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Best Fiction of 2021

Library Journal's Best Books of 2021 list celebrates and highlights the essential books of the year. These fiction reads offer solace and community, insight, and joy.

Death of Murat Idrissi by Tommy Wieringa

Two women on a journey through the land of their fathers and mothers. A wrong turn. A bad decision. They had no idea, when they arrived in Morocco, that their usual freedoms as young European women would not be available. So, when the spry Saleh presents himself as their guide and saviour, they embrace his offer. He extracts them from a tight space, only to lead them inexorably into an even tighter one: and from this far darker space there is no exit. Their tale of confinement and escape is as old as the landscapes and cultures so vividly depicted in this story of where Europe and Africa come closest to meeting, even if they never quite touch

The personal librarian : a novel by Marie Benedict

"The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan's personal librarian-who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true. In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. Pierpont Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and well-known advocate for equality. Belle's complexion isn't dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white-her complexion is dark because she is African American.

Smile and Look Pretty by Amanda Pellegrino

Best friends Cate, Lauren, Olivia and Max are overworked and underpaid assistants to some of the most powerful people in the entertainment industries. Like the assistants who came before them, the women know they have to pay their dues and abide the demeaning tasks and verbal abuse from their bosses in order to climb the ladders to their dream jobs. But as they are passed over for promotions and the toxic office environments reach a breaking point, the women secretly start an anonymous blog detailing their experiences, which snowballs into hundreds of others coming forward with stories of their own. Confronted with newfound viral fame and the possibility of their identities being revealed, the assistants have to contend with the life-changing consequences of speaking out against those who refuse to share the power.

Zabor, or the psalms by Kamel Daoud

"A fable, parable, and confession, the second novel from the acclaimed author of The Meursault Investigation pays homage to the essential need for fiction and to the insolent freedom afforded by an adopted language. Having lost his mother and been shunnedby his father, Zabor grows up in the company of books, which afford him a new language. Ever since he can remember, he has been convinced that he has a gift: if he writes, he will stave off death; those captured in the sentences of his notebooks will live for longer. Like a kind of inverted Scheherazade saving his fellow men, he experiments night after night with the delirious power of the imagination. On this particular evening, all the progeny of his stepmother come knocking at the door: his father isgoing to die and perhaps only Zabor is capable of delaying the fateful moment. Sitting next to the father who has ostracized him, the son writes compulsively, retracing an existence characterized by strangeness, abandonment, and humiliation, but also by wondrous encounters with countless fictional worlds that he alone in the entire village has ever had access to"--

Brotherhood by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr

"Under the regime of the so-called Brotherhood, two young people are publicly executed for having loved each other. In response, their mothers begin a secret correspondence, their only outlet for the grief they share and each woman’s personal reckoning with a leadership that would take her beloved child’s life. At the same time, spurred on by their indignation at what seems to be an escalation of The Brotherhood’s brutality, a band of intellectuals and free-thinkers seeks to awaken the conscience of the cowed populace and foment rebellion by publishing an underground newspaper. While they grapple with the implications of what they have done, the regime’s brutal leader begins a personal crusade to find the responsible parties, and bring them to his own sense of justice....Mbougar Sarr explores the ways in which resistance and heroism can often give way to cowardice, all while giving voice to the moral ambiguities and personal struggles involved in each of his characters’ search to impose the values they hold most dear." --publisher's website

No gods, no monsters : a novel by Cadwell Turnbull

When creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, setting off a chain of seemingly unrelated events, people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase and protests erupt globally-until the world finds out what has frightened the monsters out of the dark

The unbroken : magic of the lost, book one by C Clark

"Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought. Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet's edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne. Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren't for sale"--

A spindle splintered by Alix E Harrow

"USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story. Featuring Arthur Rackham's original illustrations for The Sleeping Beauty, fractured and reimagined. "A vivid, subversive and feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, where implacable destiny is no match for courage, sisterhood, stubbornness and a good working knowledge of fairy tales." -Katherine Arden It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no-one has lived past twenty-one. Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's lastbirthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate"--

The Jasmine throne by Tasha Suri

"Set in a world inspired by historical India, The Jasmine Throne begins a sweeping new epic fantasy trilogy in which a captive princess and a servant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies--and eventually, much more than allies--on a dark journey to save their empire. Imprisoned by her tyrannical brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters -- but is now little more than a decaying ruin. Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini's chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides. Butwhen Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya's true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to claim a throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of anempire"--

