The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The makings of a true horror story: A dystopian world in which a woman’s only worth is her ability to breed. Read it before the new Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss premieres in April. Buy the book
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
The famed Barbizon hotel takes center stage in this novel where a present-day journalist becomes obsessed with the secrets of one of the Barbizon hotel’s oldest residents. Told in alternating chapters of present day and 1952, The Dollhouse is a coming-of-age story, mystery, and love story, all rolled into one.
The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
A Paris apartment, abandoned for years, and the young woman who closed the door on it at the dawn of World War Two. Who lived in this apartment? Why would anyone leave it shuttered for decades? Richman’s latest novel, The Velvet Hours, is a beautiful novel about two women, the choices they make, and love in its many forms. A must read for fans of The Nightingale.
Dissension – Adrienne Monson
Vampire Leisha is caught in the middle of an eternal and bloody war between her people and immortals, an undying race sworn to destroy all vampires. It’s a different life from the one she had 2,000 years ago when she led a quiet life as a devoted mother. Leisha soon finds herself captured by the government, only to be saved by a mysterious human girl. Leisha and her newfound friend run for their lives while searching for the one thing that can bring an end to this escalating conflict–the prophecy child. Buy the Book
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Based on a true story, this haunting novel follows Sethe and her daughter Denver after they escape from slavery and run to Ohio. It’s tough to read twice, but once is mandatory. Buy the book
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It’s perhaps the most knocked-off novel in history with material ripe for rom-coms. But you’ve gotta read the original. Buy the book
One kiss is all it takes to change the course of history for two families. Marriages are crumbled, families are joined, and six children will grow up with a bond based on the shared disillusionment of their parents.
Commonwealth is a smart, thoughtful novel about the ties that bind us.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
An exquisite coming-of-age tale that tackled controversial topics—sexuality, religion andclassism—way before it was cool. Initially, Brontë published the book under the male-sounding pseudonym “Currer Bell.” Buy the book
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Nina Redmond loves being a literary matchmaker, finding the perfect book for each person. As a librarian in the city, that’s what she does all day. But when she loses her job, she heads out to the country, where she sets up a mobile bookshop, driving from town to town, sharing her love of reading.
The Bookshop on the Corner is a sweet read for all bibliophiles.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This classic was also published under a pseudonym, but when Emily died a year later, her sister Charlotte re-edited the intense love story about a young woman and her adopted brother and included Emily as the author. Buy the book
POPSUGAR founder Lisa Sugar writes her first book this Fall, and it’s got everything you could possibly want from the creator of a multimillion dollar media company: stellar advice, strong encouragement, and the tools you need to help you figure out what you truly want to do with your life and how to make it happen. Power Your Happy is told in Sugar’s signature style and will motivate you to figure out what’s working for you and what’s not, all designed to set you on your own course to happy.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The account of a high-society woman planning a party unfolds over the course of a day. Although Woolf denied the connection, it’s often compared to James Joyce’s Ulysses—but a helluva lot shorter. Buy the book
Eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell hasn’t eaten in months and believes herself to be living off manna from heaven. When a nurse is sent to care for the child, she finds herself responsible for the child’s very survival: is she witnessing a miracle or a murder?
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Initially rejected for its frankness about racism, the story of Janie, a black woman grappling with marriage, later became one of the most enduring works of the 20th century. Buy the book
Novelist Julie Prentice moves cross country with her family to get away from a stalker. She doesn’t know anyone in her new town, but then she meets a neighbor. When an accident happens on their street, she finds herself the target of unsettling harrasment once again. Fractured is a tense thrill ride that asks the question: do you ever really know your neighbors?
