenas. She tells of being poor, hopeful, and adrift in the city that became her great teacher, and of the small apartment that, when she was nineteen, became the home in which she transformed herself. She explores the forces that liberated her as a person and as a writer–books themselves; the gay community that presented a new model of what else gender, family, and joy could mean; and her eventual arrival in the spacious landscapes and overlooked conflicts of the American West.

A Long Petal of the Sea
by Isabel Allende

In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, they embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile.

It’s Not All Downhill from Here
by Terry McMillan

Loretha Curry’s life is full. On the eve of her sixty-eighth birthday, she has a booming beauty-supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband whose moves still surprise. But when an unexpected loss turns her world upside down, Loretha will have to summon all her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to keep on thriving, pursue joy, heal old wounds, and chart new paths. With a little help from her friends, of course.

Wandering In Strange Lands
by Morgan Jerkins

From 1916–1970, millions of black Americans left the rural South for jobs in the Midwest, North, and West, leaving their roots behind. In this deeply researched look at her own family history, as well as that of our nation, Jenkins explores what became known as the Great Migration and what it means for the cultural identity of black Americans.

The Moment of Tenderness
by Madeline L’Engle

Following the thread of L’Engle’s lonely childhood in New York to her life as a mom in Connecticut, and the current of faith that runs throughout, this new short story collection offers a look into her world.

Stray: A Memoir
by Stephanie Danler

This is a deeply personal, emotionally wrenching memoir that explores the author’s complicated relationship with her parents and their own addictions. It’s an unflinching account of what we carry with us from our parents, and what we can put down if we can find the strength.

The Night Watchman
by Louise Erdrich

Based on the life of her grandfather, who worked as a night watchman and worked against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota to Washington, D.C., this tome explores the treatment of women and native people, as well as the vagaries of human nature, with elegant language, sly wit, and an emotional sensibility that sneaks up on you like an intruder in the night.

All Adults Here
by Emma Straub

A school bus accident in a small town prompts reflection for a mother and her now-grown children, in a novel which sees its characters grappling with their identities and places in life. Come for the close examination of parental and child roles, stay for goats — yes, goats.

Tiny Imperfections
by Alli Frank

This delightful romp through the world of private school admissions comes from two women who’ve both worked in education for over 20 years. It follows three generations of black women and their experiences in the private school world in San Francisco, complete with mother-daughter relationships, schoolyard drama, and interracial romance.

The Jane Austen Society
by Natalie Jenner

Historical fiction with a literary twist: An odd collection of people—doctor, widow, laborer, movie star—gathers to mark the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. United in their love for Austen, each endures struggle and tragedy.

The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett

Twin sisters, inseparable at birth, take very different paths into adulthood and the wider world. One stays in her Southern black community; the other heads for the horizon, secretly passing as white. Author Brit Bennett digs into issues of identity and origin in a story that moves from the 1950s to the 1990s.

The Hilarious World Of Depression
by John Moe

From radio personality and alpha podcaster John Moe mixes memoirs, scientific investigation, interviews, and first-person stories. Moe’s popular podcast has long been a haven for those struggling with depression and related illnesses. The power of humor should never be underestimated. Seriously.

Hollywood Park
by Mikel Jollett

Mikel Jollett has the most amazing story you’ve never heard. Born into one of the era’s most notorious cults, he survived a childhood of neglect, abandonment, and abuse—only to endure an adolescence of poverty and trauma. Then he made it to Stanford University. Then he built a life. Then he wrote a book.

Head Over Heals
by Hanna Orenstein

As people who love nothing more than a gymnastics floor routine, Hannah Orenstein’s third rom-com was written specifically for our interests. Follow along as gymnast Avery Abrams redefines her life after her Olympic dreams are shattered for good. Orenstein sticks the landing with this one.

Rebel Chef: In Search Of What Matters
by Dominque Crenn & Emma Brockes

When Dominique Crenn was 19, she realized that in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a prominent chef, she would have to leave France. Although her home country was ostensibly the culinary capital of the world, it still operated on sexist assumptions. Crenn writes about her winding journey to achieve her dreams through an Indonesian kitchen, a victory on Iron Chef and eventually her first restaurant, Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, which would win multiple Michelin stars.

Memoirs and Misinformation
by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon

The semi-disclaimer that Jim Carrey has made about his debut book says it all: “None of this is real and all of it is true.” The quasi-autobiographical novel from the actor follows a fictionalized Jim Carrey who also happens to be a movie star. This Carrey is feeling both lonely and unsatisfied in his middle age, leading him on an odd path toward creative fulfillment. In depicting his difficulties, the real-life Carrey and his co-author Dana Vachon craft a wild narrative about the lengths some will go to stay relevant.

