The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle EvansWhat it is: a collection of seven stories that examine race, grief, relationships, and womanhood in the U.S., after 2010's Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.
Why you might like it: Infused with a deep understanding of U.S. history, these character-driven stories employ sharp, compelling writing and incisive and sometimes witty commentary.
Reviewers say: "delectably readable, propulsive accounts of loss and fear and redemption that twist with O. Henry-level glee" (Entertainment Weekly).
The Orchard by David HopenFeaturing: 17-year-old Ari, who's much happier at his "modern conservative" Orthodox Jewish school in Florida than he had been at the ultraconservative one in Brooklyn, in part thanks to a welcoming circle of popular students led by the charismatic and unstable Evan.
What happens: Encouraged by his friends to try risky behaviors and to explore less traditional religious thought, Ari is pulled beyond his comfort zone in all aspects of life.
For fans of: coming-of-age stories; Jewish literature; the envelope-pushing characters of dark academia novels like Donna Tartt's A Secret History.
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn JoukhadarIntroducing: three generations of Syrian Americans -- a 20-something trans man (Nadir, who is unnamed and misgendered at first), his late mother, and a long missing Syrian artist, Laila Z. -- linked by their love of birds.
What it's about: the search for identity and belonging in an unwelcoming world.
Why you might like it: Syrian American and trans himself, author Zeyn Joukhadar richly captures New York's Little Syria over the decades through the alternating perspectives of Laila Z. and Nadir.
To Be a Man: Stories by Nicole KraussWhat it is: a short story collection about the relationships between men and women at all stages of life, and how the characters' Jewish identities informs those relationships.
Don't miss: "Future Emergencies," which is alarmingly of-the-moment; "I Am Asleep But My Heart Is Awake," in which a daughter inherits her father's apartment, only to find it inhabited.
Why you might like it: Nicole Krauss' straightforward writing style is highly detailed and addresses weighty topics.
Too Much Lip by Melissa LucashenkoFeaturing: queer First Nations Australian Kerry Salter, who travels back to her home in Bundjalung country in New South Wales on a stolen Harley when she hears that her grandfather has fallen sick.
What it's about: the needs of family and the effects of colonization: despite her intention to stay only briefly, Kerry is drawn into a family fight to prevent their spiritual home from being used to house a jail.
About the author: Melissa Lucashenko, who won the 2019 Miles Franklin Award for this book, is of Bundjalung and European heritage and is an advocate for prisoners' rights.
Laura & Emma by Kate GreatheadIntroducing: privileged, inconstant Laura, a woman who drifts through life supported by her wealthy family, and her spirited daughter, Emma, the result of a weekend fling (of sorts).
Why you might like it: From the 1980s to the mid-nineties, this leisurely paced debut offers complex, unique characters and evocative descriptions of Manhattan.
For fans of: quiet, character-driven novels that center on mother/daughter relationships, like Elizabeth Strout's My Name is Lucy Barton.
It's Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillanThe weekend: As a way to celebrate her 68th birthday, Loretha and Carl Curry spend the weekend at a Palm Springs resort, only for Carl to suffer a fatal heart attack.
What happens next: Loretha must contend with her own health issues as she relies on her closest friends -- who are facing their own problems -- as she grieves.
Read it for: the longstanding friendships among a well-drawn group of mature Black women.
The Altruists by Andrew RidkerFeaturing: broke professor Arthur Alter and his two grown kids, who inherited their mother's fortune.
What happens: Hoping they'll bail him out, Arthur invites underemployed Maggie and shut-in Ethan home for the weekend, only to find that things don't quite go to plan.
Why you might like it: With its imperfect protagonists, this debut will appeal to fans of Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You or Cynthia D'aprix's Sweeney's The Nest.
Chances Are... by Richard RussoWhat it's about: Three long-time friends come together for a weekend on Martha’s Vineyard, where they puzzle out what happened to the fourth of their group, a beautiful young woman each had been in love with, and who disappeared 40 years previously.
Why you might like it: As usual, author Richard Russo effectively captures male friendships; a touch of suspense as secrets are revealed may surprise and engage fans.
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto UrreaWhat it's about: the weekend-long gathering in honor of Miguel Angel de la Cruz, whose mother upstages what is sure to be his last birthday by dying herself.
Why you might like it: The stories and memories of the members of the sprawling Mexican-American family abound, resulting in a novel that is "knowing and intimate, funny and tragic at once" (Kirkus Reviews).
Want a taste? "He winked at her. Only Big Angel could wink and denote wisdom."
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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