Sabrina & Corina
These short stories feature Latina characters set against the stark and mountainous backdrop of Colorado. Each of these women is a victim of the world, as her heritage and body are used and abused by those around her. Still, they refuse to let that diminish their inner fire. This collection centers vivid culture and the search for a sense of home, wherever that might be.
If you’re looking to cry some happy tears, then The Editor is the book for you. James Smale has been working hard to make it as a writer for years in the cutthroat literary environment of New York City, and he finally achieves his dream: he sells his book to a major publishing house. To make matters even more intriguing, his editor is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The warmth of this novel will touch your heart, and the mystery weaved throughout will keep those pages turning.
Where Reasons End
This heartbreaking work was written in the days, weeks, and months after Yiyun Li lost her teenage son to suicide. Profound and heart-wrenching, the novel imagines a discussion between mother and child in a place where time doesn’t matter. Explanations and understanding aren’t required, just honest conversation and pure thoughts. It’s a beautiful portrait of grief.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
This raw novel was one of the most anticipated debuts of 2019, and for good reason. It’s a testament to the power of stories in all our lives, as the main character writes this book as a letter to his mother who cannot read. It’s a gorgeous chronicle of the bond between mother and son, while also taking a close look at the complexity of race, violence, and class struggles in today’s America.
Good Luck with That
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends since they were teenagers. When Emerson dies, her wish is that her friends conquer the fears that held them back as kids and still do as adults. But what Georgia and Marley quickly realize is that it’s not just about the past, it’s about coming to terms with who they are and loving the people they’ve become. After all, accepting yourself as you are is one of the hardest things you can do.
Once More We Saw Stars
When Jayson Greene’s 2-year-old daughter was killed in a freak accident, there weren’t words to describe his loss. But his book isn’t just about dealing with grief. It’s also about the place of hope and healing when you’re mourning the most unnatural of situations: the death of a child. It’s a beautiful meditation on the realization that there’s still life to live, even while in the midst of the deepest grief.
The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead’s latest novel takes the reader to the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, where the Civil Rights Movement was just beginning to take hold in Tallahassee, Florida. Elwood Curtis, a young Black boy, makes an innocent mistake that will change his life forever. Thrown into Nickel Academy, a juvenile reform school that’s a place of horrors, Elwood tries to find peace in the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words. But he might need to fight back in order to survive, a decision that will have drastic repercussions.
That Good Night
Death is inevitable, yet too few of us spend time thinking about and planning for how we want to die. Puri reflects on her decision to pursue palliative care, a medical specialty that balances medical intervention and quality of life for dying patients. It’s an emotional and thought-provoking meditation on what it means to die well and the importance of discussing these difficult points with your loved ones.
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls
When you don’t have a real home anymore, is it possible to make a new one? That’s what Julie Kibler’s novel examines. It’s set in the early 1900s at a progressive institution in Texas for poor and unwanted girls and young women who would otherwise be living on the streets. Among these sex workers, single mothers, and girls who don’t fit the mold of society, friendships and lasting bonds are formed as they face heartbreak and loss together, learning that home is with the people you love and who love you back.
Let’s face it: sometimes what you really need is a good cry. Crying can be cathartic and uplifting. It can help you process strong emotions and work through difficult situations. Society may often label crying a weakness, but being able to work through emotions is a strength (regardless of your gender identity), and it should be celebrated.
Sometimes, though, even when you know you need to cry and release those emotions, it can be hard to actually trigger the process. That’s when it’s great to turn to a book. An old favorite can do the trick, but sometimes it’s nice to branch out and find something new that will bring on those tears. These books, whether happy, sad, or both, are sure to give you the chance for a good, healing cry that will help you find a brighter tomorrow.
Featured Image: @wiesmannnn/Twenty20