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2022 Best Books

Can’t get enough bestsellers? This list is for you!

December 5, 2022

This compilation brings together the year’s best books from Time Magazine, the New York Times, the New York Public Library, and National Public Radio (NPR).

It includes a total of 127 total books (wow!) in three categories:

 

Non-Fiction

The Naked Don't Fear The Water by Matthieu Aikins

The Naked Don’t Fear The Water
An Underground Journey With Afghan Refugees

Matthieu Aikins

A journalist in Kabul follows his friend Omar as he goes underground on the refugee trail, witnessing first-hand the migration crisis, in this true story of love and friendship across borders, and an inquiry into our shared journey in a divided world.

Time Magazine

The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander

The Trayvon Generation

Elizabeth Alexander

One of the great literary voices of our time shares her celebrated and moving reflection on the challenges facing young Black America, illuminating our nation’s unresolved problem with race.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Animal Joy by Nuar Alsadir

Animal Joy
A Book Of Laughter And Resuscitation

Nuar Alsadir

Rooted in the author’s own experience as a poet and psychoanalyst, this unique book examines the serious nature of laughter and how it helps us spontaneously free ourselves from external constraints.

Time Magazine

Strangers To Ourselves by Rachel Aviv

Strangers To Ourselves
Unsettled Minds And The Stories That Make Us

Rachel Aviv

Raising fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress, the author draws on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs to write about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Ducks by Kate Beaton

Ducks
Two Years In The Oil Sands

Kate Beaton

With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta’s oil rush—part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can’t find it in the homeland they love so much.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

The Palace Papers by Tina Brown

The Palace Papers
Inside The House Of Windsor–The Truth And The Turmoil

Tina Brown

The author of The Diana Chronicles takes readers inside the British royal family since the death of Princess Diana, showing the Queen’s stoic resolve as family drama raged around her.

New York Times

Half American by Matthew Delmont

Half American
The Epic Story Of African Americans Fighting World War Ii At Home And Abroad

Matthew Delmont

This history of World War II as told from the African American perspective looks at the bravery and patriotism of the one million black men and women who served in the face of unfathomable racism.

Time Magazine • New York Times

The Emergency by Thomas Fisher

The Emergency
A Year Of Healing And Heartbreak In A Chicago Er

Thomas Fisher

From a renowned emergency room doctor and healthcare policy expert comes the riveting story of a year in the life of an emergency room on the South Side of Chicago during a pandemic—and a powerful argument that American healthcare is designed to sacrifice the lives of the most vulnerable.

Time Magazine

When Mckinsey Comes To Town by Walt Bogdanich, Michael Forsythe

When Mckinsey Comes To Town
The Hidden Influence Of The World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm

Walt Bogdanich, Michael Forsythe

Conducting hundreds of interviews, obtaining tens of thousands revelatory documents and following the money, two prizewinning investigative journalists expose how the prestigious international consulting firm that advises corporations and governments has often made the world more unequal, more corrupt and more dangerous.

New York Times

The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland

The Escape Artist
The Man Who Broke Out Of Auschwitz To Warn The World

Jonathan Freedland

The incredible story of Rudolf Vrba, a brilliant, yet troubled young man who became the first Jew to break out of Auschwitz to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world.

Time Magazine • New York Public Library

The Other Dr Gilmer by Benjamin Gilmer

The Other Dr Gilmer
Two Men, A Murder, And An Unlikely Fight For Justice

Benjamin Gilmer

A powerful true story about a shocking crime and a mysterious illness that will forever change your notions of how we punish and how we heal—an expansion on one of the most popular This American Life episodes of all time.

New York Public Library

American Midnight by Adam Hochschild

American Midnight
The Great War, A Violent Peace, And Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis

Adam Hochschild

A character-driven look at a pivotal period in American history, 1917-1920: the tumultuous home front during WWI and its aftermath, when violence broke out across the country thanks to the first Red Scare, labor strife, and immigration battles.

New York Times

Secret City by James Kirchick

Secret City
The Hidden History Of Gay Washington

James Kirchick

Drawing on declassified documents, interviews and materials unearthed from presidential libraries and archives around the country, this chronicle of American politics illuminates how homosexuality shaped each successive presidential administration through the end of the 20th century.

New York Times

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limon

The Hurting Kind
Poems

Ada Limon

An astonishing collection about interconnectedness—between the human and nonhuman, ancestors and ourselves.

Time Magazine • New York Times • New York Public Library • NPR

The Song Of The Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Song Of The Cell
An Exploration Of Medicine And The New Human

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Tevelatory and exhilarating stories of scientists, doctors and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, drawing on his own experience as a researcher, doctor and prolific reader, explores medicine and our radical new ability to manipulate cells.

