In our column Bookworm Beat, read about some of our favorite books written by women and non-binary authors...
Have you got any resolutions this year?
For some people it is to get more exercise. For others it is to spend more time with loved ones and less on their phones. Some of my friends have mentioned that they want to try to read more books. My reading list is already jam-packed, and I have never been one for making resolutions, but I am always a supporter of new books! Here are some of my favorite coming out by women and non-binary writers this year.
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A YA book that will appeal to audiences outside of the demographic. Ben DeBacker is thrown out of their house when they come out to their parents as non-binary. Ben is forced to find a new home with estranged sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, and must adapt to a new school–all made more difficult by their anxiety disorder. Ben tries to keep a low profile until they are befriended by Nathan Allan, a funny and charming student. The evolution of the two's relationship suddenly makes senior year quite complicated.
This uniquely-composed memoir is told through emotional personal essays, all exploring topics of race through a family, and how growing up in the south in a black family that bore the surname of a white name made understanding the issue even more complex. Add in the process of a PhD at Yale, marrying a white Northern, adopting children, and other life adventures and you have a slew of stories we cannot wait to read.
A family of sisters is uprooted when the eldest and substitute matriarch of the family, Althea, is arrested with her husband. The details of the crime allude Althea's sisters, but the aftermath in the town for the family's reputation is incredibly palpable. As the sisters jump in to help care for Althea's teenager daughters, their understanding of relationships will be challenged.
Also a soon-to-be web series, this novel told through an oral history tells of what happens with a twenty year-old obsessed with drugs, sex, and rock 'n roll is matched up with a band of brooding rockers that includes a frontman fending off the end of his partying days due to upcoming fatherhood. This matching up of these two by a producer will lead to a complicated and enthralling relationship.
Already a smash outside of the states (it was Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, the Winner of Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards as well as shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Award), this novel explores the relationship between Connell and Marianne from their time in high school and through years at Trinity College as they take turns being wallflowers, trying to support one another, and drifting off to other social circles despite feeling a constant magnetic toward each other.
The follow-up to If I Was Your Girl explores the story of Morgan and Eric, born in the hospital on the same day and continuing to float in and out of the other's life over the course of their lives. They go from best friends to strangers to lovers, all told through snapshots of their birthdays. It will help you believe that fate really does have our best interest at heart.
There is a resort in New York's Hudson Valley that will provide beautiful scenery, organic food, fitness training, and essentially anything else you require–the catch being you must agreed to stay for nine months without leaving as you dedicate yourself to raising a perfect baby. Jane immigrates from the Philippines to participate, and things become very complicated once she decides she wants out.
We loved how Helen Hoang made Autism relationships seen in The Kiss Quotient. In the follow-up, a man with Autism struggles to feel emotions beyond anger and frustration. His mother travels to Vietnam to find him a bride, and located a woman looking for a better life outside of the slums of her home. The couple struggles to connect with one another on a crunched timeline, but with a little luck, they will find a way to understand one another.
The first new short story collection in over a decade from a stunning writer, the stories here look for a connection in a way only Hempel is capable of exploring. From the story of a volunteer at a dog shelter where the animals are euthanized to a woman who is re-evaluating her decision to give-up a baby for adoption when she was a teenager, these stories will stick with you and leave you wanting to read more and more.
From Sarah Jessica Parker's new book imprint, this highly-anticipated novel is set in rural Trinidad. A father works at a petroleum plant as the mother stays home and their twin boys travel to the capital district for school. One of the boys is odd whilst the other is considered a genius. When the "odd child" one day goes missing, the father must go looking for him, but as the days go on, he begins to realize a shattering and saddening fate.