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
This chilling Gothic novel tells the story of a woman who marries a widower, but discovers that his late wife is still very much a part of their lives. Buy the book
When 16-year-old Lucy runs away with her older teacher to rural Pennsylvania, she looks forward to her new life. But her decision will have far-reaching repercussions for her older sister, Charlotte, who she leaves behind, and for her, once she discovers the true nature of her relationship. Cruel Beautiful World is a mesmerizing story about love, family, and obsession.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
OK, you’ve probably read this Pulitzer Prize-winning coming-of-age novel about racial injustice in the South. But read it again. Read it ten more times. Buy the book
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
Eleanor wants to do things differently today.
Today Will Be Different. She will do better with her husband. She will do better with her son. She won’t swear, and she will shower. But then life happens. From the acclaimed author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette comes a smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and thoughtful novel about how we reinvent ourselves and how we need to face the truth about our lives before we can truly change.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Angelou’s screed about literature’s power to overcome racism and trauma was on TheNew York Times best-seller list for two years. It’s that good. Buy the book
The Wangs had it all: a cosmetics empire and a huge fortune, but the financial crisis ruined all that. Now Charles Wang is taking his family on a road trip across America so that he can get his children safely stowed away and start his life anew in China. The Wangs vs. the World is a funny and touching novel about what it means to belong in America.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
It’s an emotional read, but this courageous novel based on Plath’s own experiences made it OK to talk about depression. Buy the book
“We were the Guineveres, and we could do anything we wanted.” Four girls named Guinevere, all dropped at the doorstep of The Sisters of Supreme Adoration during wartime. When four soldiers come to the convent in need of care, the Guineveres dream of getting out, falling in love, and finding their old families. The Guineveres is a beautiful debut literary novel by an author to watch.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Yes, the movie and the Broadway musical are good, too, but actually read the story of Celie and Nettie, OK? Buy the book
It all begins with a secret. Nadia Turner, a senior in high school, is mourning her mother’s suicide when she starts seeing the pastor’s son in secret. The Mothers, the elders from Church, weigh in on what they hear, what they see. Time passes, and we see how young love and secrets can change our lives. The Mothers is a gorgeous, layered novel that I couldn’t put down, one that you won’t want to end. Perfect for book clubs; the book everyone will be talking about this Fall.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Consider this 1989 best seller an artful, character-driven introduction to mahjong. Buy the book
We love Jen Weiner’s fiction, and we love her op-eds for The New York Times. For the first time, Weiner releases a collection of essays, and they are just as warm and funny as you’d imagine (and want) them to be. In Hungry Heart, she takes on marriage, love, parenthood, and that one Summer that she was called “the fat Jennifer” with grace, humor, and intelligence.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Read this heartwarming memoir about the unexpected deaths of Didion’s husband and daughter with a box of tissues. Actually, two. Buy the book
Jodi Picoult is never afraid to take on hot topics, and in Small Great Things, she tackles race and discrimination in a way that will grab hold of you and refuse to let you go. Meet Ruth Jefferson: she’s the best nurse in the labor and delivery ward of a Connecticut hospital. Meet Turk Bauer, he’s a new father, and also a white supremacist who does not want Ruth, who is black, touching his baby. When the hospital grants his request to keep Ruth away from his child, this decision will have far-reaching implications that change both of their lives. This page-turner is perfect for book clubs.
We all know about Albert Einstein and his genius, but history has forgotten another great mind with the same name. In The Other Einstein, we take a look at the life of Mitza Maric, Einstein’s wife, who was a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity has been debated for years. Is there room for more than one genius in a family?
Scandal brings Reed Stewart back to his hometown, a small town he’d rather forget. But once there, he encounters the one who got away, his first love, Becky Flowers, whom he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years, since prom might. Told through emails, text messages, and journal entries, The Boy Is Back is Meg Cabot at her best — giving us her trademark humor and heart while tackling sensitive issues like aging, hoarding, and fraud.
Paris For One by Jojo Moyes
The fabulous JoJo Moyes is back, this time with the short story, Paris For One, about a woman who finds her way in the most romantic city in the world. It’s paired with a collection of sweet short stories that are sure to satisfy.