New York Times • New York Public Library

Ancestor Trouble by Maud Newton

Ancestor Trouble
A Reckoning And A Reconciliation

Maud Newton

An acclaimed writer goes searching for the truth about her wildly unconventional Southern family—and finds that our obsession with ancestors opens up new ways of seeing ourselves.

Time Magazine

His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa

His Name Is George Floyd
One Man’s Life And The Struggle For Racial Justice

Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa

Two prize-winning Washington Post reporters examine how systemic racism impacted both the life and death of the 46-year old black man who was murdered in broad daylight outside a Minneapolis convenience store by white officer Derek Chauvin.

Time Magazine • NPR

The Invisible Kingdom by Meghan O'Rourke

The Invisible Kingdom
Reimagining Chronic Illness

Meghan O’Rourke

Drawing on her own medical experiences as well as a decade of interviews with doctors, patients, researchers, and public health experts, the author offers a revelatory investigation into the rise of chronic illness and autoimmune diseases that resist easy description or simple cures.

Time Magazine • NPR

South To America by Imani Perry

South To America
A Journey Below The Mason-Dixon To Understand The Soul Of A Nation

Imani Perry

This intricately woven tapestry of stories of immigrant communities, exploitative opportunists, enslaved peoples, unsung heroes and lived experiences shows the meaning of American is inextricably linked to the South—and understanding its history and culture is the key to understanding our nation as a whole.

Time Magazine

Under The Skin by Linda Villarosa

Under The Skin
The Hidden Toll Of Racism On American Lives And The Health Of A Nation

Linda Villarosa

Drawing on real-life human stories, and offering incontrovertible proof, this dramatic, tragic and necessary book lays bare the forces in the American healthcare system and in American society that cause Black people to ‘live sicker and die quicker’ compared to their white counterparts.

Time Magazine • New York Times

Time Is A Mother by Ocean Vuong

Time Is A Mother

Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong’s second collection of poetry looks inward, on the aftershocks of his mother’s death, and the struggle – and rewards – of staying present in the world.

Time Magazine • NPR

Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman

Scoundrel
How A Convicted Murderer Persuaded The Women Who Loved Him, The Conservative Establishment, And The Courts To Set Him Free

Sarah Weinman

This book follows Edgar Smith, a charismatic and manipulative murderer, as he is set free, only to attempt murder again, uncovering a psychopath who slipped his way into public acclaim.

Time Magazine • NPR

An Immense World by Ed Yong

An Immense World
How Animal Senses Reveal The Hidden Realms Around Us

Ed Yong

The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes examines how the world of animal senses can help us understand and transform the way we perceive our world. Illustrations.

Time Magazine • New York Times

Biographies

I Came All This Way To Meet You by Jami Attenberg

I Came All This Way To Meet You
Writing Myself Home

Jami Attenberg

From New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a dazzling memoir about unlocking and embracing her creativity—and how it saved her life.

Time Magazine

In Love by Amy Bloom

In Love
A Memoir Of Love And Loss

Amy Bloom

The New York Times best-selling author tells the story of her husband’s battle with early onset Alzheimer’s, their determination to support one another and his eventual decision to end his own life with dignity.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Civil Rights Queen by Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Civil Rights Queen
Constance Baker Motley And The Struggle For Equality

Tomiko Brown-Nagin

This biography of the first black woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court examines how she played a critical role in vanquishing Jim Crow laws throughout the South.

Time Magazine

Also A Poet by Ada Calhoun

Also A Poet
Frank O’hara, My Father, And Me

Ada Calhoun

The New York Times-best-selling author recalls her strained relationship with her father, who shared an obsession with Frank O’Hara, the famed bohemian poet and member of The New York School art movement.

New York Times

The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

The Man Who Could Move Clouds
A Memoir

Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Interweaving spellbinding family stories, resurrected Colombian history and her own deeply personal reckonings with the bounds of reality, the author shares her inheritance of ‘the secrets’—the power to talk to the dead, tell the future, treat the sick and move the clouds.

Time Magazine • New York Public Library • NPR

Finding Me by Viola Davis

Finding Me

Viola Davis

The critically acclaimed film, television and theater actress presents an inspiring and deeply honest story of her life, from her coming-of-age in Rhode Island to her current hard-won success. 250,000 first printing.

Time Magazine

Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

Getting Lost

Annie Ernaux

The diary of one of France’s most important, award-winning writers during the year she had a passionate and secret love affair with a Russian diplomat.

Time Magazine • New York Times

Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo

Manifesto
On Never Giving Up

Bernardine Evaristo

From the bestselling and Booker Prize—winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s memoir of her own life and writing, and her manifesto on unstoppability, creativity, and activism.

