November 29, 2023 Métis writer Michelle Porter has created beauty from the ugliness of colonization, loss, addiction, abandonment, and grief in her debut novel that finds motherhood at its heart.
September 26, 2023 Isle McElroy's novel covers a deep exploration of marriage, love, and the ways we know one another — while also touching on how so much of how we navigate the world depends on how it sees us.
July 11, 2023 An excellent work of people-first journalism, Donovan X. Ramsey's book offers a vivid and frank history and highlights how communities tend to save themselves even as they're being targeted.
Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen
July 6, 2023 Mai Nguyen's debut novel centers on the family of Tuyet and Xuan Tran, Vietnamese refugees who settle in Toronto. It simmers with questions about work, class and generational divides.
June 9, 2023 Karin Boye's novel is an outlier in that it was authored by a woman and, though narrated by a man, still expresses interest in women's inner life and acknowledges the subtleties of sexism.
May 17, 2023 The 22 stories in Sidle Creek charm, surprise, and convey a deep love of the people and place — the Appalachian plateau of western Pennsylvania — that author Jolene McIlwain has long called home.
May 4, 2023 John Wray's latest novel is a powerful and juicy story about a particular time, subculture, and the ways people can find themselves in — or can deliberately disappear into — fandom.
April 26, 2023 Sarah Cypher's debut novel ponders how stories can unite or divide as narrator Betty considers a big decision with her great-aunt Nuha's own mysterious life — and the tales she told — in mind.
A recent study found that adding strangers to the mix of people we speak with might increase our happiness.
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October 29, 2022 A study finds that we are happier the more we talk with different categories of people — colleagues, family, strangers — and the more evenly our conversations are spread out among those groups.
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August 30, 2022 Washington Post reporter Casey Parks' first book, Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery, follows her attempts to uncover Roy Hudgins' story while rediscovering her own along the way.
August 6, 2022 Gabino Iglesias' barrio noir may not be a cheerful book, but it still allows glimpses of love, moments of connection, and glimmers of beauty to exist.
May 3, 2022 Though winding at times, Sam Knight's book is thought-provoking and deeply researched, presenting the oddity of realized premonitions while allowing readers to come to their own conclusions.
March 14, 2022 Melissa Febos' book in itself is an example of the strength of personal narrative; it's also an argument for how such narratives inevitably create space for community as well as a freer self.
March 10, 2022 NoViolet Bulawayo's book expresses a people's frustration, terror, resilience, uprising and hope in a way that can be applied to a multitude of nations and political realities around the globe.
February 22, 2022 Sarah Weinman's book excels as an in-depth exploration of how outside influence and support can affect the criminal justice system — and as the narrative of a con artist who hurt a lot of people.
February 2, 2022 There are notable parallels to The Brothers Karamazov in Lan Samantha Chang's new novel about three brothers and the contentious relationship between them and their domineering father.
January 29, 2022 Bustle editor Rachel Krantz's memoir is a sincere and curious reckoning with the cultural messaging we all receive about gendered expectations and power dynamics in romantic and sexual relationships.
January 27, 2022 In Dana Schwartz's novel, it's 1817 and Lady Hazel, set to marry a cousin, just wants to study medicine. She meets a boy who helps her — and the journey is an adventure from there.
Fiona and Jane, by Jean Chen Ho
January 4, 2022 Jean Chen Ho's debut work of fiction focuses on a long-standing friendship that rings, sometimes terribly, true, as the girls-turned-women face the trials and tribulations of life.
Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult, by Faith Jones
December 5, 2021 Faith Jones, a successful lawyer, is the granddaughter of David Berg, founder of The Family. She tells of how she was raised in the cult from infancy until managing to leave it in her early 20s.
Orwell's Roses, by Rebecca Solnit
October 21, 2021 Rebecca Solnit's latest is a deeply political collection of interlinked essays, of which George Orwell is a part but not the whole; one of its joys is its unexpected turns from one topic to the next.
May 20, 2021 Claire Fuller's beautifully written new novel follows 51-year-old twins who never left home, forced finally to cope with the outside world and some unpleasant family secrets after their mother dies.
The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story, by Kate Summerscale
April 28, 2021 In 1938, a housewife went to the press complaining of a poltergeist in her home — and a ghost hunter investigated. Kate Summerscale's true tale is about women and power, anxiety, and choices.
Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing: Essays, Lauren Hough
April 15, 2021 Essay after essay, it becomes clear that writer Lauren Hough is drawing parallels between the Family and good ol' fashioned American Exceptionalism in all its various facets.