A devastating loss draws estranged members of an Iranian American family back together, forcing the different generations to confront their clashing choices and truths. Pari (The Fortune Catcher), an Iranian American herself, weaves a complex and affecting family saga about subverting expectations and making immense sacrifices to stay true to oneself.
Crewe’s debut novel, set in 1894 England, explores how sexual oppression damages identities, families, and freedom. John Addington and Henry Ellis, both in nontraditional relationships, collaborate on a book that argues for the acceptance of homosexuality, ultimately sparking outrage and legal troubles. The story, inspired by actual historical figures and featuring Oscar Wilde’s criminal conviction for “indecency,” brings the period and all its injustices to vivid life.
Hawkins (Reckless Girls, The Wife Upstairs) adds a new title to her gothic thriller repertoire: a loose retelling of the true events that inspired Mary Shelley’s seminal Frankenstein. Childhood friends but lately estranged, Emily and Chess plan to reconnect over a vacation at an Italian villa, but the manor’s dark past comes back to haunt them. Moving between the 1970s and modern day, The Villa is an eerie story of betrayal and the lengths we go to for our art.
This YA fantasy adventure draws readers into the world of the fae while celebrating diversity, sisterhood, and self. Seelie is an autistic changeling with a human twin sister, Isolde. Living as outcasts, they set out to turn their fate around by stealing a legendary treasure. The quest draws them into a more complex mystery that tests Seelie’s understanding of her magical (and unpredictable) abilities.
Mica Angeles is bored of small-town Vermont life under the watchful eye of her religious abuela, so she jumps at the chance to date Sam, an exciting newcomer with out-of-this-world charm — literally. As the pair grow closer, apocalyptic visions warn Mica of Sam’s true nature. Cardinal (Five Midnights) delivers a lively YA novel that melds horror with romance and features a strong, charming Latina protagonist.
Gun violence is a singularly American issue, costing over 40,000 citizens their lives each year. In this compelling work of nonfiction, Auster (Sunset Park) explores how U.S. gun culture developed — and why the nation has yet to make changes. Blending statistics, anecdotes, and analysis, he walks readers through essential history, including ratifying the Second Amendment, clashes with Native Americans, and modern-day mass shootings, even weaving in his own dark family history with guns.
Yu (Braised Pork) explores grief and longing in this melancholy novel about a woman who sacrificed her dreams of being a concert pianist to become a dutiful wife, only to discover her husband isn’t who she thought he was. Set in Beijing, the story follows Song Yan’s increasingly frenetic attempts to understand who she is and who she could have been. Ghost Music unites the mundane with the ethereal in wholly original and atmospheric ways.
Nehal and Giorgina, two women who can control the elements, are thrust together after an arranged marriage ties them to the same man. Their connection deepens as they become women’s rights activists for the Daughters of Izdihar. Elsbai’s first book in an upcoming feminist fantasy duology pits flawed but relatable characters against the patriarchy. It’s set in an alternate Egypt, where women must fight for their independence — and their magic.
The key to living well is fostering strong relationships, so say Waldinger and Schulz, directors of one of the most in-depth and long-standing studies on human happiness. Rooted in compelling research, The Good Life explores how connecting with people impacts our lives and legacies. This is a vital read for those seeking a greater understanding of fulfillment. Be sure to follow it up with Waldinger’s TED Talk, “What Makes a Good Life,” one of the 10 most watched TED Talks in history.
As children, many of us learned people-pleasing tactics to protect ourselves from conflict or gain affection. But this harmful habit can negatively impact our sense of self and relationships. Lue, founder of the popular Baggage Reclaim blog and podcast, offers strategies for prioritizing your needs, wants, and feelings in this empowering guide on setting boundaries and living authentically.
Better the Blood reveals how hate crimes can reverberate across generations. Detective Hana Westerman, a Māori (Indigenous people of New Zealand) woman living in modern-day Auckland, tracks the nation’s first serial killer who’s out to avenge a tribal chief killed by colonizing British soldiers in the 19th century. Bennett, a Māori filmmaker, infuses Indigenous history throughout the story, making this a thought-provoking and culturally sensitive murder mystery.
We Are All So Good at Smiling, a novel in verse by McBride (Me (Moth)), explores mental illness, bigotry, and other traumas through a fantasy lens. Whimsy, a human, and Faerry, a fae, meet and bond over shared struggles — and an uncanny sense that they’ve met before. The two are soon pulled into a conflict in a mystical forest teeming with dark and dangerous fairytale creatures.
Tóibín, the award-winning Irish author who brought us titles like The Magician and Brooklyn, delivers a sharply funny essay collection. Covering topics like beating cancer (thus entering “the age of one ball”), growing up in Ireland, religion, and sexuality, Tóibín's talent for moving readers with authentic and profound expression shines through once again.