She who became the sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

"Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun, a bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy. To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything "I refuse to be nothing..." In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness... In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family's eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received bythe family's clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected. When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses herbrother's identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate. After her sanctuary is destroyedfor supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother's abandoned greatness"--

The reading list : a novel by Sara Nisha Adams

"Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries. Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home. When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again."--book jacket

Catch the rabbit by Lana Bastaesiac

Two inseparable childhood friends who haven't seen each other in twelve years, Lejla and Sara, take a road trip from Bosnia to Vienna to search for Lejla's exiled brother and contend with the chaos of their relationship.

The five wounds : a novel by Kirstin Valdez Quade

"From an award-winning storyteller comes a stunning debut novel following a New Mexican family's extraordinary year of love and sacrifice. It's Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans. Their reunion sets her own life down a startling path. Vivid, tender, darkly funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby's first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo's mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel's mother, whom Angel isn't speaking to;and disapproving Tio Tive, keeper of the family's history. In the absorbing, realist tradition of Elizabeth Strout and Jonathan Franzen, Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their strugglesto parent children they may not be equipped to save"--

L.A. weather by Maraia Amparo Escandaon

"FORECAST: Storm clouds are on the horizon in L.A. Weather, a fun, fast-paced novel of an affluent Mexican-American family from the author of the #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller Esperanza's Box of Saints L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, theweather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He's harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters-Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers-are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way. With quick-wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandaon follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down"--

Velvet was the night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a riveting noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome thug, and the mystery of the missing woman that brings them together. 1970s Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger. Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman--and journeying deeper into Leonora's secret life of student radicals and dissidents. Meanwhile, someone else is also lookingfor Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric thug who longs to escape his own life: He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock 'n' roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he comes to observe Maite from a distance--and grows more and more obsessed with this woman who shares his love of music, and the unspoken loneliness of his heart. Now as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the secrets behind Leonora's disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies aiming to protect Leonora's secrets--at gunpoint"--

The great mistake by Jonathan Lee

"From the acclaimed author of High Dive comes an enveloping, exultant novel of New York City at the turn of the twentieth century, a story of one man's rise to fame and fortune, and his murder in a case of mistaken identity. On Friday the 13th of November, 1903, a famous man was killed on Park Avenue in broad daylight by a stranger. It was neither a political act nor a crime of passion. It was a mistake. The victim was Andrew Haswell Green, the "Father of Greater New York," who shaped the city as we knowit. Without him there would be no Central Park, no Metropolitan Museum of Art, no Museum of Natural History, no New York Public Library. His influence was everywhere, yet he died alone, misunderstood, feeling that his whole life might have been, after all, a great mistake. A work of tremendous depth and piercing emotion, The Great Mistake is a portrait of a self-made man--farm boy to urban visionary; the reimagining of a murder investigation that shook the city; and the moving story of a singular individual who found the world closed off to him, and, in spite of all odds, enlarged it"--

Annie and the wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax

"Annie Oakley's Wild West Americana and time travel come together in this genre-defying novel that explores trauma and the cost of female revenge. Ruth McClintock is obsessed with the past. For nearly a decade, she has been studying Annie Oakley, convinced that the legendary sharpshooter experienced a scarring event in adolescence that led her to fight for the right of every American woman to own and operate a gun. This fruitless search has cost Ruth her doctorate, a book deal, and her fiancae. But Ruth may finally have the evidence she is looking for. She has managed to hunt down a journal purporting to be a "true account" of Oakley's midlife struggles, including secret visits to psychologist Josef Breuer and the desire for vengeance against the "Wolves," or the men who have wronged her. With the help of Reece, a tech-savvy senior at the local high school, Ruth attempts to establish the journal's provenance, but she begins to have out-of-body episodes that she soon believes to be time travel, taking herthrough Annie's lived experiences. As she solves Annie's mysteries, she also confronts her own, from the reasons behind her teenage sister's suicide to visions of a tragedy in her Minnesota town that she might be able to prevent"--

Libertie : a novel by Kaitlyn Greenidge

"Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her mother, a physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie will go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie feels stifled by her mother's choices and is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it--for herself and for generations to come"--