Time Magazine

Ted Kennedy by John A Farrell

Ted Kennedy
A Life

John A Farrell

Drawing on new sources, including segments of Kennedy’s personal diary and his private confessions to members of his family, an award-winning biographer, who covered this fourth son of the Kennedy clan closely for years, reveals his famously epic and turbulent life of almost unimaginable tragedy and triumph.

Time Magazine

Dirtbag, Massachusetts by Isaac Fitzgerald

Dirtbag, Massachusetts
A Confessional

Isaac Fitzgerald

The founding editor of BuzzFeed Books explores a more expansive vision of masculinity in a series of personal essays that chronicle his journey growing up in a Boston homeless shelter and efforts to take control of his own story.

Time Magazine

Shy by Mary Rodgers, Jesse Green

Shy
The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs Of Mary Rodgers

Mary Rodgers, Jesse Green

These memoirs of the theater star, author of books for young people, and chairman of the Juilliard School serve as both an eyewitness account from the Golden Age of American musical theater and a tale of a woman striving for a meaningful life.

New York Times

The Grimkes by Kerri K Greenidge

The Grimkes
The Legacy Of Slavery In An American Family

Kerri K Greenidge

Sarah and Angelina Grimke–the Grimke sisters–are revered figures in American history, famous for rejecting their privileged lives on a plantation in South Carolina to become firebrand activists in the North. Yet retellings of their epic story have long obscured their Black relatives. Award-winning historian Kerri Greenidge presents a parallel narrative, deepening our understanding of the long struggle for racial and gender equality.

New York Times • NPR

The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser

The Crane Wife
A Memoir In Essays

CJ Hauser

Expanding on her viral sensation ‘The Crane Wife,’ the author presents this deeply personal, candid and humorous memoir-in-essays that ponders what more expansive definitions of love might offer us all.

Time Magazine

Stay True by Hua Hsu

Stay True
A Memoir

Hua Hsu

In a gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self and the solace that can be found through art, a New Yorker staff writer recounts his close friendship with Ken, with whom he endured the successes and humiliations of everyday college life until Ken was violently, senselessly taken away from him.

Time Magazine • New York Times

Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones

Easy Beauty
A Memoir

Chloe Cooper Jones

A philosophy professor and freelance journalist born with a rare congenital condition which affects both her stature and gait discusses how she has navigated a world that both judges and pities her for her appearance.

Time Magazine • New York Times • New York Public Library

Path Lit By Lightning by David Maraniss

Path Lit By Lightning
The Life Of Jim Thorpe

David Maraniss

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist presents a biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete and Olympic gold medal winner who survived racism, alcohol addiction, broken marriages, and financial distress to become a myth and a legend.

New York Times

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

I’m Glad My Mom Died

Jennette McCurdy

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor–including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother–and how she retook controlof her life.

Time Magazine • NPR

The Extraordinary Life Of An Ordinary Man by Paul Newman

The Extraordinary Life Of An Ordinary Man
A Memoir

Paul Newman

Culled from thousands of pages of transcripts, this raw, candid, unvarnished memoir of the greatest movie star of the past 75 years, told with searing honesty, covers everything: his traumatic childhood, his career, his drinking, his intimate life with Joanne Woodward and his innermost fears and passions and joys.

Time Magazine

The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

The Light We Carry
Overcoming In Uncertain Times

Michelle Obama

A former first lady offers practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

Time Magazine

Anna by Amy Odell

Anna
The Biography

Amy Odell

This definitive biography of the legendary fashion journalist and media mogul follows her journey from the trendy fashion scene of swinging 1960s London to becoming the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.

Time Magazine

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Seamas O'Reilly

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?
A Memoir

Seamas O’Reilly

In this joyous, wildly unconventional memoir, S�amas O’Reilly tells the story of losing his mother as a child and growing up with ten siblings in Northern Ireland during the final years of the Troubles as a raucous comedy, a grand caper that is absolutely bursting with life.

New York Public Library • NPR

Diary Of A Misfit by Casey Parks

Diary Of A Misfit
A Memoir And A Mystery

Casey Parks

Part memoir, part investigative reporting, a sweeping journalistic saga explores sexuality and gender, family trauma and the redemptive force of love.

New York Public Library • NPR

The White Mosque by Sofia Samatar

The White Mosque
A Memoir

Sofia Samatar

Pursuing the curious history of ‘The White Mosque,’ which was established a century ago in a small Christian village in the Muslim Khanate of Khiva, the author traces the porous and ever-expanding borders of identity as she discovers a variety of characters whose lives intersect around the ancient Silk Road.

