Ho’s buzzy novel is a tender portrait of female friendship. It’s about two Taiwanese American women, Fiona and Jane – longtime best friends whose relationship is strained when life scatters them to opposite coasts. The story spans decades as they grow together and apart, navigating love, death, complicated families and heartbreak.
In 2014, Nobel laureate Tokarczuk’s acclaimed novel was published in Poland, where she lives. Now, it’s set to be published in the United States. “The Books of Jacob” is about Jacob Frank, a controversial religious leader who founded the Frankist sect of Judaism in the 18th century. At nearly 1,000 pages, it’s a hefty, intense read.
In Lund’s debut novel, a chatty bird named Gail lives inside Owen’s chest. After a nurse discovers the bird, Owen’s mom ships him off to live with his uncle and cousin, where he eventually makes a good friend. The two cheer each other on in this queer coming-of-age story about finding your community and becoming your true self.
The highly anticipated second installment of James’s Dark Star trilogy revisits the events that happened in “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” – but from Sogolon the Moon Witch’s perspective. It also dives into the century-long feud between Sogolon and Aesi, the powerful chancellor to the king. Expect another epic fantasy adventure.
If you enjoyed ‘It’s Better to Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness,’ by Seth Wickersham, read ‘Coach K: The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski,’ by Ian O’Connor (Feb. 22)
Basketball fans might feel as though they already know Coach K – or Mike Krzyzewski, the decades-long coach of the Duke Blue Devils who’s set to retire after this season. In this insightful biography, sportswriter O’Connor captures the formative experiences and inner drive that catapulted the coach to icon status. Even the most die-hard fans will learn something.
In her follow-up to 2018’s “Ghosted,” Walsh introduces readers to Emma, a marine biologist, wife and mother. When she becomes sick, her husband, an obituary writer, copes with his anxiety by researching and writing about her – which isn’t as soothing as expected, given that her entire life turns out to be a lie. To regain his trust, Emma has to reveal a past she’d rather have kept hidden.
Haspel, a Washington Post food columnist, considered herself a subpar gardener – until she moved to Cape Cod and decided to take a more active role in cultivating her sustenance. She and her husband started raising chickens, growing tomatoes, foraging mushrooms and hunting their own meat. “To Boldly Grow” is part memoir, part how-to guide and wholly delightful.
Spencer – co-host of the popular podcast “Forever35” – delivers a romantic romp through the Big Apple. When Franny’s dress gets caught in the subway doors, a stranger named Hayes offers her his (Gucci) jacket so she doesn’t flash half the city. The pair doesn’t realize a fellow commuter has posted the incident online until it goes viral. Their Internet fame is surely fleeting, but their attraction to each other just might have staying power.
The Vietnamese American poet Vuong – who published his debut novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” in 2019 – presents us with a stirring collection of poetry. He experiments with language and form while probing the aftermath of his mother’s death and his determination to survive it. Take your time with these poems, and return to them often.
Early one morning, Philpott – most recently the author of “I Miss You When I Blink” – woke to the sound of her teenage son having a seizure. The incident rocked her world, dismantling any sense of safety and security. In this collection of essays, she reckons with how we manage to exist when there’s always some unknown threat lurking nearby. It’s the literary equivalent of a therapy session.
Here’s a snappy addition to the office novel canon: In “Happy for You,” a young woman starts working at a major tech company, where she has to build an app that helps users quantify and augment their happiness. It’s a somewhat ironic task given her less-than-happy feelings about her own life, which the experience will crystallize.
The Sullivans, a restaurant-owning family in Chicago, are in a tailspin: Their grandfather, who they assumed would be flipping burgers until the end of time, has dropped dead. In “Marrying the Ketchups,” Close zeroes in on the not-so-adult adults left behind. The novel is fun and messy, just like the restaurant’s deep-fried treats.
The Oscar-winning actress – whose résumé includes roles in “The Help” and “The Suicide Squad” – opens up about her poverty-stricken childhood in Rhode Island, and how she overcame the odds to make it in Hollywood. Davis also reflects on the risks and struggle that can surround a Black woman following her dreams.
Weiner is the queen of fun, feisty summer reads, and she’s back with a multigenerational story that dishes out the best kind of family drama. When Sarah’s stepdaughter announces she’s marrying her pandemic boyfriend in a mere three months, Sarah is stunned but agrees to help plan the wedding. It’ll be the final hurrah at the family’s beach house – if their secrets and grudges don’t prevent them from getting there.
Nearly a decade after “The Office” ended, its stars help us fill the void by dishing out their own memories of the show. Fischer and Kinsey – who portrayed Pam and Angela, respectively – are real-life best friends whose “Office Ladies” podcast is revealing and entertaining. Now they’re collaborating on a behind-the-scenes book about their days starring on the beloved show and how it changed their lives.
YA author Nina LaCour’s adult debut focuses on two women who find each other while searching for themselves. Emilie and Sara experience an instant connection, but they’re both haunted by demons that threaten to upend their happiness. It’s a poignant, beautiful novel.
In 1971, a White onetime ballerina had a child with the Black jazz musician Roy Ayers. In this memoir, their son, who also became a musician, recounts a lifetime spent grappling with his father’s absence and whether DNA defines a family. It’s a thoughtful – and thought-provoking – read.
Angela Haupt is a freelance writer and health editor.