Start your reading engines early this month, because this month’s book picks have heft — in number of pages, yes, but also in terms of thought and inquiry. Novelists consider the nature of borders and how substances (including oil and drugs) corrupt; journalists examine health care, feminism, genetics; and a young but already accomplished poet releases her first book.

The Soul of a Woman,” by Isabel Allende (March 2)

“When I say I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating,” declares the acclaimed Chilean journalist, novelist and activist in this memoir that reflects on her upbringing — she was raised with her two sisters by a single mother — while pondering women’s nature and women’s needs.

Infinite Country: A Novel,” by Patricia Engel (March 2)

A Colombian family splintered by borders tells its five-voiced story, as one daughter tries desperately to escape a correctional facility. Award-winning novelist Engel (“Vida,” “The Veins of the Ocean”), a dual citizen of the United States and Colombia, uses Andean myths to punctuate a story about heredity, love and safety.

The Committed: A Novel,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen (March 2)

In 2015, “The Sympathizer” electrified readers — and won a Pulitzer Prize — with its portrayal of a half-French, half-Vietnamese Army captain running espionage in Los Angeles. Now Nguyen takes his protagonist to Paris, where he turns to drug dealing with his “blood brother” Bon.

We Begin at the End,” by Chris Whitaker (March 2)

Self-proclaimed outlaw Duchess Day Radley is 13 and ready to defend her 5-year-old brother and their single mom to the death. Duchess lives on the California coast, where her most important ally is Walk, the town’s police chief. They’ll both be tested — nothing new for a thriller. What is new is the protagonist’s anguished, gorgeous voice, filled with rage and tenderness.

Alexander investigates Bryan, Ohio’s small-town, small-budget hospital. Bryan’s population of 8,500 might be tiny by corporate standards, but its main health-care facility nevertheless requires many kinds of skill sets and technology. “The Hospital” shows how fragile our country’s health care was even before the pandemic, and how that fragility affects staff and administration as well as patients.

The author of “Leonardo da Vinci” and “Steve Jobs” sets his sights on another brilliant mind: Jennifer Doudna, whose high school counselor told her women couldn’t become scientists. She wound up sharing the 2020 Nobel Prize for a DNA-editing innovation that may change almost everything about what it means to be human.

How Beautiful We Were: A Novel,” by Imbolo Mbue (March 9)

Mbue’s 2016 “Behold the Dreamers” contained hard truths about what immigrants face in America but also demonstrated hope for her characters. “How Beautiful We Were” has a harder edge. The author here writes about how a fictional American oil corporation corrupts and chokes the life out of an African village. Protagonist Thula tries to change her country’s fate, to little avail.

Festival Days,” by Jo Ann Beard (March 16)

In nine pieces, which include essays and two short stories, Beard shows her dazzling skill at finding universal truths in singular situations. Beard is not just a master of the short form — she’s a master of phrase and sentence, too.

The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country,” by Amanda Gorman (March 30)

Many people around the world were electrified by the voice and words of a 22-year-old Black woman in a bright yellow coat whose poem helped usher in the Biden administration on Jan. 20. Now “The Hill We Climb,” with an introduction by Oprah Winfrey, can be read and savored.

Libertie: A Novel,” by Kaitlyn Greenidge (March 30)

Greenidge’s second novel follows Libertie, a Black woman born free in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, who feels stifled by the expectations of her physician mother. When she marries a Haitian man, he promises that life on his island will be different, more equal. Instead, she starts to question the true meaning of freedom.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that “Libertie” is a YA novel. The book was written for an adult audience. This version has been updated.

Bethanne Patrick is the editor, most recently, of “The Books That Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians and Other Remarkable People.”