Araujo takes readers into the heart of the Amazon rainforest in this narrative nonfiction account of deforestation and gross violations of workers’ and Indigenous rights. The story centers on Rondon do Pará, Brazil, an area of the Amazon where lawless landowners gained control before leaders of a farmworkers’ union pushed back. Masters of the Lost Land is about the exploitation of people and place and the brave Brazilians at the heart of the struggle.
With a title like Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone (also the novel’s opening line), it’s no surprise that Stevenson’s latest is delightfully cheeky and intriguing. A self-referential play on cozy whodunnits, it follows Ernie Cunningham and his untrustworthy family, all reuniting at a remote ski resort. The first body drops quickly, and the plot develops via Ernie’s detective work. HBO has already acquired the rights to this entertaining mystery, making it a must-read before the series premieres.
A former CIA operative lays out nine rules he learned while working for America’s human intelligence agency that helped him successfully launch his own business in this Scribd Original. “Company Rules” provides practical advice for entrepreneurs (spy skills not required but can come in handy) alongside insightful and humorous stories of Baker’s transition from the public to the private sector.
Engel follows her award-winning 2021 release, Infinite Country, with a collection of 10 stories unfolding across the U.S., Colombia, Cuba, and beyond. Though the stories deal with bleak choices and scenarios, they each highlight uplifting, human-forward themes like courage, empathy, and redemption.
In the 18th century, former slave Benjamin Honey settled Malaga Island off the coast of Maine alongside his Irish wife. Over a century later, government officials would forcefully displace the mixed-race inhabitants of Malaga. Many were involuntarily institutionalized. Harding (author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tinkers) rehumanizes history in this fictitious retelling of true events, highlighting the effects of racism, eugenics, and colonization with affecting prose and rich characterization.
In a business memoir ideal for fans of Shoe Dog, Spikes explores how he bravely pushed boundaries in the hyper-competitive tech world. Named among the top Black professionals in tech by both Business Insider and USA Today, the co-founder of MoviePass discusses how he defied expectations to achieve success. Spikes’ insight is empowering and educational for any ambitious entrepreneur, particularly those of color.
Samatar, who usually writes sci-fi and fantasy such as A Stranger in Olondria, offers a travel memoir dissecting her religious and cultural heritage as the daughter of a Swiss Mennonite and Somali Muslim. The author retraces a pilgrimage made by Mennonites in the late 19th century, following their leader into Khiva, Uzbekistan to await Christ’s return, interweaving her own history along the way. The White Mosque is a thoughtful look at identity and an enriching education on where Mennonite and Muslim histories intersect.
Contrary to what rom-coms and pop culture teach us, love takes work. Shetty, inspirational thought leader and author of bestselling Think Like a Monk, gets real about love, including the typical relationship cycles we all navigate and how to show up for your partner when those lovey-dovey feelings subside. Shetty also offers honest advice on when it’s time to move on and how to avoid the most common pitfalls in romantic relationships.
Spurred on by the loss of her husband and a cane with mystical properties, the elderly matriarch of a contemporary Indian family embarks on a journey of self-discovery and healing. An International Booker Prize winner, this novel pushes the boundaries of a traditional family saga as Shree (Mai) dissects expectations, feminism, and identity through magical realism. Tomb of Sand was translated into English by Daisy Rockwell.
Maddie, the dependable one in her British Ghanaian family, finally chooses to prioritize herself and build the life she deserves. George’s novel, called a “pitch-perfect debut” by Publishers Weekly, is a coming-of-age journey featuring a vulnerable protagonist readers can simultaneously identify with and root for. Maame includes themes of systemic racism, family obligations, and self-empowerment.
Louise Chao may be a vampire, but she struggles with the same ordinary challenges as any human, including loneliness. When her estranged nephew shows up on her doorstep, Louise experiences a new spark for life — and punk rock. Chen’s (Light Years from Home) book is far from your typical vampire novel, using humor and music to address the relatable experience of feeling like an outsider.
Newitz, the award-winning author of The Future of Another Timeline and Autonomous, delivers a space opera set on Sask-E, where corporate and capitalistic agendas clash with the planet’s residents. Endearing characters ranging from humans to robots to cognizant train cars must all make brave choices to claim their personhood and live in harmony with the environment. The result is a hopeful and brilliant fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Becky Chambers.
Morgan Faraday is all set to wed Sebastian Reid, an oil mogul taking his company green. It’s a step up for Morgan, a struggling artist who wants to help the world. But Morgan soon discovers the dark truth about Sebastian’s company, and exposing him puts more than just her hopes and dreams in danger. De León (A Spy in the Struggle) unites mystery, intrigue, romance, and activism in this satisfying read about doing the right thing no matter the cost.
About the Author: Lanie Pemberton
Lanie is a San Diego-based freelance writer with many Scribd Snapshots and recommended reading lists under her belt. She loves reading about animals and the natural world, with plenty of murder mysteries peppered in. When she needs a break from writing and reading, Lanie can be found taking long walks under the SoCal sun, usually alongside her husband and pampered pittie, Peach.