• The cover of the book Educated

    Educated

    Tara Westover was born to Idaho survivalists and grew up canning food, salvaging metal, and creating homemade remedies from herbs. Her family didn’t believe in traditional doctors or schooling, so Tara was 17 when she set foot in a classroom. Motivated in part by watching her brother leave and gain a college education, Tara taught herself enough math, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was accepted to BYU, where she first learned about the larger world outside her family compound. She later went on to Harvard and Cambridge, though she never forgot where she came from. This memoir is inspiring, tear-jerking, and insightful, and one you won’t forget.

     
  • The cover of the book Homegoing

    Homegoing

    This sweeping tale begins with two sisters born in different villages in Ghana in the 1700s. One goes on to marry an Englishman and live in comfort in a castle. The other is seized in a raid and imprisoned in the very same castle, then sold into slavery. The narrative follows the family trees that branch off from each sister, stemming for eight generations, as we see the stain of slavery irreparably change a family.

     
  • The cover of the book Geek Love

    Geek Love

    The Binewskis are not your average, run-of-the-mill family. They’re comprised of “circus freaks,” bred this way intentionally by mom and dad with the help of a few strong narcotics. One child has flippers, one is an albino hunchback, there’s a set of conjoined twins, and one boy who looks ordinary but definitely isn’t—perfect for when the family takes the act on the road. You’ll be dazzled by this novel and find yourself talking about what it means to be beautiful or ugly, normal or freakish, loyal or jealous.

     
  • The cover of the book A Little Life

    A Little Life

    Does your book club want to cry? This moving novel follows four friends from college as they move to New York City after graduation. Willem, JB, Malcolm, and Jude are broke but fueled by ambition. Their relationships ebb and flow over the years, with Jude acting as the connective tissue. A Little Life is an ode to brotherly love of the highest order and should be read with tissues nearby.

     
  • The cover of the book Americanah

    Americanah

    Lovers Ifemelu and Obinze are torn from each other as they depart military-ruled Nigeria. Ifemelu heads to America, where for the first time, she must deal with being a minority and what it means to be Black in the U.S. Obinze can’t get through customs in a post-9/11 world so instead goes to London and lives a dangerous, undocumented life. When the two are reunited 15 years later in democratic Nigeria, their love for one another is sparked for a second time.

     
  • The cover of the book The Girl Who Smiled Beads

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads

    Clemantine Wamariya was only six when her mother shooed her and her 15-year-old sister out of the house and told them to go, and not return. She and Claire fled the Rwandan genocide, moving throughout Africa for six years, from refugee camp to refugee camp, and finally ending up in America. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. This memoir of war is harrowing and simultaneously uplifting, and sheds much-needed light on the Rwandan crisis.

     
  • The cover of the book Middlemarch

    Middlemarch

    Never read George Eliot’s study of provincial life? Though it’s set in the 1800s, readers will find similarities to today: there’s political change looming as well as advancing technology, scientific discovery, and—of course—good old-fashioned scandal. The drama between Dorothea Brooke, Dr. Lydgate, Fred Vincy, Will Ladislaw, Mary Garth, and the sinister John Raffles is as easily digestible as Real Housewives.

     
  • The cover of the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    Henrietta Lacks was a poor Black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine. HeLa cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. It’s is a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith-healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s also a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of.