In her book debut, comedian, podcast host, actress, and writer Phoebe Robinson serves well-timed, hilarious insight into the daily micro-aggressions faced by black women in "postracial" America. Packed with sharp wit and endless pop-culture references, Robinson's essays are a must-read for anyone wanting to get more woke and be a better ally. She covers the NFL's (mis)treatment of women, misogynistic casting calls, and, of course, prejudices against black hair. My favorite section is a series of letters addressed to her toddler niece, in which she gives advice on the little one's future struggles as a biracial woman. Read this ASAP!
Fridlund has written a gorgeous coming of age novel that pulls you in and delivers a well-aimed punch to the heart. The anxiety of the protagonist's situation builds so slowly and surely that you don't see the hit coming until it's nearly upon you. Dark and hauntingly beautiful - makes a great, lasting impression.
Two magicians are unknowingly pitted against one another by their teachers, forced into a game to the death. Their stage is a black and white circus open only at night, featuring a fantastic cast of characters such as psychic twins and their acrobat kittens. Morgenstern's imagery is vivid and whimsical - she will leave you hungry for more. Instant new favorite!
Meet the four clans of wild cats: ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan. They are the Warriors! In this first book of the first series, we follow a kittypet named Rusty who ventures into the forest, ends up joining powerful ThunderClan, and gains his warrior name, Fireheart. These tails (tales! Ha, sorry...) have been some of my favorite stories since I was a child, and I would recommend them to anyone who loves animals and fantasy. With five complete sub-series, a sixth in progress, and multiple stand-alone titles, there is plenty to explore in the Warriors world, but the adventures begin here!
Great Britain is ruled by powerful magicians who summon demons to do their bidding. 11-year-old Nathaniel is apprenticed to magician Simon Lovelace, an unforgiving master who humiliates him at a large government meeting. To exact revenge, Nathaniel masters an advanced spell and summons Bartimaeus, a super snarky, 5,000-year-old djinni. However, Bartimaeus learns Nathaniel's true name, so he is not completely under the boy's control! This humorous adventure is packed with witty banter and delightfully lacking in romance. I highly recommend the whole trilogy!
Agnieszka's small mountain village is under constant threat from the dark, corrupted woods. An ageless wizard, the Dragon, is tasked with keeping the forest from overtaking the valley, but in exchange, he takes a girl from the village every 10 years. When Agnieszka is unexpectedly chosen, she must learn to work with the incorrigible Dragon and use the magic hidden inside of her to cleanse the corruption and save the valley. Combining elements of Polish culture and mythology, Novik has created a whirlwind of a fairy tale that won't soon be forgotten. Perfect for fantasy lovers of all ages!
We know all dogs go to heaven, but what is it like? Delicious biscuits, plenty of space to run, and lots of children to play with, of course! This is a touching story of what happens when our beloved companions pass away. With brightly painted illustrations and lyrical rhymes, this book makes a comforting gift for dog lovers of any age, especially those grieving a loss.
I literally could not put this one down - I read it in a single day! Flagg's newest novel tells the history of Elmwood Springs, a town built by Swedish immigrants from its inception to present day. All seems normal enough - people get married, babies are born, the town grows. But strangely, the deceased folk buried in the town cemetery all wake up and continue conversing with their neighbors. Quite humorous and charming!
Two young sisters are torn from what is now Ghana, one married off to a white slave trader and the other sold into slavery. The chapters alternate between sisters, each telling the story of the following generation until present day. Heart-wrenching but hopeful, this one will stay with you long past the finish.
What happens when a creative genius stops creating? In Bernadette Fox's case, she hides in a city she hates (Seattle) and tried to focus on raising her daughter, Bee. Largely unbeknownst to her Microsoft mogul husband, she begins to have a mental breakdown; chaos and hilarity ensue. Just before they are scheduled to take a family trip to Antarctica, Bernadette disappears, so Bee must use documents such as emails, letters, and police reports to piece together what happened to her. This is my favorite Maria Semple title and a great place to start if you haven't read her.
For a book marketed as a paranormal romance, I was surprised and pleased that this romance is not over the top or mushy. The protagonist, Blue, is the only non-seer in a family of psychic women. Her childhood has been shadowed by a prophecy that she will kill her true love, so she vows never to kiss anyone. But when she meets a group of boys from the local private school (who are on a supernatural mission to find an ancient sleeping king), she begins to question whether she can keep this vow.