New York Public Library

The Revolutionary by Stacy Schiff

The Revolutionary
Samuel Adams

Stacy Schiff

A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer turns her attention to Samuel Adams, an intensely disciplined man—and arguably the most essential Founding Father— who supplied the moral backbone of the American Revolution, becoming the most wanted man in America.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz

Lost & Found
A Memoir

Kathryn Schulz

A staff writer at The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize brilliantly explores of the role that loss and discovering play in all of our lives, in this part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.

Time Magazine • NPR

Miss Chloe by A. J. Verdelle

Miss Chloe
A Memoir Of A Literary Friendship With Toni Morrison

A. J. Verdelle

The award-winning author of The Good Negress shares invaluable insights on the precarious journey toward creativity that is the writer’s life, and tells the compelling story of her relationship with Toni Morrison.

New York Public Library

Solito by Javier Zamora

Solito
A Memoir

Javier Zamora

A young poet reflects on his 3,000-mile journey from El Salvador to the United States when he was nine years old, during which he was faced with perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions during two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who became an unexpected family.

New York Times • New York Public Library • NPR

Fiction

The Return Of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad

The Return Of Faraz Ali

Aamina Ahmad

When his powerful father installs him as head of the Mohalia police station, charging him with covering up the violent death of a child prostitute, Faraz, for the first time in his career, defies orders as he chases down the truth in Lahore’s notorious red-light district.

New York Times • NPR

Chef's Kiss by T. J. Alexander

Chef’s Kiss

T. J. Alexander

A perfectionist pastry chef working at a cookbook publisher must learn how to deal with the obnoxiously chipper new kitchen manager who begins softening her heart and comes out as nonbinary to mixed reactions at work.

Time Magazine

Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi

Bitter Orange Tree

Jokha Alharthi

Zuhour, young Omani woman attempting to assimilate in Britain, reflects on the relationships that have been central to her life, including her bond with Bint Aamir, a woman she thought of as her grandmother, who passed away after Zuhour left the Arabian peninsula.

Time Magazine

When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar

When We Were Sisters

Fatimah Asghar

After the death of their parents, three Muslim American sisters are left to raise one another, and as the youngest, Kausar, grows up, she must choose whether to remain in the life of love, sorrow and codependency she’s known or carve out a new path for herself.

Time Magazine

Yonder by Jabari Asim

Yonder

Jabari Asim

Meeting at Placid Hall, a plantation in an unspecified part of the American South, Cato and Willian, subjected to the whims of their tyrannical and eccentric captor, find their friendship fraying when a visiting pastor fills their heads with ideas about independence and love.

New York Times • NPR

Shrines Of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Shrines Of Gaiety

Kate Atkinson

In London after the Great War, Nellie Carter, the notorious—and ruthless—queen of a dazzling, seductive and corrupt new world in the clubs of Soho, finds her success breeding enemies as she faces threats from without and within, revealing the dark underbelly beneath Soho’s gaiety.

Time Magazine

Honey And Spice by Bolu Babalola

Honey And Spice

Bolu Babalola

A young black British woman with a popular student radio show that dishes out relationship advice finds her show and her reputation on the line after she makes out with a man she publicly denounced.

Time Magazine • NPR

Dead Silence by S A Barnes

Dead Silence

S A Barnes

Investigating a strange distress signal, Claire Kovalik and her crew discover a luxury space-liner that vanished 20 years prior and board the vessel to find words scrawled in blood, strange movements and whispers in the dark.

New York Public Library

Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett

Checkout 19

Claire-Louise Bennett

A young woman working as a checkout clerk west of London explores her budding imagination and writing talents while reading tons of books and using the people around her and personal experiences to fuel her creativity.

New York Times

Delilah Green Doesn't Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Ashley Herring Blake

Pressured into photographing her estranged step-sister’s wedding, Delilah Green reluctantly returns home to Bright Falls where she finds herself falling for one of the stuck-up bridesmaids after the pair are forced together during party preparations.

New York Public Library

I'll Be You by Janelle Brown

I’ll Be You

Janelle Brown

An identical twin and former child TV star reassesses the complicated bond with her estranged sister after their panicked father says she stopped answering her phone and has checked into a mysterious spa in Ojai that might be a cult.

New York Public Library

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

Glory

NoViolet Bulawayo

Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup of the longtime president of Zimbabwe, the award-winning author of We Need New Names describes a fictional nation of animals on the path to true liberation after the sudden fall of Old Horse.

Time Magazine • NPR

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Case Study

Graeme Macrae Burnet

A woman who believes a notorious and roughly charismatic psychotherapist is responsible for her sister’s suicide in 1965 London and begins seeing him under an assumed identity.

