But to quote the patron saint of real-talk Selena Gomez, the heart wants what it wants.

—RET, Born out of his 2018 New York Times op-ed “The Student Loan Serenity Prayer,” Arceneaux’s essay collection comes as unemployment soars and yet another economic crisis has many young people questioning whether they’ll ever experience life without crushing financial anxiety. In it, Hillary blazes her own trail, and on the way encounters compromise, ambivalence and exhilaration, explored compellingly by Sittenfeld. —AG, This slim volume belies a monumental story of grief and redemption. I love reading children’s books to my daughter at bedtime.

Through prose so immediate you feel you’re inside the story, they craft a testament to strength, vulnerability, and love that defies tradition, suggesting a world of empathy society hasn’t quite reached—but could soon. Convinced that the preacher is really her husband, Victor, Joan undertakes the formidable task of reawakening Wolff to who he really is. A ship takes 2,000 refugees from the Spanish Civil War to Chile in 1939. The Glass Hotel beautifully depicts the many lives impacted by the collapse of an ambitious Ponzi scheme, most notably a woman who escaped her haunted past in rugged Canada for a gilded existence as the much younger wife of a financial kingpin.

Set in India, the novel follows three figures inescapably connected to a violent terrorist attack on a train. Desiree returns home 14 years later, while her sister Stella has seemingly vanished, having taken on a white persona. The Guardian hails the book as a “masterpiece” and as “a novel of epic proportions [that is] every bit as thrilling, propulsive, darkly comic and stupendously intelligent as its predecessors...The trilogy is complete and it is magnificent”. Buy Now: The Night Watchman on Bookshop | Amazon. We follow Afi Tekple as she learns to adjust to her new sitch: She has a married a man she doesn't know and has moved from her small hometown to the big city of Accra to be with him. Thirty years later, and Tully has some news. New Novel Asks if U.S. In her first novel translated into English, acclaimed South Korean writer Yun Ko-Eun follows her protagonist—an employee at a travel agency that specializes in disaster tourism—on a visit to Mui, a remote island that’s in danger of falling off her company’s roster of destinations.

ELLE participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Drawing on her Chippewa heritage, the National Book Award winner constructs a portrait of a community fighting for survival in The Night Watchman. The book is a “much-needed reality check”, says inews: “The author has a canny ability to take heavy, complex subjects and translate them into concrete, sound arguments, offering practical resolutions”. Now, with the release of her sophomore novel, the founder of now-defunct indie publisher Emily Books looks back on the 21st century and draws a line through the decades-long series of little choices that make us who we are.

Searing and at times dream-like, Memorial Drive is a masterpiece of memoir, a requiem and document of absolution that sears itself in your memory. —AG, This year, a bevy of novels use technology-gone-amuck as the premise for dystopia. The Percy Jackson books. A librarian with a young son reckons with what climate change means both in this moment and in the future while coming to terms with what she wants the world to look like for her child. It is a clear-headed diagnosis. In stories that are by turns blackly comic, speculative, romantic, and wistful, Kispert toys with the ideas of personal truth, deception (of self and other), and lies from so many angles that, taken as a whole, the collection wows with its insight, daring, and breadth of talent. Can we just take a sec to ponder what a badass Jane Fonda—the model, movie star, fashion icon, and climate-change activist—is? The 31 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020. Oh, just Tana French's highly-anticipated new thriller. Buy Now: The Mirror and the Light on Bookshop | Amazon. Though she’s racked up accolades for her two recent novels—Find Me, her debut full-length narrative from 2015, and The Third Hotel from 2018—the short story seems to be Laura van den Berg’s most natural medium. I Don’t Want to Die Poor, a brilliant successor to Arceneaux’s 2018 book I Can’t Date Jesus, explores how student loan debt has impacted every facet of the author's life. marks Raven Leilani as a singular new voice in American fiction. Yep.

As the Scotsman observes: “It is disconcertingly honest and self-revealing.

The plot = our teenage protagonist learns that all the adults in her life have been lying to her. The acclaimed journalist Deborah Orr died in November 2019, and earlier this year her remarkable and unflinching book Motherwell was published. In her new novel Sea Wife, Amity Gaige depicts the journey from a dual point of view, interspersing the wife’s recollections of how it all went wrong with diary entries from the husband, both of which cut to the heart of mundane marital strife and the legacy of trauma. —AG, In the twentieth century, the question, “Is he musical?” often served as code for, “Is he gay?” explains Sasha Geffen in the intro to Glitter Up the Dark, which explores the many ways in which pop music broke the gender binary (while also acknowledging it was never fully intact). Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. When she was 12 years old, Azere promised her father she would marry a fellow Nigerian.

