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If you’re looking for something new to read, NPR has got you covered. They’ve compiled a list of books that they recommend, ranging from fiction to non-fiction and everything in between.
Whether you’re looking for a light read or something a little more challenging, you’re sure to find something on this list that interests you.
Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley
Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley is a book that tells the story of Beowulf, a young man who goes on a journey to find a dragon and save his people.
The book is full of adventure, mystery, and suspense. Readers will be captivated by Beowulf’s journey as he faces challenges and overcomes obstacles.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson is a collection of stories about the author’s experience as a black woman in America.
The book explores the theme of race and identity through the lens of Wilkerson’s personal experiences.
Wilkerson’s writing is candid and often humorous, making Black Cake an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. The book will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, regardless of race or background.
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson is a groundbreaking book that explores the origins and effects of America’s caste system.
Wilkerson argues that the caste system is the root cause of America’s racial inequality, and she offers a powerful vision for how we can move beyond it.
Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra, translated by Megan McDowell
Chilean poet Alejandro Zambra has been making waves in the literary world with his newest book, Chilean Poet. His writing is characterized by its simple and straightforward style, as well as its wry humor.
Zambra’s work often deals with themes of love, loss, and family. In Chilean Poet, he explores these themes in a series of short vignettes that are at turns poignant and hilarious.
With its sharp insight and biting wit, Chilean Poet is a must-read for fans of contemporary literature.
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
“Disorientation” by Elaine Hsieh Chou’s is a book about the author’s experience as a first-generation Chinese American. The book chronicles her journey to find her place in the world and her struggle to assimilate into American culture.
Chou was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was five years old. She grew up in Los Angeles and attended an all-girls Catholic high school.
After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Southern California, where she majored in English and minored in East Asian Studies.
While at USC, Chou began to feel like she didn’t quite fit in with either Taiwanese or American culture. She felt like she was caught between two worlds and struggled to find her identity. After graduation, she decided to move to New York City in order to pursue a career in publishing.
Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman
In her book, Funny You Should Ask, Elissa Sussman explores the power of humor in our lives.
From the moment we are born, humor is one of the first things that bonds us to others. It is a tool that we use to navigate the world and connect with others. And yet, as we grow older, we often lose sight of the role that humor plays in our lives.
Sussman argues that humor is not only essential to our well-being but can also be used as a powerful tool to create positive change in our lives.
She shares stories and research that show how humor can help us overcome challenges, build stronger relationships, and even improve our physical health.
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
In her debut novel, How High We Go in the Dark, Sequoia Nagamatsu explores the dangers of ambition and the power of family.
Nagamatsu tells the story of a young woman named Setsuko who leaves her small town in Japan to pursue her dream of becoming a professional rock climber.
However, when she arrives in Tokyo, she quickly discovers that the world of competitive climbing is much more cutthroat than she anticipated.
As she struggles to find her place in the competitive world of rock climbing, Setsuko must also grapple with her complicated relationship with her family.
Nagamatsu deftly explores the tension between ambition and familial obligations, and ultimately asks whether our dreams are worth sacrificing everything for.
How High We Go in the Dark is a beautifully written debut novel that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
An interior Chinatown is a term used to describe a smaller, less visible Chinatown within a larger Chinatown.
The novel Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu explores this concept through the eyes of Willis Wu, an aspiring actor who is constantly typecast as a background character.
Willis Wu dreams of becoming a leading man, but his career is stuck in neutral. He’s been relegated to playing bit parts, always in the background, never the star.
Even his agent and friends think of him primarily as an extra—someone to fill out a scene or two. But Willis knows he has what it takes to be a leading man—he just needs one big break.
Interior Chinatown is both a love letter to Hollywood and a biting satire of race and representation in America.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Many of us remember Bonnie Garmus from high school chemistry class. She was the teacher who made the subject come alive with her enthusiasm and love for the material.
In her book, Lessons in Chemistry, Garmus shares her passion for the subject with readers of all ages.
Garmus covers a wide range of topics in her book, from the basics of atoms and molecules to more advanced concepts like chemical reactions and the Periodic Table.
She includes plenty of real-world examples to illustrate key points, making the material easy to understand and apply.
Whether you’re a student who’s struggling in chemistry class or someone who’s simply curious about the world around them, Lessons in Chemistry is a great resource.
With Garmus’s clear explanations and engaging writing style, you’re sure to come away with a greater appreciation for this important science.
Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson
In his debut novel, Antoine Wilson tells the story of Odilon Greene, a man with a rare condition that causes him to produce no saliva.