New York Times

The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

The Hacienda

Isabel Canas

In the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence and the execution of her father, Beatriz accepts Don Rodolfo Sol�rzano’s proposal of marriage and is whisked away to his remote country estate where she is faced with a malevolent presence linked to his first wife’s death.

New York Public Library • NPR

The School For Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

The School For Good Mothers

Jessamine Chan

After one moment of poor judgment involving her daughter Harriet, Frida Liu falls victim to a host of government officials who will determine if she is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Upgrade

Blake Crouch

When his DNA is rewritten with a genetic-engineering breakthrough beyond anything the world has seen, Logan Ramsey finds his transformation threatening everything around him as he is forced to take sides in a fight to save humankind.

Time Magazine

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark

Fellowship Point

Alice Elliott Dark

A retiring children’s book author looking to secure her legacy tries to get the beautiful Maine coast where her novels are set donated to a trust, but must first convince the shareholders, one of which is her best friend.

Time Magazine • NPR

Trust by Hernan Diaz

Trust

Hernan Diaz

Told from the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction, this unrivaled novel about money, power, intimacy and perception is centered around the mystery of how the Rask family acquired their immense fortune in 1920s-1930’s New York City.

Time Magazine • New York Times

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House

Jennifer Egan

Told through lives of multiple characters, this electrifying, deeply moving novel, spanning 10 years, follows ‘Own Your Unconscious,’ a new technology that allows access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for success to the memories of others.

Time Magazine • New York Times

You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty

Akwaeke Emezi

Learning how to feel joy while healing from loss, Feyi Adekola starts dating the perfect guy, but discovers she has feelings for someone else who is off limits and must decide just how far she is willing to go for a second chance at love.

New York Times • NPR

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery

If I Survive You

Jonathan Escoffery

Fleeing to Miami after political violence consumes their native Kingston, a younger son of a Jamaican family, Trelawny, struggles to carve out a place for himself amid financial disaster, racism and flat-out bad luck, clawing himself out of homelessness with a series of odd, often hilarious jobs.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Tides by Sara Freeman

Tides

Sara Freeman

After a sudden, devastating loss, Mara flees her family and ends up adrift in a wealthy seaside town with a dead cellphone and barely any money. Mired in her grief, Mara detaches from the outside world and spends her days of self-imposed exile scrounging for food and swimming in the night ocean. In her state of emotional extremis, the sea at the town’s edge is rendered bleak, luminous, implacable.

Time Magazine

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

Just Like Home

Sarah Gailey

Called back home by her mother, Vera must not only face the love she had for her serial-killer father, but also confront the secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder house, finding out just how deep the rot goes.

New York Public Library • NPR

Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons In Chemistry

Bonnie Garmus

In the early 1960s, chemist and single mother Elizabeth Zott, the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show due to her revolutionary skills in the kitchen, uses this opportunity to dare women to change the status quo.

New York Times • NPR

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Stay Awake

Megan Goldin

Liv Reese, waking up holding a bloodstained knife and her hands covered in scribbled messages, remembers nothing from the past two years and goes on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing, followed by someone who will do anything to stop her from remembering—permanently.

New York Public Library

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga Dies Dreaming

Xochitl Gonzalez

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Olga, the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers, must confront the effects of long-held family secrets when she falls in love with Matteo, while other family members must weather their own storms.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty

The Rabbit Hutch

Tess Gunty

Set in the post-industrial Midwest, this story of loneliness and community, entrapment and freedom, follows Blandine, who lives with three other teens in a run-down apartment building known as the Rabbit Hutch, as she embarks on a quest for transcendence that culminates in a shocking act of violence.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Afterlives

Abdulrazak Gurnah

When he was just a boy, Ilyas was stolen from his parents on the coast of east Africa by German colonial troops. After years away, fighting against his own people, he returns home to find his parents gone and his sister, Afiya, abandoned into de facto slavery. Hamza, too, returns home from the war, scarred in body and soul and with nothing but the clothes on his back—until he meets the beautiful, undaunted Afiya.

Time Magazine • New York Times

A Lady For A Duke by Alexis Hall

A Lady For A Duke

Alexis Hall

Presumed dead, Viola Carroll takes the opportunity to live freely despite losing her wealth, title and closest companion, unaware of the shattering impact she had on her closest companion, in the new novel from the author of Boyfriend Material.

New York Public Library • NPR

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

The Appeal

Janice Hallett

When the cast of a local theater group raises money for an experimental treatment for the director’s granddaughter, who has a rare form of cancer, one member raises her concerns, creating tensions within the community, which leads to murder.

