The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by Les Payne and Tamara Payne
October 28, 2020 This isn't only a biography of Malcolm X; Les and Tamara Payne contextualize race in America prior to Malcolm's birth, and take a nuanced, unflinching look at his life, his death — and its aftermath.
October 21, 2020 Brian Selfon spent years working in the criminal justice field, and he brings that knowledge to bear in his debut, about a family of money launderers whose lives are upended when a bag goes missing.
The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers, by Eric Weiner
Simon & Schuster
August 27, 2020 Eric Weiner's book is an invitation to experience philosophy, as he explores his relationship to the works of well-known philosophers and shows us how their ideas can help us improve our lives.
Consumer advocate and activist Erin Brockovich poses during a photo shoot in Adelaide, South Australia on Oct. 21, 2016.
August 26, 2020 The environmental activist and consumer advocate takes a brutally honest look at how mismanagement, chemical spills, mishandling of toxic waste, and even fake studies have damaged U.S. water systems.
Luster, by Raven Leilani
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
August 23, 2020 Raven Leilani's new novel will make you cringe for all the right reasons. It's an intergenerational, interracial love story with a heart of noir and gallows humor, so honest it will make you squirm.
The Book of Atlantis Black: The Search for a Sister Gone Missing, by Betsy Bonner
Tin House Books
August 5, 2020 Betsy Bonner presents her sister with love, but also with honesty; she is the storyteller, but Atlantis Black is the story, the mystery, the victim, sometimes the perpetrator and always the question.
August 3, 2020 Laura Van Den Berg's new collection is full of uncanny, exquisite, and painful stories about death, about loss and isolation and falling for the wrong person. Her writing will get under your skin.
Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession, edited by Sarah Weinman
July 30, 2020 The search for answers in this nonfiction anthology edited by Sarah Weinman is one of many cohesive elements that make the collection land among the best true crime books of the year.
July 19, 2020 S.A. Cosby's latest is being marketed as a crime novel — but that crime is the least important element in this wrenching story about race, family, and the temptation to take that one last job.
July 16, 2020 Stephen Graham Jones's new novel follows the aftermath of an elk hunt gone wrong and one man who's haunted by it — literally. It's a story of revenge and sorrow, but also identity and tradition.
July 8, 2020 Charlie Kaufman's doorstopper new novel could only have been written by Charlie Kaufman — which may seem vague, but we promise it fits the unapologetic, overstuffed Antkind perfectly.
June 11, 2020 Zaina Arafat's powerful new novel follows a queer Palestinian American woman from adolescence to adulthood, a journey dogged by constant longings for home, for identity, for belonging.
I Don't Want to Die Poor: Essays, by Michael Arceneaxu
April 9, 2020 Making Michael Arceneaux's book required reading in high schools would help a lot of young people think twice about the promise that going to college is the only path to upward social mobility.
Hurricane Season, by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes.
April 2, 2020 Fernanda Melchor's poetic, foul-mouthed new novel sits on the border between crime fiction and horror: A woman known as the Witch has been murdered, and her neighbors want to know who did it and why/
American Poison: How Racial Hostility Destroyed Our Promise, by Eduardo Porter
March 23, 2020 Journalist Eduardo Porter has written a book that cuts to the root of racism, tracing it from slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation — and bringing it to today — with unblinking honesty and facts.