All You Need To Know: Jenna Bush Hager Book Club List (2024 Update)

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Last updated on May 24th, 2024

With over 60 selections in the Jenna Bush Hager book club list, determining your next read can be challenging. Cut through the noise with this detailed guide, which lets you filter through the entire Read with Jenna list using your favorite preferences.

Who is Jenna Bush Hager?

Jenna Bush Hager has been a familiar face in the public eye for quite some time. You may recognize her as the former first daughter and granddaughter or as one of the friendly faces on the Today Show.

 
 
 
 
 
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She is also a two-time New York Times bestselling author. Her books include “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope,” which tells the story of a 17-year-old single mother living with HIV in Latin America, and “Read All About It,” an educational children’s picture book co-written with her mother, Laura Bush.

In March 2019, she launched the Read with Jenna Book Club with the Today Show, driven by her love for literature. Her mission is to provide a platform where unique and diverse authors can shine.

How does Read with Jenna work?

Every month, Jenna carefully chooses a book that has touched her heart. These books usually have character-driven plots written by authors who craft thought-provoking and emotionally engaging stories.

If you’d like to join the Read with Jenna Book Club community and participate in the discussions, check out the channels listed below.

Latest Read With Jenna Book Pick – May 2024

From the award-winning author of Goodbye, Vitamin: How far would you go to shape your own destiny? An exhilarating novel of American identity that spans three generations in one family and asks: What makes us who we are? And how inevitable are our futures?

Real Americbegingins on the precipice of Y2K in New York ity, when twenty-two-year-old Lily Chen, an unpaid intern at a slick media company, meets Matthew. Matthew is everything Lily is not: easygoing and effortlessly attractive, a native East Coaster, and, most notably, heir to a vast pharmaceutical empire. Lily couldn’t be more different: flat-broke, raised in Tampa, the only child of scientists who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Despite all this, Lily and Matthew fall in love.

In 2021, fifteen-year-old Nick Chen has never felt like he belonged on the isolated Washington island where he lives with his single mother, Lily. He can’t shake the sense she’s hiding something. When Nick sets out to find his biological father, the journey threatens to raise more questions than it provides answers.

In immersive, moving prose, Rachel Khong weaves a profound tale of class and striving, race and visibility, and family and inheritance—a story of trust, forgiveness, and finally coming home.

Exuberant and explosive, Real Americans is a social novel par excellence that asks: Are we destined or made? And if we are made, who gets to do the making? Can our genetic past be overcome?

Quick List of Jenna’s Book Recommendations

2019

  • MARCH – The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
  • APRIL – The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
  • MAY – A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
  • JUNE – Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
  • JULY – Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
  • AUGUST – Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • SEPTEMBER – The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
  • OCTOBER – The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • NOVEMBER – Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
  • DECEMBER – Late Migrations by Margret Renkl

2020

  • JANUARY – Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
  • FEBRUARY – The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  • MARCH – Writers & Lovers by Lily King
  • APRIL – Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
  • MAY – All Adults Here by Emma Straub
  • JUNE – A Burning by Megha Majumdar
  • JULY – Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
  • AUGUST – Here For It by R. Eric Thomas + The Comeback by Ella Berman
  • SEPTEMBER – Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • OCTOBER – Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  • NOVEMBER – White Ivy by Susie Yang
  • DECEMBER – The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

2021

  • JANUARY – Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
  • FEBRUARY – Send For Me by Lauren Fox + The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah
  • MARCH – What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
  • APRIL – Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • MAY – Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
  • JUNE – Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • JULY – Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
  • AUGUST – The Turnout by Megan Abbott
  • SEPTEMBER – Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang
  • OCTOBER – The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  • NOVEMBER – The Family by Naomi Krupitsky
  • DECEMBER – Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

2022

  • JANUARY – The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
  • FEBRUARY – Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
  • MARCH – Groundskeeping by Lee Cole
  • APRIL – Memphis by Tara M. String Fellow
  • MAY – Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  • JUNE – These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany
  • JULY – The Measure by Nikki Erlick
  • AUGUST – The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford
  • SEPTEMBER – Solito by Javier Zamora
  • OCTOBER – The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn
  • NOVEMBER – The Cloisters by Katy Hays
  • DECEMBER – The Secret History by Donna Tartt