Crooked Hallelujah
by Kelli Jo Ford

Kelli Jo Ford, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, follows four generations of Cherokee women as they persevere through poverty, broken relationships, wildfires, tornadoes, oil busts and acts of violence in her debut novel. Ford describes the roots of her work thusly,: “Very nearly all of my inspiration in writing and life comes from the women who raised me.”

The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life
by Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek has been a fixture in American culture for more than 30 years, guiding Jeopardy! contestants through everyone’s favorite trivia gauntlet with the reliability of the sun. And so it felt as if the earth had spun off its axis when the longtime gameshow host announced in 2019 that he cancer. Audience members have always been fascinated with Trebek, but the news brought a fresh wave of adoring obsession. It was this outpouring of support that helped inspire Trebek to finally write the memoir people have been asking about for decades.

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir
by Natasha Trethewey

Former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey contemplates the traumas of her youth in her aching new memoir. At 19 years old, Trethewey’s life erupted after her stepfather brutally killed her mother. Memorial Drive unpacks that moment and all that came before it, ruminating on Tretheway’s experience growing up in Mississippi and later in Georgia. Fixating on her mother’s past as well as her own, Tretheway constructs a moving reflection on racism, abuse and trauma.

Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own Life
by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

In Begin Again, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, draws parallels between racial tensions in the U.S. today and in the years following the Civil Rights Movement, particularly the way those years were navigated by renowned essayist James Baldwin. Now, as then, communities of color experienced profound disillusionment about how just America was and claimed to be. But, Glaude writes, Baldwin still found ways to “reimagine hope” in the face of historic adversity.

A Saint from Texas
by Edmund White

Edmund White has explored humanity through many media — in travelogues and novels, through satire and self-interrogation. In, A Saint from Texas, he follows twin sisters from oil-rich Texas, bound for different lives. One is pursuing indulgence in Paris (where White lived for years) and the other, salvation in South America. Despite the distance, and plenty of drama, White explores how the bond of twins is hard to break.

This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire
by Nick Flynn

At seven years old, Nick Flynn’s life was upended after his mother set fire to their house. Nearly a decade and a half later, she took her own life. In his new memoir, the playwright and poet returns to his hometown with his young daughter to better understand his upbringing. As he digs up his painful past, Flynn realizes how he’s carried those memories with him and asks how they’ve impacted his roles as both partner and parent.

Vesper Flights
by Helen Macdonald

Naturalist Helen Macdonald dives into essays both old and new. From reflecting on the childhood where her love for animals grew to her sharp observations on the migrations of songbirds, Macdonald fills her narratives with vivid descriptions of the wildlife that surrounds us. Vesper Flights reminds of the intricacies of nature’s creatures and underlines the importance they serve in our lives.

The Book of Lost Names
by Kristin Harmel

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

The New One
by Mike Birbiglia

In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their fourteen-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen’s pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated — not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change.

Big Friendship
by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman

Two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship in this honest and hilarious book that chronicles their first decade in one another’s lives. As the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, they’ve become known for frank and intimate conversations. In this book, they bring that energy to their own friendshipits joys and its pitfalls.

The Book of Rosy
by Rosayra Pablo Cruz & Julie Schweitert Callazo

When Rosayra “Rosy” Pablo Cruz made the agonizing decision to seek asylum in the United States with two of her children, she knew the journey would be arduous, dangerous, and quite possibly deadly. But she had no choice: violence—from gangs, from crime, from spiraling chaos—was making daily life hell. Rosy knew her family’s one chance at survival was to flee Guatemala and go north. After a brutal journey that left them dehydrated, exhausted, and nearly starved, Rosy and her two little boys arrived at the Arizona border. Almost immediately they were seized and forcibly separated by government officials under the Department of Homeland Security’s new “zero tolerance” policy. To her horror Rosy discovered that her flight to safety had only just begun.

All Boys Aren’t Blue
by George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This quintessential Jazz Age tale, first published in 1925 and still a best seller, stands as the supreme achievement of Fitzgerald’s career and is a true classic of 20th-century literature. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy is exquisitely captured in this enchanting and unique edition.

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction. A powerful story of friendship, it is also about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

The Restaurant At The End of the Universe
by Douglas Adams

No. Not the physical end. The moment when the universe ends. This is book two in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” trilogy. What’s it about? Well… There is a theory which states that if anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Life, The Universe and Everything
by Douglas Adams

Book three in the critically acclaimed, simply hysterical “Hitchhiker’s” trilogy, this book wraps everything up nicely and tells us what the meaning of life is. Of course, we all know the answer is “42.” But what’s the question?

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
by Douglas Adams

The 4th book in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” trilogy (yes. The 4th book in the trilogy). Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth’s dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on.

White Fragility
by Robin DiAngelo

Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people.” Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

How To Be An Anitracist
by Ibram X. Kendi

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

So You Want To Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Between The World And Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?