Body Shocks : Extreme Tales of Body Horror by Ellen (EDT) Datlow

The most terrifying thing that you can possibly imagine is your own body in the hands of a monster. Or worse, in the hands of another human being In this definitive anthology of body horror selected by a World Horror Grandmaster, you’ll find the unthinkable and the shocking: a couture designer preparing for an exquisitely grotesque runway show; a vengeful son seeking the parent who bred him as plasma donor; a celebrity-kink brothel that inflicts plastic surgery on sex workers; and organ-harvesting doctors who dissect a living man without anesthetic

The final girl support group by Grady Hendrix

"In horror movies, the final girl is the one who's left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious, a victim and a hero. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her? Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she's not alone. For more than a decade she's been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette's worst fears are realized-someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again. But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife . . . they will never, ever give up"-- Provided by publisher

The last house on needless street by Catriona Ward

"Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking and immersive read perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Haunting of Hill House. "The new face of literary dark fiction." -Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes "The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." -Stephen King In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family ofthree. A teenage girl who isn't allowed outside, not after last time. A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory. And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible. An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all"--

The removed : a novel by Brandon Hobson

"Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago--from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson"--

Bolla by Pajtim Statovci

"From the author of Crossing--a National Book Award finalist--comes a dazzling tale full of fury, tenderness, longing, and lust. April 1995. Arsim is a twenty-two-year-old, recently-married student at the University of Pristina, keeping his head down to gain a university degree in a time and place deeply hostile to Albanians. In a cafae he meets a young man named Milos, a Serb. Before the day is out, everything has changed for both of them, and within a week two milestones erupt in Arsim's married life: his wife announces her first pregnancy, and he begins a life in secret. After these febrile beginnings, Arsim and Milos's unlikely affair is derailed by the outbreak of war, which sends Arsim's fledgling family abroad and the timid Milos spiraling down a dark path. Years later, deported back to Pristina after a spell in prison, Arsim, alone and hopeless, finds himself in a broken reality that completely questions his past. Entwined with their story is a recreated legend of a demonic serpent, Bolla: an unearthly tale that gives Arsim and Milos a language through which to reflect what they once had. With luminous prose and a delicate eye, Statovci delivers a relentless novel of desire, destruction, intimacy, and the different fronts of war"--

The killing hills by Chris Offutt

"Mick Hardin, a combat veteran now working as an Army CID agent, returns home on a leave that is almost done. His wife is about to give birth, but they aren't getting along. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. Are they convinced she can't handle it, or is there something else at work? She calls on Mick who, with his investigation experience and his familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar. As he delves into the investigation, he dodges his commanding officer's increasingly urgent calls while attempting to head off further murders. And he needs to talk to his wife. With an investigator-hero unlike any other in fiction, The Killing Hills is a dark and witty novel of betrayal and the way it so often shades into violence"--

Harlem shuffle by Colson Whitehead

"To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Ray Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time. See, cash is tight, especially with all those installment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who also doesn't ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa -- the "Waldorf of Harlem" -- and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes. "--

Reprieve : a novel by James Han Mattson

"A chilling and blisteringly relevant literary novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room-a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession withfear as entertainment. On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, "reprieve," they'll win a substantial cash prize-a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house's long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants. Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager who's been uprooted from her childhood home after the sudden loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a desperate and impressionable hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the United States in a besotted search for his former English teacher. As each character's journey unfurls and overlaps, deceits and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice are revealed-forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe. A startlingly soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism, and seamlessly threads together trial transcripts, evidence descriptions, and deeply layered individual narratives to present a chilling portrait of this tangled American life"--

What storm, what thunder by Myriam J Chancy

"At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of thecharacters affected by the disaster--Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonnae, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, witnessis given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man. Brilliantly crafted, fiercely imagined, and deeply haunting, What Storm, What Thunder is a singular, stunning record, a reckoning of the heartbreaking trauma of disaster, and-at the same time-an unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit"--

Cloud cuckoo land : a novel by Anthony Doerr

"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are children trying to figure out the world around them, and to survive.