2023

  • JANUARY – Sam by Allegra Goodman
  • FEBRUARY – Maame by Jessica George
  • MARCH – Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown
  • APRIL – Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling
  • MAY – Chain-Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
  • JUNE – The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
  • JULY – Banyan Moon by Thao Thai
  • AUGUST – Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
  • SEPTEMBER – Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood
  • OCTOBER – How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair
  • NOVEMBER – The Sun Sets in Singapore by Kehinde Fadipe
  • DECEMBER – We Must Not Think of Ourselves by Lauren Grodstein

2024

  • JANUARY – The Waters by Bonnie Jo Campbell
  • FEBRUARY – Good Material by Dolly Alderton
  • MARCH – The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez
  • APRIL – The Husbands by Holly Gramazio
  • MAY – Real Americans by Rachel Khong

Which Read with Jenna book should you try next?

If the volume of books above seems overwhelming, use this customizable table to select which one of Jenna Bush Hager’s book club picks you’d like to try.

Some instructions to make the most out of this guide:

  • Sorting Columns: All columns can be sorted by tapping on the header. You have the option to view the books in chronological order, by Goodreads rating, or alphabetically.
  • Combine Filters: Feel free to mix and match various filters to narrow down your search further.
  • Amazon Purchase Links: Found a book you’re interested in? Use the Amazon purchase links (toggle option for mobile & tablet users) to instantly add them to your cart (not affiliate links*)
  • The toggle option is also useful for reading the blurb of each book and finding out the content warnings.
  • Clickable Book Cover Images: You can see a larger image of the book covers by clicking on them to activate the lightbox view.

Please note that there are more than 60 books in the table. By default, the table displays 20 books at a time, but you can easily use the pagination options at the bottom of the table to view more books at once.

Selection DateTitleCoverAuthorGenreAbout the bookContent WarningsGoodreadsBuy Now
Mar 2019The Last Romanticshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-last-romantics-tara-conklin.pngTara ConklinLiterature & FictionA sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, The Last Romantics is an unforgettable exploration of the ties that bind us together, the responsibilities we embrace and the duties we resent, and how we can lose—and sometimes rescue—the ones we love.

When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time.

It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds and forces them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.

A novel that pierces the heart and lingers in the mind, The Last Romantics is also a beautiful meditation on the power of stories—how they navigate us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future.
grief, addiction, death3.7Amazon
Apr 2019The Unwinding of the Miraclehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-unwinding-of-the-miracle-julie-yip-williams.pngJulie Yip-WilliamsBiographies & MemoirsThat Julie Yip-Williams survived infancy was a miracle. Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family the political upheaval of her country in the late 1970s. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. She would go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, and a life she had once assumed would be impossible. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began.

The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. When she was first diagnosed, Julie Yip-Williams sought clarity and guidance through the experience and, finding none, began to write her way through it—a chronicle that grew beyond her imagining. Motherhood, marriage, the immigrant experience, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, fortune-tellers, grief, reincarnation, jealousy, comfort, pain, the marvel of the body in full rebellion—this book is as sprawling and majestic as the life it records. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep—an incomparable guide to living vividly by facing hard truths consciously.

With humor, bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life.
cancer, death4.1Amazon
May 2019A Woman Is No Manhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/a-woman-is-no-man-etaf-rum.pngEtaf RumGenre Fiction
The New York Times bestseller and Read with Jenna TODAY SHOW Book Club pick telling the story of three generations of Palestinian-American women struggling to express their individual desires within the confines of their Arab culture in the wake of shocking intimate violence in their community.

"Where I come from, we’ve learned to silence ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. To tell them to the outside world is unheard of—dangerous, the ultimate shame.”

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.
domestic abuse, physical abuse, rape4.3Amazon
Jun 2019Searching for Sylvie Leehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/searching-for-sylvie-lee-jean-kwok.pngJean KwokMystery/Thrillers/SuspenseIt begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.

Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.

But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.

A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.
suicide, racism, infidelity3.7Amazon
Jul 2019Evvie Drake Starts Overhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/evvie-drake-starts-over-linda-holmes.pngLinda HolmesGenre Fiction
Romance
A heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a major league pitcher who’s lost his game.

