Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes: Evvie hasn’t left her house much since her husband passed away. Then her best friend suggests that Dean Tenney, a former major league baseball player going through a crisis of his own, move into the apartment at the back of her house. Bonding over their difficult pasts, the two quickly become friends – and then more. Sweet, humorous, and heartwarming, this is the perfect read for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead: This moving work of historical fiction is set at an all-boys reform school in the South during the Civil Rights era. Two boys, Elwood and Turner, do their best to survive the appalling treatment at Nickel Academy. Like Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, this isn’t an easy read, but it is a necessary one. For fans of Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward and Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok: When Sylvie disappears on a trip to the Netherlands, her adoring younger sister Amy is determined to find her. What she discovers is a trove of family secrets: though Sylvie seemed perfect, she didn’t tell her sister everything. Searching for Sylvie Lee dives into issues of immigration, family, and trauma. Beautifully written and suspenseful, this is for fans of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and The Leavers by Lisa Ko.
The Plaza: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel by Julie Satow: The Plaza, one of New York’s most iconic hotels, has a past full of drama and disaster. From scandalous murders to visits from celebrities (The Beatles famously stayed there on their first U.S. visit), Satow draws you into the fascinating history of this landmark. For fans of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson and The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
Midnight Chicken & Other Recipes Worth Living For by Ella Risbridger: If spicy fish finger sandwiches and burnt-butter brownies sound up your alley, this is the cookbook/memoir for you. Risbridger openly shares heartening personal stories alongside her recipes, so it feels as though you’re cooking with a friend. For fans of Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.