Matrix : a novel by Lauren Groff

"Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease. At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world"--

The prophets : a novel by Robert Jones

"A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence"--

Once there were wolves : a novel by Charlotte McConaghy

"From the author of the beloved national bestseller Migrations, a #1 IndieNext pick, a gorgeous and pulse-pounding new novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands. Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska. Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she's witnessed-inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is mauled to death, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn't make the kill, then is something more sinister at play? Charlotte McConaghy's Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves-if she isn't consumed by a wild that was once her refuge"--

Open water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

"In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists-he a photographer, she a dancer-and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year they find their relationship tested by forces beyondtheir control. Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is at once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body; to be vulnerable whenyou are only respected for strength; to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, and blistering emotional intelligence, Caleb Azumah Nelson gives a profoundly sensitive portrait of romantic love in all its feverish waves andcomforting beauty. This is one of the most essential debut novels of recent years, heralding the arrival of a stellar and prodigious young talent"--

Bewilderment : a novel by Richard Powers

The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain…Bewilderment

Look for Me and I'll Be Gone : Stories by John Edgar Wideman

Forty years after John Edgar Wideman’s first collection of stories was published, he continues to produce new stories of the highest caliber and relevancy. Here, in his sixth story collection, he revisits themes that have infused his work for the duration of his career: family, loss, the penal system, Pittsburgh, physical and emotional life, art, and memory. Stories include “Separation,” which begins with a boy standing alone beside his grandfather’s coffin, progressing to a scene with the narrator’s grandmother paying the funeral director weekly installments for the price of the casket. “Arizona,” which appeared in The New Yorker, is written in the form of a letter to singer Freddie Jackson, whose song “You Are My Lady,” enters the story through a car radio—a car that conveys the narrator’s son and his lawyers to a prison cell in Arizona. “Atlanta Murders” contemplates James Baldwin’s Evidence of Things Not Seen, written about the Atlanta child murders from 1979 to 1981, beginning with a riff on a “why-did-the chicken-cross-the-road” joke that takes a dark turn.

After the sun by Jonas Eika

"Under Cancún's hard blue sky, a beach boy provides a canvas for tourists' desires, seeing deep into the world's underbelly. An enigmatic encounter in Copenhagen takes an IT consultant down a rabbit hole of speculation that proves more seductive than sex. The collapse of a love triangle in London leads to a dangerous, hypnotic addiction. In the Nevada desert, a grieving man tries to merge with an unearthly machine. After the Sun opens portals onto our newest realities, haunting the margins of a globalized world that's both saturated with yearning and brutally transactional. Infused with an irrepressible urgency, Eika's fiction seems to have conjured these far-flung characters and their encounters in a single breath. Juxtaposing startling beauty with grotesquery, balancing the hyperrealistic with the fantastical--"as though the worlds he describes are being viewed through an ultraviolet filter," in one Danish reviewer's words--he has invented new modes storytelling for an era when the old ones no longer suffice"--

The twilight zone : a novel by Nona Fernández

"It's 1984 in Chile, in the middle of the Pinochet dictatorship. A member of the secret police walks into the office of a dissident magazine and finds a reporter, who records his testimony. The narrator of Nona Fernández's mesmerizing and terrifying novel The Twilight Zone is a child when she first sees this man's face on the magazine's cover with the words "I Tortured People." His complicity in the worst crimes of the regime and his commitment to speaking about them haunt the narrator into her adulthood and career as a writer and documentarian. Like a secret service agent from the future, through extraordinary feats of the imagination, Fernández follows the "man who tortured people" to places that archives can't reach, into the sinister twilight zone of history where morning routines, a game of chess, Yuri Gagarin, and the eponymous TV show of the novel's title coexist with the brutal yet commonplace machinations of the regime."--Amazon

The book of mother : a novel by Violaine Huisman

Beautiful and charismatic, Catherine, a.k.a. "Maman," smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard, and loves too extravagantly. During a joyful and chaotic childhood in Paris, her daughter Violaine wouldn't have it any other way. But when Maman is hospitalized after a third divorce and a breakdown, everything changes. As the story of Catherine's own traumatic childhood and adolescence unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive

The Italian by Shukri Mabkhout

In Tunisia at the turn of the 80s and 90s, an era of great tensions and political and social changes, the story of a revolutionary love and dream destined to succumb in the clash with the harsh reality of a country in which repression, malpractice and general degradation crush the ambitions and dreams of the individual.