New York Public Library

Nuclear Family by Joseph Han

Nuclear Family

Joseph Han

Set in the months leading up to the 2018 nuclear missile false alarm, the members of a Korean family living in Hawai’i, when their son tries—and fails—to cross the Korean demilitarized zone, find themselves under suspicion, while their daughter gets constantly high as she witnesses her family’s undoing.

Time Magazine

Hokuloa Road by Elizabeth Hand

Hokuloa Road

Elizabeth Hand

Leaving Maine for a job as at a luxury property in Hawai’i, Grady Kendall is shocked to discover that the island is known as a place where people vanish and becomes determined to uncover the truth.

New York Times

Pure Colour by Sheila Heti

Pure Colour

Sheila Heti

With the world coming apart at the seams, Mira, when her beloved father dies, and his spirit passes into her, becomes a leaf on a tree, but being alive is a problem that cannot be solved, forcing her to decide whether or not to return to a human world.

New York Times

Fiona And Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Fiona And Jane

Jean Chen Ho

Two best friends since elementary school, both Taiwanese Americans, navigate their grown-up lives and discover their friendship strained by distance and unintended betrayals after Fiona Lin moves to New York and Jane Shen stays in California.

Time Magazine • NPR

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Motherthing

Ainslie Hogarth

After Laura, her venomous and cruel mother-in-law, takes her own life, Abby is terrorized by a force intent on destroying everything she loves and, to free her husband from his tortured mind and break Laura’s hold on the family for good, devises a chilling plan.

New York Times

Calling For A Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah

Calling For A Blanket Dance

Oscar Hokeah

Follows the life of Ever Geimausaddle, a young Native American, through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they face policy corruption, threats of job loss, constant resettlement and the pent up rage of centuries of injustice.

Time Magazine

Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

Vladimir

Julia May Jonas

With her husband Vladimir under investigation for inappropriate relationships with his former students, a popular English professor finds their extra-marital pursuits taking a toll on their relationship, while a married young novelist becomes dangerously obsessed with Vladimir, threatening to blow their life wide open.

Time Magazine • New York Public Library • NPR

Foster by Claire Keegan

Foster

Claire Keegan

An Irish child taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm finds the love and affection she never knew before and begins to thrive in the internationally best-selling novel now available as a standalone book.

New York Public Library • NPR

Nettle & Bone by T Kingfisher

Nettle & Bone

T Kingfisher

To save her sister and topple a throne, Marra is offered the tools she needs if she completes three seemingly impossible tasks with the help of a disgraced ex-knight, a reluctant fairy godmother and an enigmatic gravewitch and her fowl familiar.

New York Public Library • NPR

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead

Barbara Kingsolver

The son of an Appalachian teenager uses his good looks, wit and instincts to survive foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves and crushing losses.

New York Times • NPR

The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The Latecomer

Jean Hanff Korelitz

When her triplets, who have no strong familial bond and cannot wait to go their separate ways, leave for college, Johanna, faced with being alone for the first time, decides to have a fourth child and wonders what role the ‘latecomer’ will play in her already fractured family.

New York Times • NPR

Babel: Or The Necessity Of Violence by R. F. Kuang

Babel: Or The Necessity Of Violence
An Arcane History Of The Oxford Translators’ Revolution

R. F. Kuang

A Chinese boy orphaned by cholera and raised in Britain is trained to work at Oxford’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation, the world’s center for translation and magic through silver-working, where he must choose between competing loyalties.

Time Magazine

The Book Of Goose by Yiyun Li

The Book Of Goose

Yiyun Li

When her friend Fabienne passes away, Agn�s is free to tell her story of a long-ago childhood in a war-ravaged, backwater town along the French countryside where Fabienne hatched a plan that changed everything, sending Agn�s on an epic journey through fame, fortune and terrible loss.

Time Magazine • NPR

Bliss Montage by Ling Ma

Bliss Montage

Ling Ma

In Bliss Montage, Ling Ma brings us eight wildly different tales of people making their way through the madness and reality of our collective delusions: love and loneliness, connection and possession, friendship, motherhood, the idea of home. A woman lives in a house with all her ex-boyfriends. A toxic friendship grows up around a drug that makes you invisible. An ancient ritual might heal you of anything—if you bury yourself alive.

New York Times

Sea Of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel

Sea Of Tranquility

Emily St John Mandel

Hired to investigate the black-skied Night City, Detective Gaspery-Jacques Roberts discovers an anomaly in the North American Wilderness, where he encounters a strange group of individuals who have all glimpsed a chance to do something extraordinary that could disrupt the timeline of the universe.