If you and your parents have gotten into fights about "what's right for you," you'll appreciate this read. Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis is co-authored by Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman, who is the primary narrator, her father Svante, and her sister Beata. The family battles alcoholism, sexuality taboo, and the constraints of domesticity, all packaged in the atmospheric lyricism of an epic. Dive into the lives of four Brooklyn couples over the course of a year. Wherever you first encountered it, it’s a story we all know by heart: In a time of darkness, a child is singled out as the world’s last great hope for salvation. A lush, modern gothic tale, Plain Bad Heroines is a story of horror and sapphic love set across 100 years at a cursed, all-girls boarding school. How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang, Set against the backdrop of the American gold rush, How Much of These Hills is Gold focuses on two orphaned siblings are on the run, trying to find a home. 16 Perf Gifts for Your Book-Loving BFF. Equal parts history, sociology and narrative, Caste makes the argument that American society is a hierarchal culture with resemblance to the caste systems seen in India and Nazi Germany. Just as gripping as her first study, Wilkerson once again changes the way we understand America. The result is a stirring meditation on race, gender, and identity. As the narrator reflects on his time abroad before he returns home, Greenwell asks potent questions about how and why we long for love. Set nearly 70 years later, Stuart’s story tracks a mother and son as they search for social mobility and freedom in working-class Glasgow.

—Adrienne Gaffney, Raised in a small, insular Southern town in the 1950s, twins Desiree and Stella Vignes make their escape as soon as they can. Hitting everything from #MeToo to faux-wokeness, it’s a novel of manners for our 280-character era. —JK, With Luster, Raven Leilani establishes herself as a novelist who perfectly distills millennial culture and the impact of race and class with both wit and compassion. Or, as Kirkus puts it: “Frightening, inspiring, and cautionary in equal measure”. Buy Now: Deacon King Kong on Bookshop | Amazon. It follows Tambudzai’s progress, as she faces setback after setback and as she finally reaches breaking point. In the process she tells her own, rather different, version of events, revealing the secrets of her past. The best books of the year so far 2020. Into all of this Gish throws baseball as a means of resistance. —AG, Ella Berman depicts a harrowing alternate story of the starlet who goes off the deep end. As The New York Times puts it: “Bennett balances the literary demands of dynamic characterisation with the historical and social realities of her subject matter.”, The British journalist and author Caitlin Moran is already known for her funny, smart observations about girlhood and womanhood. The dangers of gentrification turn very literal in romance veteran Alyssa Cole’s unputdownable new thriller. But it also points the way towards hope and a new understanding of racial identity. Set in contemporary Seoul, this debut novel follows the lives of four young women as they set about  making lives for themselves in a world where the odds are stacked against them. All Rights Reserved. Andrew O’Hagan’s latest novel is inspired by real events, and the friendship between two men, Jimmy and Tully. –Véronique Hyland, Part memoir, part reckoning, Cornejo Villavicencio exposes the reality of life as an undocumented immigrant in six astounding essays. Full of her usual compassion, empathy and joyfulness, it is classic Tyler, and has been highly praised. Then they become friends.

While searching for her long-lost husband, Joan encounters the Reverend Eugene Wolff, a charismatic preacher who bears a striking resemblance to Joan’s missing love. Says Ann Patchett, “The novel should be required reading for the country both as a cautionary tale and because it is a stone-cold masterpiece.” —BK, In this debut collection, Peter Kispert takes a clever premise—stories about liars—and spins an extraordinary tapestry that questions why we lie and all the ripples (good, bad, and chaotic) that come from them. Her memoir reads like a literary ethnography of the rewards and risks of the sector’s early growth. Buy Now: Wow, No Thank You. Promise. The Telegraph describes the novel as “a corrosive, compulsive debut”. The Atlantic describes the novel as “deeply imagined, philosophically profound”. From the author of Homegoing, the breakout debut novel about the two very different legacies of an Asante woman living in 18th-century Ghana, comes a contemporary tale of a Ghanaian family in Alabama struggling to make sense of loss. In Poor, Caleb Femi blends poetry and photography to look at the hopes, dreams and tribulations of young black boys in 21st-Century south London. The collection is a rumination on absence, ending, loving, and passing. Following a family tragedy that shatters her optimistic worldview, romance writer January Andrews retreats to her late father’s lake house to try and write her way out of financial ruin. And if you're a super fast reader and therefore in need of more literary recs, check out all 42 of Reese Witherspoon's book club picks, 11 Spanish-language authors you need on your bookshelf, excellent self-help books, and finally, the most romantic reads of 2020. While Sittenfeld’s American Wife, which traced the experiences of a very Laura Bush-esque figure, used a similar approach, Rodham goes much further, showing both the successes that Hillary could have achieved on her own and the trail Bill would've gone down without her by his side.