The art of losing by Alice Zeniter

"A gripping, multigenerational tale of a French Algerian woman, her family's past, and the legacies of colonialism"--

Mango, mambo, and murder by Raquel V Reyes

Moving from New York to Coral Shores, Miami, food anthropologist Miriam gets a short-term job as a Caribbean cooking expert on a Spanish-language morning TV show, which sets the stage for murder--one that could be the recipe for her own death.

Lightning strike : a Cork O'Connor mystery ; prequel by William Kent Krueger

"Aurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1963, it is the whole world to 12-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself. Cork’s father, Liam O’Connor, is Aurora’s sheriff, and it is his job to confirm that the man’s death was the result of suicide, as all the evidence suggests. In the shadow of his father’s official investigation, Cork begins to look for answers on his own. Together, father and son face the ultimate test of choosing between what their heads tell them is true and what their hearts know is right." --book jacket

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

"Chicago, 1944: twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, the California concentration camp where they have been "interned" by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled in Chicago, where Aki's older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier as a forerunner of the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family's reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train. Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose's death a suicide, in part because the coroner's examination revealed Rose had recently had an abortion. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life-nor can she imagine Rose carelessly getting pregnant. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth. Based on a true crime that terrorized the resettled Japanese American community in Chicago, and inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history"--

Chronicles from the land of the happiest people on earth by Wole Soyinka

"A towering figure in world literature gives us a tour de force, his first novel in nearly one-half century: a savagely satiric, gleefully irreverent, rollicking, fictional meditation on how power and greed can corrupt the soul of a nation. ("You don't see things the same way when you encounter a voice like that."-Toni Morrison) In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from Dr. Menka's hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Dr. Menka shares the grisly news with hisoldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer, and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Payne-the life of every party- who is about to assume a prestigious post at the United Nations in New York. It now seems that someone is determined that he not make it there.Neither Dr. Menka nor Duyole knows why, or how close the enemy is, how powerful. Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is at once a literary hoot, a crafty whodunit, and a scathing indictment of Nigeria's political elite. It is a stirring call to arms against the abuse of power from one of that country's fiercest political activists, who just happens to be a global literary giant"--

A thorn in the saddle by Rebekah Weatherspoon

When she discovers that big-headed rancher Jesse Pleasant has a softer side during a painfully awkward showing at a community date auction, former tech consultant Lily-Grace Leroux warms to the sparks flying between them, never dreaming that she could have her own happily ever after

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley

As a master of disguise, Thomasina Wynchester can be a polite young lady—or a bawdy old man. She’ll do whatever it takes to solve the cases her family takes on. But when Tommy’s beautiful new client turns out to be the highborn lady she’s secretly smitten with, more than her mission is at stake . . . Bluestocking Miss Philippa York doesn’t believe in love. Her heart didn’t pitter-patter when she was betrothed to a duke, nor did it break when he married someone else. All Philippa desires is to decode a centuries-old manuscript to keep a modern-day villain from claiming credit for work that wasn’t his. She hates that she needs a man’s help to do it—so she’s delighted to discover the clever, charming baron at her side is in fact a woman. But as she and Tommy grow closer and the stakes of their discovery higher, more than just their hearts are at risk.

Love, chai, and other four-letter words by Annika Sharma

"Kiran Mathur knows firsthand just how dangerous love can be. After all, her sister's marriage in India nearly destroyed Kiran's family. So she's decided to redeem romance herself-by not falling for anyone who might disappoint her parents. That is, untilshe meets her new neighbor Nash Hawthorne..."--

A lot like adiós : a novel by Alexis Daria

"After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She's perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago. Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents' demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he's the successful co-owner of LA's hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. It's the last place Gabe wants to go, but when Michelle is unexpectedly brought on board to spearhead the new marketing campaign, everything Gabe's been running from catches up with him. Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm's length or picking up right where they left off--in her bed. As they work on the campaign, old feelings resurface, and their reunion takes a sexy turn. Facing mounting pressure from their families--who think they're dating--and growing uncertainty about their futures, can they resolve their past mistakes, or is it only a matter of time before Gabe says adiós again?"--Provided by publisher

The love con by Seressia Glass

"He's cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass. Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital-how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way. There's just one catch: the challenge for the final round is allabout iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants' significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show. Role-playing acouple in love will force them to explore what they're hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she's ever had?"--