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.

When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.

A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year—and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.
emotional abuse, grief, domestic abuse3.8Amazon
Aug 2019Patsyhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/patsy-nicole-dennis-benn.pngNicole Dennis-BennLiterature & Fiction
LGBTQ+
A beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love from award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn.

Heralded for writing “deeply memorable . . . women” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times), Nicole Dennis-Benn introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine for our times: the eponymous Patsy, who leaves her young daughter behind in Jamaica to follow Cicely, her oldest friend, to New York. Beating with the pulse of a long-withheld confession and peppered with lilting patois, Patsy gives voice to a woman who looks to America for the opportunity to love whomever she chooses, bravely putting herself first.

But to survive as an undocumented immigrant, Patsy is forced to work as a nanny, while back in Jamaica her daughter, Tru, ironically struggles to understand why she was left behind. Greeted with international critical acclaim from readers who, at last, saw themselves represented in Patsy, this astonishing novel “fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness” (Joshunda Sanders, Time), offering up a vital portrait of the chasms between selfhood and motherhood, the American dream and reality.
suicide attempt, self harm, homophobia3.9Amazon
Sep 2019The Dearly Belovedhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-dearly-beloved-cara-wall.pngCara WallHistorical Fiction
Genre Fiction
Charles and Lily, James and Nan. They meet in Greenwich Village in 1963 when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times. Their personal differences however, threaten to tear them apart.

Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How then, can he fall in love with Lily—fiercely intellectual, elegantly stern—after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? And yet, how can he not?

James, the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother. Nan grew up in Mississippi, the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante. James’s escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan and, despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life.

In The Dearly Beloved, we follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment. Against the backdrop of turbulent changes facing the city and the church’s congregation, these four forge improbable paths through their evolving relationships, each struggling with uncertainty, heartbreak, and joy. A poignant meditation on faith and reason, marriage and children, and the ways we find meaning in our lives, Cara Wall’s The Dearly Beloved is a gorgeous, wise, and provocative novel that is destined to become a classic.
miscarriage, grief, death of parent4.1Amazon
Oct 2019The Dutch Househttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-dutch-house-ann-patchett.pngAnn PatchettHistorical Fiction
Genre Fiction
From Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, comes a powerful, richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
abandonment, death of parent, death4.1Amazon
Nov 2019Nothing to See Herehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/nothing-to-see-here-kevin-wilson.pngKevin WilsonGenre Fiction
Fantasy
Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.
suicide, fire injury, death of parent4Amazon
Dec 2019Late Migrationshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/late-migrations-margret-renkle.pngMargret RenklBiographies & MemoirsGrowing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents—her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father—and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child’s transition to caregiver.

And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds—the natural one and our own—“the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love’s own twin.”

Gorgeously illustrated by the author’s brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.
animal death, death, grief4.3Amazon
Jan 2020Dear Edwardhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/dear-edward-ann-napolitano.pngAnn NapolitanoGenre Fiction
What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery—one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions: When you’ve lost everything, how do you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life?

Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.
death of parent, death, grief4.1Amazon
Feb 2020The Girl with the Louding Voicehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-girl-with-the-louding-voice-abi-dare.pngAbi DaréGenre FictionThe unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams. Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself – and help other girls like her do the same.

Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances imaginable will “break your heart and then put it back together again” (Jenna Bush Hager on The Today Show) even as Adunni shows us how one courageous young girl can inspire us all to reach for our dreams…and maybe even change the world.
rape, child abuse, physical abuse4.4Amazon
Mar 2020Writers & Lovershttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/writers-and-lovers-lily-king.pngLily KingGenre Fiction
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with another instant New York Times bestseller: an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey—a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist—in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
death of parent, grief, panic attacks/disorders4.1Amazon
Apr 2020Valentinehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/valentine-elizabeth-wetmore.pngElizabeth WetmoreHistorical Fiction
Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense
Mercy is hard in a place like this . . .

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the reader’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.
rape, racism, physical abuse3.8Amazon
May 2020All Adults Herehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/all-adults-here-emma-straub.pngEmma StraubGenre Fiction
LGBTQ+
A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family--as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. From the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers, and the forthcoming novel This Time Tomorrow.