New York Times • NPR

Learning To Talk by Hilary Mantel

Learning To Talk
Stories

Hilary Mantel

A collection of loosely autobiographical stories, beginning in the 1950s, revisits the transformative moments of a haunted childhood during which she must come to terms with the loss of a father and the puzzle of a fading Irish heritage.

Time Magazine

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews

All This Could Be Different

Sarah Thankam Mathews

Follows a young Indian American woman who is grappling with graduating into a recession, working a grueling entry-level corporate job and trying to date Marina, a beautiful dancer who always seems just beyond her grasp.

Time Magazine • NPR

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

The Passenger

Cormac McCarthy

In 1980 Pass Christian, Mississippi, salvage diver Bobby Western, after a plane crash, discovers that the pilot’s flight bag, the plane’s black box and the 10th passenger are missing, submerging him in a conspiracy beyond his understanding as he is shadowed in body and spirit by the past and present.

New York Times • NPR

The Hero Of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken

The Hero Of This Book

Elizabeth McCracken

After her mother’s death, the narrator, a writer, recalls all that made her complicated mother extraordinary and even though she wants to respect her mother’s nearly pathological sense of privacy, must decide whether chronicling this remarkable life is an act of love or betrayal.

Time Magazine

The Change by Kirsten Miller

The Change

Kirsten Miller

When midlife changes give three different women special powers, they come together to solve the murder of a teenage girl whom the police have written off as a drug- addicted sex worker—an investigation leading to a world of stupendous wealth where rules don’t apply.

New York Public Library

Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet

Dinosaurs

Lydia Millet

After walking from New York to Arizona to recover from a failed relationship, Gil discovers new neighbors in the glass-walled house next-door and finds his life meshing with theirs.

Time Magazine • NPR

The Daughter Of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Daughter Of Doctor Moreau

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When the arrival of Eduardo Lizalde sets in motion a dangerous chain of events, Carlota Moreau finds her carefully constructed world falling down around her as passion is ignited in the sweltering heat of the jungle where a motley group of monstrosities await.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Recitatif by Toni Morrison

Recitatif

Toni Morrison

In this 1983 short story about race and the relationships that shape us through life, Twyla and Roberta, friends since childhood who are seemingly at opposite ends of every problem as they grow older, cannot deny the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them.

New York Public Library • NPR

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Nightcrawling

Leila Mottley

When a drunken altercation with a stranger turns into a job she desperately needs, Kiara, who supports her brother and an abandoned 9-year-old boy, starts nightcrawling until her name surfaces in an investigation exposing her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

Time Magazine • NPR

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

Our Missing Hearts

Celeste Ng

In a society consumed by fear, 12-year-old Bird Gardner, after receiving a mysterious letter, sets out on a quest to find his mother—a Chinese-American poet who left when he was 9 years old—leading him to NYC where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell

The Marriage Portrait

Maggie O’Farrell

In Florence during the 1550s, captivating young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici, having barely left girlhood behind, marries the ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, and now, in an unfamiliar court where she has one duty—to provide an heir—fights for her very survival.

Time Magazine • NPR

Men In My Situation by Per Petterson

Men In My Situation

Per Petterson

Unable to process the grief of losing his parents and brothers in a tragic ferry accident, Arvid Jansen, now divorced and living dangerously, is forced to come to terms with the fact that someone still needs him when his daughter reaches out to him for help.

New York Public Library

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

The Dead Romantics

Ashley Poston

Returning home to bury her beloved father, Florence Day, the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, second-guesses everything she’s ever known about love stories when she is haunted by the ghost of her new editor.

New York Times

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto Is Back

Taylor Jenkins Reid

A retired tennis champion comes out of retirement at age 37 after watching a young phenom beat her long-standing record at the 1994 US Open.

Time Magazine • NPR

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

Cover Story

Susan Rigetti

During a summer internship at ELLE magazine, aspiring writer Lora Ricci strikes up a friendship with contributing editor Cat Wolff, the enigmatic daughter of a clean-energy mogul, who convinces Lora to drop out of NYU and become her ghostwriter.

Time Magazine

Electric Idol by Katee Robert

Electric Idol

Katee Robert

When her family executed a coup that dethroned Zeus himself, Psyche knew she was in trouble, but she wasn’t prepared for Aphrodite to demand her literal heart as payment. Or for Aphrodite’s gorgeous son to be the one determined to strike the blow.

New York Public Library

The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon

The Hookup Plan

Farrah Rochon

When she decides to have a no-strings affair with millionaire Drew Sullivan, who happens to be her archnemesis, successful pediatric surgeon London Kelley finds their relationship turning into something more until she discovers the real reason he’s back home.