Act your age, Eve Brown : a novel by Talia Hibbert

When his life is taken over by a purple-haired tornado of a woman named Eve Brown, B&B owner Jacob Wayne tries to fight his attraction to this sunny, chaotic woman who is his natural-born enemy

Project Hail Mary : a novel by Andy Weir

The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

Winter's orbit by Everina Maxwell

"Summoned before the Emperor, Prince Kiem-a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor's least favorite grandchild-is commanded to renew the empire's bonds with its newest vassal planet. The prince must marry Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince of the empire. But the Jainan suspects his late husband's death was no accident. And Prince Kiem discovers that Jainan is a suspect himself. But broken bonds between the empire and its vassal planets leaves the entire empire vulnerable,so together they must prove that their union is strong while uncovering a possible conspiracy. In the shadows of a secret past and an insecure future, Kiem an Jainan must come together to protect both of their worlds"--

That old country music : stories by Kevin Barry

"Stories of rural Ireland in the classic mode: full of love (and sex), melancholy and magic"--

Five Tuesdays in winter : stories by Lily King

"With Writers & Lovers and Euphoria, Lily King's books catapulted onto bestseller and best-of-the-year lists across the country, further cementing her reputation as one of the most "brilliant" (NYTBR), "wildly talented" (Chicago Tribune), and beloved authors in contemporary fiction. Now, for the first time, King collects ten of her finest short stories-half published in leading literary magazines and half brand new-opening fresh realms of discovery for fans and new readers alike. Told in the intimate voices of uniquely endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller's unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface,a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl's loss of innocence in her summer job becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in hisgranddaughter's hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping slyly into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King's enduring subject of love"--

The souvenir museum : stories by Elizabeth McCracken

"Award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken is an undisputed virtuoso of the short story, and this new collection features her most vibrant and heartrending work to date"--

Milk blood heat : stories by Dantiel W Moniz

"Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another. A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter-whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family's church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road trip with their father's ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them. Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth, announcing the arrival of a bright new literary star"--

First person singular : stories by Haruki Murakami

"A riveting new collection of short stories from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami. The eight masterful stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator: a lonely man. Some of them (like "With the Beatles," "Cream," and "On a Stone Pillow" ) are nostalgic looks back at youth. Others are set in adulthood--"Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova," "Carnaval," "Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey" and the stunning title story. Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Haruki himself is present, as in "The Yakult Swallows Poetry Collection." Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides. The stories all touch beautifully on love and loss, childhood and death . . . all with a signature Murakami twist"--

Prayer for the living : stories by Ben Okri

"Okri's new collection of short stories blur parallel realities and walk the line between darkness and magic. Is what you see all there is? Look again. Playful, frightening, even shocking--the stories in this collection blur the lines between illusion and reality. Stories here are set in London, in Byzantium, in the ghetto, in the Andes, in a printer's shop in Spain. The characters include a murderer, a writer, a detective, a man in a cave, a man in a mirror, two little boys, a prison door, and the author himself. There are twenty-three stories in all. Each one will make you wonder if what you see in the world is all there is ..."--Publisher

Afterparties : stories by Anthony Veasna So

"A debut story collection about Cambodian-American life-immersive and comic, yet unsparing-that marks the arrival of an indisputable new talent in American fiction"--

Filthy animals by Brandon (Brandon L Taylor

"In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, set among young creatives in the American midwest, a young man treads delicate emotional waters as he navigates a series of sexually fraught encounters with two dancers in an open relationship, forcing him to weigh his vulnerabilities against his loneliness. In other stories, a young woman battles with the cancers draining her body and her family; menacing undercurrents among a group of teenagers explode in violence on a winter night; a little girl tears through a house like a tornado, driving her babysitter to the brink; and couples feel out the jagged edges of connection, comfort, and cruelty"--

Songs for the flames : stories by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

