• The cover of the book The Idiot

    The Idiot

    On her first day at Harvard in 1995, the most important thing Selin receives is her first email address. During that transformative freshman year, her world is expanded by fellow students in Cambridge, but mostly by e-correspondences with Hungarian mathematics student Ivan. Selin marvels at this new age of meta love letters: “And each message contained the one that had come before, so your own words came back to you—all the words you threw out, they came back.”

     
  • The cover of the book Henry, Himself

    Henry, Himself

    Nearing the end of the millennium and the end of his own life, 75-year-old everyman Henry Maxwell spends 1998 feeling as if his life is more complicated than ever. He doesn’t understand his children’s unhappiness, he feels unsafe in his changing neighborhood, and more than one peer has shuffled off their mortal coil. But he’s not dead yet. After several posthumous mentions in Wish You Were Here and Emily Alone, the Maxwell patriarch gets his own opportunity for self-reflection.

     
  • The cover of the book Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

    Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

    It’s 1993, and Paul Polydoris is a queer shapeshifter traveling across state and gender lines: Riot Grrl, leather cub, trade, lesbian; from Iowa City to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to San Francisco. In Lawlor’s debut, a bildungsroman inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Ovid’s The Metamorphosis, Paul embodies all gender identities and sexual orientations of the decade, even some (like trans and nonbinary) that weren’t yet mainstream.

     
  • The cover of the book The Spectators

    The Spectators

    As the sensationalist host of daytime-TV staple The Mattie M Show, the Jerry Springer-esque Matthew Miller encourages his guests to be their worst selves on live TV, from secret-crush segments to hidden secrets. But when two teenagers behind a deadly school shooting are revealed to be fans of the show, Matthew becomes the focus of his viewers’ insatiable need for sordid entertainment, as the details of his past life are uncovered.

     
  • The cover of the book Waiting for Tom Hanks

    Waiting for Tom Hanks

    Despite being a millennial who writes listicles, Annie is emotionally stuck in the ’80s and ’90s—specifically, classic rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. She pines for a love interest who doesn’t have to be Tom Hanks but must be of that era: vulnerable, snarky, disarming. When she gets a PA job on a film set and clashes with prankster lead Drew Danforth, everybody but Annie realizes she’s landed in a rom-com of her own.

     
  • The cover of the book The Editor

    The Editor

    Set in 1992 at the intersection of New York City publishing and the nationwide AIDS crisis, Rowley’s second novel delves into the unexplored third act of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s life. Here, she is the eponymous editor, acquiring a gay novelist’s debut manuscript. Drawn to his clearly autobiographical mother-son relationship, she encourages him to make peace with his all-but-estranged mother before discovering the fictional ending.

     
  • The cover of the book Attachments

    Attachments

    Back when email was still the Wild West of interoffice communications, a manager might have his IT guy monitor inboxes to make sure employees weren’t just sending each other chain letters all day. And that IT guy might unintentionally eavesdrop on the conversation between the newspaper copyeditor and the resident movie reviewer. And, in Rowell’s delightful debut novel, he just might fall in love with a pop-culture-savvy writer he’s never actually met.

     
  • The cover of the book Murder on the Left Bank

    Murder on the Left Bank

    Since 1998’s Murder in the Marais, Black has written nearly 20 murder mysteries set in Paris arrondissements, starring Aimée Leduc, a punky private investigator in secondhand Chanel. In the latest installment, Aimée must face down the Hand, the corrupt cabal responsible for her father’s murder, while fearing for her daughter’s wellbeing. Despite the passage of 20 years, Black draws on historical research and her own time living in Paris to keep the Leduc mysteries accurately embedded in the ’90s.

     
  • The cover of the book High Fidelity

    High Fidelity

    Top five desert island albums. Top five Elvis Costello songs. Top five episodes of Cheers. Top five… most memorable breakups? Reeling from his latest split, London record-shop owner Rob decides to revisit key relationships in an effort to decide whether he wants to commit to his recent ex, Laura—despite the scariness of settling down—or if he’s fated to always be making mixtapes for his next crush.

     
  • The cover of the book Someday, Someday, Maybe

    Someday, Someday, Maybe

    January 1995, and aspiring actress Franny has only six months left to make good on her three-year deadline of attaining Meryl Streep-levels of stardom. When her agent books her a promising role in a zombie movie and a hot actor in class starts paying attention to her, she seems to be on her way—except neither is a perfect fit. Drawing on her own pre-Gilmore Girls stardom, Graham infuses her debut novel with authentic make-it-or-break-it early ’90s energy.

     
  • The cover of the book Little Fires Everywhere

    Little Fires Everywhere

    Ng’s second novel opens with the picture-perfect Richardson family’s home going up in flames. But while this mysterious act of arson rattles the Shaker Heights community, what’s most combustible are the relationships between the residents and the unplanned factors threatening their suburban ideal—including a transient artist and her daughter, and the custody battle over a Chinese-American baby.

     
  • The cover of the book Look Alive Twenty-Five

    Look Alive Twenty-Five

    Despite over 25 installments since 1994’s One for the Money, the Stephanie Plum series is timeless, like your favorite local deli or eccentric family dinners—or, in the case of this bounty hunter who learns on the job, the threat of exploding cars. This time around (still solidly in the ’90s), Stephanie takes on a part-time job as the Red River Deli’s new manager in order to figure out why her predecessors keep disappearing out of thin air.

     
  • The cover of the book Althea & Oliver

    Althea & Oliver

    By the end of junior year, best friends Oliver and Althea are growing apart, and not for the typical reasons. Afflicted with Kleine-Levin syndrome, Oliver sleeps for weeks at a time, awakening with memory gaps and missing out on high school happenings. Worse, Althea did something unforgivable during one of Oliver’s semi-conscious periods. When he leaves their North Carolina hometown for a sleep study in New York, she feels compelled to follow and repair their friendship.

     
  • The cover of the book Model Behavior

    Model Behavior

    More than a decade after the success of his 1984 debut, Bright Lights, Big City, McInerney took another swing at the glittering New York City magazine world with this 1990s-set follow-up. Instead of documenting hedonistic club culture, Model Behavior examines the addictive nature of fame through a magazine profile writer nursing his broken heart with all manner of bad decisions after getting dumped by his model girlfriend.

     
  • The cover of the book Bridget Jones's Diary

    Bridget Jones's Diary

    Two brave women ushered singletons through the crucible of dating in the ’90s: Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones. Fielding’s field guide from the other side of the pond follows Bridget through a year of her life, as she resolves to go to the gym and stop wasting her time with lascivious men—only to be drawn into a love triangle with her naughty boss, Daniel Cleaver, and the aptly-named, insufferable Mark Darcy.