New York Public Library

Liberation Day by George Saunders

Liberation Day

George Saunders

This brilliant collection of stories, written with the author’s trademark prose—wickedly funny, unsentimental and perfectly tuned, encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

The Furrows by Namwali Serpell

The Furrows
An Elegy

Namwali Serpell

Haunted by the accidental death of her little brother Wayne years ago, Cassandra Williams begins seeing her brother everywhere and meets a man both mysterious and familiar who is also searching for someone and for his own place in the world—his name is Wayne.

Time Magazine • New York Times

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro

Signal Fires

Dani Shapiro

When the Shenkmans arrive on Division Street, their brilliant, lonely son Waldo, who has a native ability to find connections in everything, befriends Dr. Wilf, who is harboring a dark secret, setting in motion a chain of events that cause the past to come back with a vengeance.

Time Magazine

Companion Piece by Ali Smith

Companion Piece

Ali Smith

The award-winning author continues exploring the subjective experience of time and questioning the nature of it while focusing a keen eye on #MeToo, Brexit, the refugee crisis and a global pandemic, in the follow up to Seasonal Quartet.

New York Times • NPR

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

The Kiss Curse

Erin Sterling

Two business rivals, witch Gwyn Jones and Llewellyn ‘Wells’ Penhallow, after one magical kiss, are determined to stay away from each other until they must work together to figure out what a new coven of witches want and how to restore Gwyn’s waning powers.

New York Public Library

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

This Time Tomorrow

Emma Straub

When Alice wakes up on her 40th birthday somehow back in 1996 as her 16-year-old self, she finds the biggest surprise is the 49-year-old version of her father with whom she is reunited, and, armed with a new perspective on life, wonders what she would change given the chance.

Time Magazine

Lucy By The Sea by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy By The Sea

Elizabeth Strout

Former married couple now lifelong friends, New Yorkers Lucy Barton and William, as a panicked world goes into lockdown, hunker down in a little house in Maine on the edge of the sea where they are faced with fear, struggles and isolation as well as hope, peace and possibilities.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

Young Mungo

Douglas Stuart

In Glasgow, Mungo and James, who should be enemies due to their religious beliefs, fall in love, dreaming of finding somewhere they belong, while Mungo works hard to hide his true self from all those around him to protect them both from the danger their relationship brings.

Time Magazine • NPR

The Books Of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk

The Books Of Jacob
Or, A Fantastic Journey Across Seven Borders, Five Languages, And Three Major Religions, Not Counting The Minor Sects Told By The Dead, Supplemented By The Author, Drawing From A Range Of Books, And Aided By Imagination, The Which Being The Greateest Natural Gift Of Any Person That The Wise Might Have It For A Record, That My Compatriots Reflect, Laypersons Gain Some Understanding, And Melancholy Souls Obtain Some Slight Enjoyment

Olga Tokarczuk

Set in the mid-18th century, this sweeping novel follows a mysterious, Messianic religious leader as he, traversing the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, reinvents himself again and again and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike.

New York Times • NPR

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Siren Queen

Nghi Vo

Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, Chinese American actress Luli Wei, desperate to become a star, bargains with blood and ancient magic to realize her dreams, but the steep price for success may turn her into something she despises.

Time Magazine • New York Public Library • NPR

Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang

Joan Is Okay

Weike Wang

An ICU physician at a busy NYC hospital, 30-something Joan, a workaholic with little interest in having friends, let alone lovers, is required to take mandatory leave until the day she must return to the city to face a crisis larger than anything she’s encountered before.

New York Times • NPR

Mouth To Mouth by Antoine Wilson

Mouth To Mouth

Antoine Wilson

When the man whose life he saved, a renowned art dealer, takes him under his wing, Jeff Cook is initiated into his world, one where nothing is what it seems, in this dramatic novel that blurs the line between opportunity and exploitation, self-respect and self-delusion, fact and fiction.

Time Magazine • NPR

Now Is Not The Time To Panic by Kevin Wilson

Now Is Not The Time To Panic

Kevin Wilson

Twenty years after secretly causing panic in her hometown through the written word and artwork, along with a fellow loner named Zeke, famous author, mom, and wife Frances Eleanor Budge gets a call that brings her past rushing back, threatening to upend everything.

Time Magazine

Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin

Embarking on a legendary collaboration launching them to stardom, two friends, intimates since childhood, have the world at their feet until they discover that their success, brilliance and money won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of the heart.

Time Magazine • New York Times • NPR

Four Treasures Of The Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Four Treasures Of The Sky

Jenny Tinghui Zhang

A Chinese girl struggles to find her place in the 1880s American West after being kidnapped and smuggled, working at a calligraphy school and a San Francisco brothel as anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country.

New York Times