"A new collection of electric, searing stories from award-winning, bestselling author Juan Gabriel Vasquez. The characters in Songs for the Flames are men and women touched by violence -- sometimes directly, sometimes only in passing -- but whose lives are changed forever, consumed by fire, and by unexpected encounters and unyielding forces. A photographer becomes obsessed with the traumatic past that an elegant woman, a fellow guest staying at a countryside ranch, would rather leave behind. A military reunion forces a soldier to confront a troubling history, both personal and on a larger scale. And in a tour de force piece, the search for a book leds a writer to the fascinating story of why a woman is buried next to a graveyard, rather than in it -- andthe remarkable account of her journey from France to Colombia as a child orphan. Juan Gabriel Vaasquez returns to stories with these nine morally complex tales, fresh proof of his narrative versatility and his profound understanding of the lives of others. There's a romantic wistfulness that combusts with the realities of dangerous histories, both personal and political, to throw these characters into the flames from which they either emerge purified, reborn, or burned and destroyed"--

Razorblade tears : a novel by S Cosby

"A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid. The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah's white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss. Derek's father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy. Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys. Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby's Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change - and maybe even redemption"--

My heart is a chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

"In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones. "Some girls just don't know how to die..." Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, written by the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones, called "a literary master" by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and"one of our most talented living writers" by Tommy Orange. Alma Katsu calls My Heart Is a Chainsaw "a homage to slasher films that also manages to defy and transcend genre." On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life. Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indianoutcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies...especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood andmasked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold. Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges...a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph"--

Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo

This horrifying retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale set in present-day Chicago is an edge of your seat, chills up the spine, thrill ride. ‪ When Detective Lauren Medina sees the calling card at a murder scene in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, she knows the Pied Piper has returned. When another teenager is brutally murdered at the same lagoon where her sister's body was found floating years before, she is certain that the Pied Piper is not just back, he's looking for payment he's owed from her. Lauren's torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister's murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects

The book of accidents : a novel by Chuck Wendig

"A new masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers about a family returning to their hometown--and to the dark past that haunts them still. Long ago, Nathan Graves lived in a house in the country with his abusive father--and has never told his family what happened in that house. Long ago, Maddie Graves was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn't--and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures. Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania. Now Nate and Maddie are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver. And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own, and a taste for dark magic. This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family--and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this fight: their love for each other"--

The turnout : a novel by Megan E Abbott

"Bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott's revelatory and mesmerizing new novel set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio"--

Dream girl : a novel by Laura Lippman

Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse. Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the "real" Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She's a figment born of a writer's imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry's life? And why does no one believe that the call even happened? Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved. And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused - and so terrified

A splendid ruin : a novel by Megan Chance

"After her mother's death, penniless May Kimble lives a lonely life until an aunt she didn't know existed summons her to San Francisco. There she's welcomed into the wealthy Sullivan family and their social circle. Initially overwhelmed by the opulence ofher new life, May soon senses that dark mysteries lurk in the shadows of the Sullivan mansion. Her glamorous cousin often disappears in the night. Her aunt wanders about in a laudanum fog. And a maid keeps hinting that May is in danger. Trapped by betrayal, madness, and murder, May stands to lose everything, including her freedom, at the hands of those she trusts most. Then, on an early April morning, San Francisco comes tumbling down. Out of the smoldering ruins, May embarks on a harrowing road to reclaim what is hers"--

Girls with bright futures : a novel by Tracy Dobmeier

"Alicia is a tech giant, wealthy beyond compare. Kelly is a stay-at-home mother and Stanford legacy. Maren makes three: single, broke, and out of place among the rich and elite. All their daughters are natural choices for Stanford: except the school can only recommend one student. As the competition heats up, an attempt is made on one of the girl's lives and the community spirals into panic. Now the mothers have to decide if one of them is capable of murder, or even worse, one of their own children The Admissions meets Big Little Lies in DO NOT ADMIT, a book club black comedy of three prep school families locked in competition for a single spot at Stanford when an attempted murder reveals the dark underbelly of their privileged community"--

Nightbitch : a novel by Rachel Yoder

An artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced that she is turning into a dog and, as her symptoms intensify, struggles to keep her alter-canine-identity a secret, until she meets a group of mothers who may also be more than what they seem

Hana Khan carries on by Uzma Jalaluddin

"A young woman juggles pursuing her dream job in radio while helping her family compete with the new halal restaurant across the street, in this sparkling new rom-com by the author of Ayesha at Last. Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have achance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she'll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening her mother's restaurant. When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighborhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana's growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant-who might not be a complete stranger after all. As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be"--
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