2023 Reader’s Retreat Books

The books from March 2023’s Reader’s Retreat.

March 27, 2023

Couldn’t make it—or just want a reminder? Here are the books from this year’s Reader’s Retreat!

Contemporary Fiction

The Collected Regrets Of Clover by Mikki Brammer

The Collected Regrets Of Clover

Mikki Brammer

From the day she watched her kindergarten teacher drop dead during a dramatic telling of Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a stronger connection with the dying than she has with the living. After the beloved grandfather who raised her dies alone while she is traveling, Clover becomes a death doula in New York City, dedicating her life to ushering people peacefully through their end-of-life process. A big-hearted and life-affirming debut about a death doula who, in caring for others at the end of their life, has forgotten how to live her own.

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang


R. F. Kuang

After the death of her literary rival in a freak accident, author June Hayward steals her just-finished masterpiece, sending it to her agent as her own work, but as emerging evidence threatens her success, she discovers just how far she’ll go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

The Guest by Emma Cline

The Guest

Emma Cline

A young woman pretends to be someone she isn’t in this stunning novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls.

Save What's Left by Elizabeth Castellano

Save What’s Left

Elizabeth Castellano

An outrageously funny debut novel about a woman who moves to a small beach town looking for peace, only to find herself in an all-out war with her neighbors.

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Family Lore

Elizabeth Acevedo

Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So, when she decides she wants a living wake–a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she’s led–her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else’s? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila.

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

The Half Moon

Mary Beth Keane

Longtime bartender Malcolm Gephardt realizes his dream of owning a bar, while his wife Jess, a lawyer struggling with fertility issues, wonders how to reshape her life, in a novel told over the course of one tumultuous week, laying bare the complexities of marriage, family, longing and desire.

Historical Fiction

Hang The Moon by Jeannette Walls

Hang The Moon

Jeannette Walls

Hang the Moon follows the life of feisty young Sallie Kincaid, daughter of the big man about town in Prohibition-era Virginia, who’s back home to reclaim her place nine years after being ejected from the family.

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

Crook Manifesto

Colson Whitehead

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Colson Whitehead continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory. CROOK MANIFESTO is a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. Colson Whitehead’s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of the all-time great evocations of a place and a time.

The Postcard by Anne Berest

The Postcard

Anne Berest

Fifteen years after the arrival of an anonymous postcard with the names of her maternal great-grandparents and their children–all killed at Auschwitz–Anne Berest is moved to discover who sent it and why and embarks on a journey to learn the fate of the Rabinovitch family.

The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly

The Golden Doves

Martha Hall Kelly

To finally secure justice and protect the ones they love, two former female spies, American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue, aka the Golden Doves, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II.

The Making Of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks

The Making Of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece

Tom Hanks

The Academy Award-winning actor and bestselling author presents a thought-provoking novel about the making of a star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film based on a series of comic books that depict the changes in America and American culture since WWII.

Mystery & Thriller

Independence Square by Martin Cruz Smith

Independence Square
Arkady Renko In Ukraine

Martin Cruz Smith

While dealing with his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, Russian detective Arkady Renko agrees to search for an acquaintance’s missing daughter whom he discovers was an anti-Putin activist, as the country’s leaders begin to plot an invasion of Ukraine.

The Senator's Wife by Liv Constantine

The Senator’s Wife

Liv Constantine

Hiring a health aide to give her the support and independence she needs after hip replacement surgery, DC philanthropist and Senator’s wife Sloane Chase, as weeks go by and she becomes sicker, suspects her seemingly perfect employee is plotting to steal her husband, her reputation and even her life.

Beware The Woman by Megan Abbott

Beware The Woman

Megan Abbott

A pregnant woman undergoes a health scare that brings up whispered conversations about her husband’s complicated family history and long dead mother in the new novel from the award-winning author of Give Me Your Hand.

Fantasy & Sci-Fi

In The Lives Of Puppets by TJ Klune

In The Lives Of Puppets

TJ Klune

When an unwitting act of betrayal leads to the capture of his android Gio, who once hunted humans, Victor Lawson and his assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to the City of Electric Dreams to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silver Nitrate

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Daughter of Doctor Moreau and Mexican Gothic comes a fabulous meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism: a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film, and awakens one woman’s hidden powers.

The Great Transition by Nick Fuller Googins

The Great Transition

Nick Fuller Googins

Emi Vargas is tired of being told how lucky she is to have been born after the climate crisis. But following the public assassination of a dozen climate criminals, Emi’s mother disappears as a possible suspect, and Emi’s illusions of utopia are shattered. A determined Emi and her father, Larch, journey from their home Greenland to NYC, now a lightly populated storm-surge outpost built from the ruins of the former metropolis. But they aren’t the only ones looking for Emi’s mother.?


Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Romantic Comedy

Curtis Sittenfeld

A sketch writer for a late-night comedy show, Sally Milz pokes fun at the phenomenon of talented but average men who’ve gotten romantically involved with beautiful women and how the reverse never happens until she meets a pop music sensation who flips the script on all her assumptions.

The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon

The One That Got Away

Charlotte Rixon

Across the miles and spanning decades, Charlotte Rixon’s The One That Got Away is a sweeping, poignant story about growing up, growing apart, the people who first steal our hearts, and the surprising, winding roads that love can take us on.


Master Slave Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo

Master Slave Husband Wife
An Epic Journey From Slavery To Freedom

Ilyon Woo

Presents the remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabled white man and William posing as “his” slave.

100 Places To See After You Die by Ken Jennings

100 Places To See After You Die
A Travel Guide To The Afterlife

Ken Jennings

From New York Times bestselling author, legendary Jeopardy! champion, and host Ken Jennings comes a hilarious travel guide to the afterlife, exploring destinations to die for from literature, mythology, and pop culture ranging from Dante’s Inferno to Hadestown to NBC’s The Good Place.

A Fever In The Heartland by Timothy Egan

A Fever In The Heartland
The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot To Take Over America, And The Woman Who Stopped Them

Timothy Egan

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist traces the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to power in the 1920s, driven by the con man D.C. Stephenson, and how a seemingly powerless woman named Madge Oberholtzer brought them to their knees.

Biography & Memoir

The Best Strangers In The World by Ari Shapiro

The Best Strangers In The World
Stories From A Life Spent Listening

Ari Shapiro

The award-winning cohost of NPR’s All Things Considered presents this stirring memoir-in-essays in which he seeks ways to help people listen to one another; to find connection and commonality with those who seem different; and to remind us that we are all human.

A Living Remedy by Nicole Chung

A Living Remedy

Nicole Chung

The best-selling author of All You Can Ever Know returns with a memoir of her experiences as a Korean adoptee and the challenges she faced holding on to family bonds in the face of hardship and tragedy.

You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

You Could Make This Place Beautiful

Maggie Smith

The award-winning poet explores the disintegration of her marriage and her renewed commitment to herself, interweaving snapshots of a life with meditations on secrets, anger, forgiveness and narrative itself and revealing how, in the aftermath of loss, we can discover our power and make something beautiful.

Honey, Baby, Mine by Laura Dern, Diane Ladd

Honey, Baby, Mine
A Mother And Daughter Talk Life, Death, Love – And Banana Pudding

Laura Dern, Diane Ladd

This collection of personal conversations from the actress and mother-daughter duo Laura Dern and Diane Ladd covers topics from ambition and legacy to intimacy, love, success and marriage.