As a result, Greene is constantly thirsty and has to take small sips of water throughout the day. He also has to be careful about what he eats, as certain foods can trigger his gag reflex.
While mouth-to-mouth contact is generally considered to be an intimate act, for Greene it’s a necessity. He often has to ask strangers for help when he feels dizzy or lightheaded from dehydration.
And though he’s embarrassed by his condition, he’s come to accept it as part of who he is.
Wilson expertly captures the frustration and isolation that comes with living with a chronic illness.
Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman
Sarah Weinman’s Scoundrel is a fascinating look at the life of William Jericho, a real-life con artist who managed to dupe some of the most famous names in Victorian England.
Weinman tells the story of Jericho’s exploits with wit and humor, but also provides readers with a clear-eyed view of the scoundrel himself. Despite his many crimes, Jericho was a charming and likable man, and Weinman brings him to life in all his complicated glory.
Scoundrel is a must-read for anyone interested in tales of deception, crime, and punishment. It’s also a reminder that not all scoundrels are bad people – sometimes they’re just people who have been dealt a bad hand in life.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
The Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel is a novel about a group of people who are living in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event.
The novel follows the characters as they struggle to survive in a world that has been turned upside down. The Sea of Tranquility is a story of hope, love, and loss.
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
“Siren Queen” by Nghi Vo is a beautifully written, dark fairy tale that will leave readers captivated.
Siren Queen tells the story of a young woman who is taken prisoner by a band of pirates. The young woman, who is also the daughter of a king, must find a way to escape from the pirates and return to her father.
Siren Queen is a dark and suspenseful fairy tale that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Nghi Vo’s writing is lyrical and enchanting, and she has created a truly original and captivating story.
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Isabel Cañas “The Hacienda” is a novel about love, family, and betrayal set against the backdrop of a Chilean hacienda in the early twentieth century.
Allende tells the story of Rosa Miranda, a young woman who falls in love with her husband’s cousin, Alejandro. Alejandro is a passionate and idealistic man who dreams of freeing Chile from its colonial past.
However, when Alejandro’s revolutionary plans are discovered, he is forced to flee the country, leaving Rosa behind.
Rosa is left to raise her two daughters alone in the hacienda. As they grow up, they come to understand the true nature of their father’s political beliefs and the sacrifices he made for his country.
They also learn about their own strength and resilience in the face of adversity.
The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties is a book about the pop culture of the 1990s. It covers everything from music to movies to TV to fashion to politics.
Klosterman takes a look at the decade through the lens of nostalgia, and he offers up some interesting insights into what made the 1990s such a unique time.
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
In The Paris Apartment, Lucy Foley tells the story of a young woman who discovers her true identity through a journey of self-discovery in the City of Light.
After inheriting her grandmother’s apartment in Paris, Olivia is determined to renovate it and sell it for profit.
But as she begins the process of gutting and refurbishing the rundown flat, she discovers a hidden world that her grandmother kept hidden from her.
Olivia uncovers secrets about her family’s past and comes to understand her own identity in a new light. The Paris Apartment is a heartwarming story of love, loss, and self-discovery.
The Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi’s novel the Transcendent Kingdom is a moving and beautifully written story about grief, love, and family.
The novel follows the life of Gifty, a young Ghanaian woman living in the United States, as she tries to come to terms with the death of her brother and the complicated relationships within her family.
Gyasi’s writing is beautiful and evocative, and she brings the reader into the lives of her characters with ease. The novel is a powerful exploration of grief, love, and family, and it is sure to resonate with readers who have experienced loss themselves.
What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo
Stephanie Foo’s What My Bones Know is a book about coming to terms with who you are. It’s a story of family, identity, and self-discovery, all wrapped up in one little package.
The book follows Stephanie, a young woman of Chinese descent, as she tries to figure out her place in the world. She was born in America, but her parents are from China. She doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere, and she’s constantly searching for her identity.
What My Bones Know is a moving and insightful look at what it means to be human. Stephanie Foo has crafted a powerful story that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished the last page.
Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller
Lulu Miller’s book “Why Fish Don’t Exist” is a fascinating look at the history and science of fish. Miller explains that fish are a product of evolution, and they have been around for millions of years.
However, there are no fish fossils that date back to the Cambrian period, when life first began on Earth. This means that fish must have evolved from some other type of creature.
Miller goes on to explain that there are several theories about what happened to the fish. One theory is that they were killed off by a mass extinction event.
Another theory is that they simply didn’t survive the transition from water to land. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that fish don’t exist today because of natural selection.
Despite their absence in the fossil record, fish are still an important part of our ecosystem.