Thicker than Water: A Memoir by Kerry Washington
While on a drive in Los Angeles, on a seemingly average afternoon, Kerry Washington received a text message that would send her on a life-changing journey of self-discovery. In an instant, her very identity was torn apart, with everything she thought she knew about herself thrown into question.
In Thicker than Water, Washington gives readers an intimate view into both her public and private worlds—as a mother, daughter, wife, artist, advocate, and trailblazer. Chronicling her upbringing and life’s journey thus far, she reveals how she faced a series of challenges and setbacks, effectively hid childhood traumas, met extraordinary mentors, managed to grow her career, and crossed the threshold into stardom and political advocacy, ultimately discovering her truest self and, with it, a deeper sense of belonging.
Throughout this profoundly moving and beautifully written memoir, Washington attempts to answer the questions so many have struggled with: Who am I? What is my truest and most authentic self? How do I find a deeper sense of connection and belonging? With grace and honesty, she inspires readers to search for—and find—themselves.
Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig
It’s autumn in the town of Harrow, but something besides the season is changing there.
Because in that town there is an orchard, and in that orchard, seven most unusual trees. And from those trees grows a new sort of apple: strange, beautiful, with skin so red it’s nearly black.
Take a bite of one of these apples, and you will desire only to devour another. And another. You will become stronger. More vital. More yourself, you will believe. But then your appetite for the apples and their peculiar gifts will keep growing—and become darker.
This is what happens when the townsfolk discover the secret of the orchard. Soon it seems that everyone is consumed by an obsession with the magic of the apples… and what’s the harm, if it is making them all happier, more confident, more powerful?
Devil Makes Three by Ben Fountain
Haiti, 1991. When a violent coup d’état leads to the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, American expat Matt Amaker is forced to abandon his idyllic, beachfront scuba business. With the rise of a brutal military dictatorship and an international embargo threatening to destroy even the country’s most powerful players, some are looking to gain an advantage in the chaos–and others are just looking to make it through another day.
Desperate for money—and survival—Matt teams up with his best friend and business partner Alix Variel, the adventurous only son of a socially prominent Haitian family. They set their sights on legendary shipwrecks that have been rumored to contain priceless treasures off a remote section of Haiti’s southern coast. Their ambition and exploration of these disastrous wrecks come with a cascade of ill-fated incidents—one that involves Misha, Alix’s erudite sister, who stumbles onto an arms-trafficking ring masquerading as a U.S. government humanitarian aid office, and rookie CIA case officer Audrey O’Donnell, who finds herself doing clandestine work on an assignment that proves to be more difficult and dubious than she could have possibly imagined.
Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang
A smog has spread. Food crops are rapidly disappearing. A chef escapes her dying career in a dreary city to take a job at a decadent mountaintop colony seemingly free of the world’s troubles.
There, the sky is clear again. Rare ingredients abound. Her enigmatic employer and his visionary daughter have built a lush new life for the global elite, one that reawakens the chef to the pleasures of taste, touch, and her own body.
In this atmosphere of hidden wonders and cool, seductive violence, the chef’s boundaries undergo a thrilling erosion. Soon she is pushed to the center of a startling attempt to reshape the world far beyond the plate.
Penance by Eliza Clark
On a beach in a run-down seaside town on the Yorkshire coastline, sixteen-year-old Joan Wilson is set on fire by three other schoolgirls.
Nearly a decade after the horrifying murder, journalist Alec Z. Carelli has written the definitive account of the crime, drawn from hours of interviews with witnesses and family members, painstaking historical research, and most notably, correspondence with the killers themselves. The result is a riveting snapshot of lives rocked by tragedy, and a town left in turmoil.
But how much of the story is true?
People Collide by Isle McElroy
When Eli leaves the cramped Bulgarian apartment he shares with Elizabeth, his more organized and successful wife, he discovers that he now inhabits her body. Not only have he and his wife traded bodies but Elizabeth, living as Eli, has disappeared without a trace. What follows is Eli’s search across Europe to America for his missing wife—and a roving, no-holds-barred exploration of gender and embodied experience.
As Eli comes closer to finding Elizabeth—while learning to exist in her body—he begins to wonder what effect this metamorphosis will have on their relationship and how long he can maintain the illusion of living as someone he isn’t. Will their new marriage wither completely in each other’s bodies? Or is this transformation the very thing Eli and Elizabeth need for their marriage to thrive?
The Burning of the World: The Great Chicago Fire and the War for a City’s Soul by Scott W. Berg
In October of 1871, Chicagoans knew they were due for the “big one”—a massive, uncontrollable fire that would decimate the city. There hadn’t been a meaningful rain since July, and several big blazes had nearly outstripped the fire department’s scant resources. On October 8, when Kate Leary’s barn caught fire, so began a catastrophe that would forever change the soul of the city.
Leary was a diligent, hardworking Irish woman, no more responsible for the fire than anyone else in the city at that time. But the conflagration that spread from her property quickly overtook the neighborhood, and before too long the floating embers had spread to the far reaches of the city. Families took to the streets with everything they could carry. Grain towers threatened to blow. The Chicago River boiled. Over the course of the next forty-eight hours, Chicago saw the biggest and most destructive disaster the United States had ever endured, and Leary would be its scapegoat.
Out of the ashes rose not just new skyscrapers, tenements, and homes, but also a new political order. The city’s elite saw an opportunity to rebuild on their terms, cracking down on crime and licentiousness and fortifying a business-friendly environment. But the city’s working class recognized a naked power grab that would challenge their traditions, hurt their chances of rebuilding, and move power out of elected officials’ hands and into private interests. As quickly as the firefight ended, another battle for the future of the city began between the town’s business elites and the poor and immigrant working class.
The World According to Joan Didion by Evelyn McDonnell
One of the first books to be published after the revered writer’s death in 2021, The World According to Joan Didion is a literary companion for those embarking on new journeys and a guide to innovative ways of being. It will radically transform the way you explore the world, and will help you answer the question as you sit in a café, or on a plane or train, pondering the future: What would Joan Didion have seen?
This Is Salvaged by Vauhini Vara
Pushing intimacy to its limits in prose of unearthly beauty, Vauhini Vara explores the nature of being a child, parent, friend, sibling, neighbor, or lover, and the relationships between self and others. A young girl reads the encyclopedia to her elderly neighbor, who is descending into dementia. A pair of teenagers seek intimacy as phone-sex operators. A competitive sibling tries to rise above the drunken mess of her own life to become a loving aunt. One sister consumes the ashes of another. And, in the title story, an experimental artist takes on his most ambitious project yet: constructing a life-size ark according to the Bible’s specifications. In a world defined by estrangement, where is communion to be found? The characters in This Is Salvaged, unmoored in turbulence, are searching fervently for meaning, through one another.