Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
In Sapiens, Harari tracks evolutionary concepts from a historian’s perspective and explores human development. Infused with wit and humor, Harari delves into genetics, sociology, and history, and ponders if all of our progress makes our lives happier or easier.
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
All too timely for our pandemic state of exhaustion, sisters Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. and Amelia Nagoski, DMA explore and explain why women experience burnout differently than men and provide easy-to-follow plans to help women manage stress, emotions, and live a more balanced and joy seeking life.
More Myself by Alicia Keys
Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys is a tour de force when it comes to her lyrics, vocals, and piano compositions. In her memoir, she not only explores her rise as a musician and how to make peace with being in the spotlight but delves into her complex relationships and what it means to know oneself and eventually shine. Her narrative is juxtaposed with accounts from the people closest in her life who have grown alongside her. More Myself is a riveting and lyrical account about finding one’s self-worth, and embracing one’s journey.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In Between the World and Me Coates shares what it means to inhabit a black body and to find a way to live within it. Written as a letter to his adolescent son, Coate’s story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences – from Howard University to the South Side of Chicago to Paris – is an emotionally charged and beautifully woven personal narrative that confronts the past and present, with a powerful vision to move forward.
Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman
Feldman’s coming of age story of a young woman raised in the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism is both sensitive and memorable. Growing up under a code of enforced customs governing her behavior and education, Feldman empowered herself by reading Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, and dreamed of an alternative way of life. When she fell prey to a dysfunctional marriage as a teenager and subsequently became a mother at 19, she committed to forging a path that led to freedom and ultimate happiness.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
If you’re looking for practical strategies to form good habits and break bad ones, Atomic Habits is required reading. Clear explains how to master simple behaviors that lead to results, and how to make overall shifts in your systems so that you can reach new levels of productivity and success. Drawing from biology, psychology, and neuroscience, Clear steers readers on a path to make good habits inevitable.
What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez
Nunez’s new novel explores human connection and the nature of relationships through a series of encounters the narrator has with various people in her life, including her ex, a stranger, an Airbnb owner, and a friend battling terminal cancer. The novel culminates with an extraordinary request, which draws the narrator into a transformative experience. Narrated with empathy and humor, Nunez provides a glimpse into how we live, and the relationships we invest in.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
A story of human desire and connection, Gilbert’s new novel is set in 1940’s New York City. Told in retrospect, protagonist Vivian Morris narrates her tale of fun-chasing NYC theater life, complete with showgirls, male actors, and a grand-dame actress, all of which evolves into a professional scandal that turns Vivian’s life upside down. Gilbert’s novel explores the depths of freedom for women, then and now, what it means to become who you are, and the idiosyncrasies of true love.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
A powerful exploration of friendship and love, at the core of Rooney’s novel, is the story of protagonists Connell and Marianne’s mutual fascination and the depths they will go to save one another as they each find their way through high school and later, college. A novel of possibility and potential, Rooney creates a world in which readers are immersed in her protagonists and their fates.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Cummins’ novel chronicles Lydia Quixano Pérez’s journey from her once joyful life in the Mexican city of Acapulco, to life on the run with her son, Luca, as she attempts to flee Mexico and the drug cartel who pursues her for a new life in the United States. American Dirt is a powerful and lyrical exploration of humanity at its best – and worst – and what it means to pursue freedom at all costs.
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