1 of 25
by Elva Ramirez
Go ahead--flip straight to the creative, colorful, tempting recipe section of Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking. Then, glass in hand, return to Elva Ramirez's fascinating, detailed history of drinking in the U.S., and the growing movement to consider the health and social effects of alcohol consumption.
A brew shortage in colonial Jamestown led to "intemperate drinking" of contaminated water, so breweries were hastily built and enthusiastically patronized. Eventually, profligate ... [ Read More » ]
2 of 25
by Joshua M. Greene
In Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend, renowned Holocaust historian and documentarian Joshua M. Greene (Witness; Justice at Dachau) shares the story of one man's incredible life and enduring faith.
Born in a West Prussian village, Siegbert "Siggi" Wilzig lost 59 members of his family in the Holocaust. As a teenager, he survived nearly two harrowing years in Auschwitz-Birkenau, enduring two death marches before being ... [ Read More » ]
3 of 25
by Sarah Hogle
In Sarah Hogle's slow-burn romance Twice Shy, Maybell Parish is prone to flights of whimsy, living in the cute diner in her head instead of living in reality. It's undoubtedly nicer in her imagination--in real life, she's in a dead-end job with a "best friend" who catfished her with the man of her dreams. When her great-aunt Violet passes away, it's just another blow on top of her bad life, but it comes with a silver lining. Violet's beautiful home and property in the Smokies, the one place Maybell ... [ Read More » ]
4 of 25
by Edward White
While dozens of books on Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) already exist, Edward White (The Tastemaker) sidesteps familiarity with an inventive and clever new way to present his biography and critical assessment of the filmmaker. Rather than tell Hitchcock's life in chronological order, White has written 12 lengthy chapters, each presenting a different aspect of his subject. "Only when all twelve are seen together will the full picture be complete," he writes.
The chapters (or "lives") begins with "The ... [ Read More » ]
5 of 25
by Lisa Napoli
NPR listeners know the "driveway moment": when the story's too good to leave the car. As NPR celebrates its 50th anniversary, journalist Lisa Napoli's group biography focuses on the women whose voices gave it life. Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie is a delightful book brimming with driveway moments.
Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg and Linda Wertheimer came to NPR shortly after its 1970 incorporation, and Cokie Roberts joined in 1978. Napoli opens with Cokie's death in 2019, writing that as a beloved ... [ Read More » ]
6 of 25
by Sally Thorne
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (The Hating Game) is a pleasantly quirky rom-com featuring wonderfully realistic characters opening up to each other.
Twenty-five-year-old Ruthie Midona hasn't kissed anyone since prom. She manages the Providence Retirement Villa, lives onsite and rarely leaves, but is considering dating. The office temp, Melanie Sasaki, acting "electrician" to Ruthie's love life, warns her against Teddy Prescott, the new owner's son.
Not easy when the tattooed, sexy-haired ... [ Read More » ]
7 of 25
by Willy Vlautin
A lifetime of struggles comes to a head in two frantic days and nights in this gritty novel from Willy Vlautin (Don't Skip Out on Me).
Lynette has been juggling multiple jobs for years to buy the house where she lives with her mother and her developmentally disabled brother. She has managed to save a sizable down payment, but her poor credit history means that her mother will need to take out a loan for the rest. The week before they plan to close, her mother buys a new car and backs out. Desperate ... [ Read More » ]
8 of 25
by Bruno Lloret, trans. by Ellen Jones
In Chilean author Bruno Lloret's inventively sly debut novel, Nancy, the narrative might seem relatively transparent: titular Nancy approaches death by cancer and recalls her happy childhood, her dangerous adolescence, her brother's disappearance, her mother's abandonment, her father's Mormon conversion, her husband's gruesome death. Lloret, however, is creating something more than story; his opening author's note requests readers to "engage with the text in different ways." That intriguing invitation ... [ Read More » ]
9 of 25
by Meg Medina
The follow-up to Meg Medina's 2019 Newbery Medal-winning novel, Merci Suárez Changes Gears, is a joyous celebration of family and friendship.
Merci Suárez had thought sixth grade was going to be tough--she had no idea seventh grade would be a whole new beast. At school she is paired with Wilson Bellevue, a kid she barely knows, to co-manage the school store, "a job that no one wants." Merci is displeased but is swayed by the promise of daily free Key lime pie: "If I was going to die ... [ Read More » ]
10 of 25
by Lana Popovic
This YA historical thriller about a real French serial killer who dabbled in the occult bleeds with luscious language and commentary about the patriarchy's stifling power.
In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin leaves behind a childhood of servitude and poverty only to marry a man who "spends his jeweler's income like water." Catherine would rather die than be poor again, so she uses her special "sight" to earn a living as a fortune-teller. Soon, she becomes the official sorceress ... [ Read More » ]
11 of 25
by Anton Treuer
Ojibwe author and professor Anton Treuer has taken his 2012 book for adults, Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask, and reconfigured it for young readers. For this comprehensive edition, Treuer uses the opportunity to update information and expand topics, "with a lot more information on social activism and current events."
"I do not claim to represent 'the Native view'... My responses reflect the views of one Native person, and they have to be read with this understanding," ... [ Read More » ]
12 of 25
by Kristin van Ogtrop
In Did I Say That Out Loud?, Kristin van Ogtrop (Just Let Me Lie Down) shares frank, often laugh-out-loud--and at times, surprisingly poignant--essays about her life and the encroachment of middle age. She draws from her own experiences and shares stories from others who have affected her life along the way. "Some of what you learn between the ages of twenty-nine and fifty-six is wonderful and some of it makes the world feel scrambled and cruel," she writes, weaving in sections about her upbringing, ... [ Read More » ]
13 of 25
by Caroline Hardaker
Poet Caroline Hardaker's eerie debut novel, Composite Creatures, follows a newly engaged couple who sign their lives away to an exclusive corporation for a chance at an artificially extended existence. In a noxious near future polluted with chemicals, where natural life is undergoing a slow, painful death, Norah and Art employ the services of Easton Grove, a private healthcare company that caters to the wealthy, prolonging, protecting and controlling its clients' lives. As part of the program, the ... [ Read More » ]
14 of 25
by Martha Waters
Following To Have and to Hoax, Martha Waters's To Love and to Loathe returns to Regency-era England with a witty enemies-to-lovers romance that sparkles with banter and tension. Young widow Diana, Lady Templeton, is looking for an affair but doesn't have the reputation to let eligible gentlemen know she might be interested. Her brother's longtime friend Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, is known in society for his many liaisons. Isn't it convenient that they're both available at the ... [ Read More » ]
15 of 25
by Dario Diofebi
In Paradise, Nevada, his staggering debut novel, Dario Diofebi has created a comic epic with the complexity and sweeping emotion to suit its singular setting, Las Vegas.
On a spring night in 2015, a bomb detonates inside the Positano Luxury Resort and Casino, a place built on the same paradoxes as Las Vegas itself, at once "both fiction and reality, both paradise and home." Months before the fateful event, four strangers converge on the Positano seeking salvation from their own personal crises: a ... [ Read More » ]
16 of 25
by Richard O'Rawe
Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2004. Five days before Christmas. Two officials from the Northern Bank are relaxing at home with their families when their houses are invaded, kicking off one of the biggest unsolved heists in U.K. history. Former Irish Republican Army bank robber Richard O'Rawe gives a brilliant account of how it might have happened in the engrossing historical thriller Northern Heist.
James "Ructions" O'Hare and his uncle Panzer O'Hare are bank-robbing partners, but the aging Panzer's ... [ Read More » ]
17 of 25
by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illus. by Michaela Goade
A young Indigenous woman joyously awaits the birth of her child in this celebration of family and tradition by Cree and Trinidadian writer Tasha Spillett-Sumner (Surviving the City), with dazzling illustrations by Tlingit artist and Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade (We Are Water Protectors).
"I loved you before I met you," the mother says. "Before I held you in my arms,/ I sang you down from the stars." Readers see her gazing up into an amethyst sky at sunset, longing for a child. The swirling white ... [ Read More » ]
18 of 25
by Erin Soderberg Downing
When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie is populated by quirky children, a distracted but loving parent and enough adventures and crises to pack more than one middle-grade book. Luckily, this is only Book 1 of the Great Peach Experiment series.
Two years after the death of her mother, 12-year-old Lucy Peach has settled into a new normal. Lucy is the "fixer," tending to her younger brothers, Freddy and Herb, and managing their expectations of their father, who never quite follows through with his ... [ Read More » ]
19 of 25
by Tif Marcelo
Military spouses, even former ones, don't send an SOS for just anything. So, when captain's wife Adelaide Wilson-Chang summons her two dearest friends, nurse Sophie Walden and Army veteran-turned-caterer Regina Castro, to help her out after a surgical procedure, they know it's serious. The problem? Sophie and Regina have been estranged from each other for years, since the heartbreaking end to the posting in upstate New York where they all met. Former army nurse Tif Marcelo (Once Upon a Sunset) unfolds ... [ Read More » ]
20 of 25
by Bo-Young Kim, trans. by Sophie Bowman, Sung Ryu
As impressive as Kim Bo-Young's intriguing stories are, their literary provenance is equally entertaining. "I wrote 'I'm Waiting for You' for one person to read and one person to hear, with no ambitions of it ever being published," Kim reveals in her author's note. An old friend reached out via "polite email" and, although Kim had never written a romance, requested "a story he could use to propose"! The highly successful result--both as aphrodisiac and literature--appears as the eponymous opener ... [ Read More » ]
21 of 25
by Jeff VanderMeer
Hummingbird Salamander by the prolific Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation; The Strange Bird) is a gripping and uncanny eco-thriller that refuses to keep readers on stable ground. The novel jets into action when its protagonist, who insists readers think of her as "Jane Smith," is handed a mysterious safe deposit key by a barista. Driven by curiosity, Jane tracks down the box, only to find an invitation to an unsettling scavenger hunt inside. With only a taxidermied hummingbird and a note signed by Silvina, ... [ Read More » ]
22 of 25
by Rachel Kushner
Rachel Kushner's The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 starts with a bang: an account of her participation in the 1992 Cabo 1000, a perilous motorcycle race from San Ysidro, Calif., to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. But in this collection, featuring 19 pieces of edgy memoir, eclectic journalism and diverse criticism, Kushner consistently delivers on the promise of that exciting opener.
Among the most entertaining entries are Kushner's reminiscences about growing up in San Francisco. "Not with the Band" ... [ Read More » ]
23 of 25
by Pip Williams
In her intriguing first historical novel, Pip Williams (One Italian Summer) follows an unconventional woman who makes the Oxford English Dictionary her life's work while secretly collecting working class and women's words deemed unworthy of its pages.
In late 19th-century England, Esme Nicoll spends her childhood hiding under tables in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where a team of lexicographers, including her widowed father, work diligently at collecting and editing definitions on paper ... [ Read More » ]
24 of 25
by Brandi Carlile
Cross-genre musical artist Brandi Carlile seemed to burst on the scene following a multiple Grammy-winning evening in 2019. The most nominated woman at the 61st annual awards (six), Carlile blew audiences away with her Song of the Year performance, "The Joke," an anthem for those who struggle to fit into the world's divisive molds. Thanks to Carlile's intimate memoir, Broken Horses, the story of how the "overnight sensation" struggled and strived for years can be known beyond the fans who have followed ... [ Read More » ]
25 of 25
by Jon Klassen, illus. by Jon Klassen
... [ Read More » ]
In his fourth solo picture book, Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen (This Is Not My Hat
) offers readers a collection of five bite-size, hilariously deadpan stories centered around a massive, mysterious rock that falls from the sky. Enacted by his trademark dot-eyed animals in hats, each brief comedy hews to the sly, cheeky sense of humor and precise timing readers have come to recognize as a hallmark of Klassen's work.
The titular stone looms into view even before the title page, an ominous, archetypal