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid's youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid's thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub's unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.
death, infidelity, car accident3.6Amazon
Jun 2020A Burninghttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/a-burning-by-megha-majumdar.pngMegha MajumdarLiterature & Fiction
Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense
Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely—an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor—has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning is an electrifying debut.
hate crime, death, murder3.7Amazon
Jul 2020Friends and Strangershttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/friends-and-strangers-by-j-courtney-sullivan.pngJ. Courtney SullivanGenre FictionElisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms' Facebook group, her "influencer" sister's Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore. Enter Sam, a senior at the local women's college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she's always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She's worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short order, they grow close. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth's father-in-law, the true differences between the women's lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.

A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.
infertility, infidelity, toxic relationship3.7Amazon
Aug 2020Here For Ithttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/here-for-it-by-r-eric-thomas.pngR. Eric ThomasBiographies & MemoirsR. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in.

In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Thomas reexamines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents’ house was an anomalous bright spot, and the Eden-like school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election for Elle online, and the seismic changes that came thereafter. Ultimately, Thomas seeks the answer to these ever more relevant questions: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Thomas finds the answers to these questions by reenvisioning what “normal” means and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story.

Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.
racial slurs, racism, homophobia4Amazon
Aug 2020The Comebackhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-comeback-ella-berman.pngElla BermanGenre FictionGrace Turner was one movie away from Hollywood’s A-List. So no one understood why, at the height of her career and on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination, she disappeared.

Now, one year later, Grace is back in Los Angeles and ready to reclaim her life on her own terms.

When Grace is asked to present a lifetime achievement award to director Able Yorke—the man who controlled her every move for eight years—she knows there’s only one way she’ll be free of the secret that’s already taken so much from her.

The Comeback is a moving and provocative story of justice—a true page-turner about a young woman finding the strength and power of her voice.
sexual assault, drug use, emotional abuse3.7Amazon
Sep 2020Transcendent Kingdomhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/transcendent-kingdom-by-yaa-gyasi.pngYaa GyasiGenre FictionGifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.

Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief—a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.
addiction, drug abuse, mental illness4.1Amazon
Oct 2020Leave the World Behindhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/leave-the-world-behind-by-rumaan-alam.pngRumaan AlamGenre Fiction
Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense
A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.

From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
vomit & blood, body horror, sexual content3.2Amazon
Nov 2020White Ivyhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/white-ivy-by-susie-yang.pngSusie YangLiterature & FictionIvy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.

Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

Filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class and race, White Ivy is a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.
murder, eating disorder, physical abuse3.6Amazon
Dec 2020The Bluest Eyehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-bluest-eye-toni-morrison.pngToni MorrisonHistorical FictionIn Morrison’s acclaimed first novel, Pecola Breedlove—an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others—prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

Here, Morrison’s writing is “so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry” (The New York Times).
rape, racism, incest4.1Amazon
Jan 2021Black Buckhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/black-buck-by-mateo-askaripour.pngMateo AskaripourGenre FictionThere’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.

After enduring a “hell week” of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as “Buck,” a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he’s hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.

Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America’s workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.
racism & racial slurs, death of parent, violence3.7Amazon
Feb 2021Send For Mehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/send-for-me-by-lauren-fox.pngLauren FoxHistorical FictionBased on the author’s own family letters, Send for Me tells the story of Annelise, a young woman in prewar Germany. Growing up working at her parents’ popular bakery, she's always imagined a future full of delicious possibilities. Despite rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, Annelise and her parents can’t quite believe that it will affect them; they’re hardly religious. But as she falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer. Soon Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain.

Two generations later in a small Midwestern city, Annelise’s granddaughter, Clare, is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of the letters her great-grandmother wrote from Germany after Annelise's departure, she sees the history of her family’s sacrifices in a new light, leading her to question whether she can still honor the past while planning for her future.
antisemitism, hate crime, genocide3.4Amazon
Feb 2021The Four Windshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-four-winds-by-kristin-hannah.pngKristen HannahHistorical FictionTexas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.

In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa―like so many of her neighbors―must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
death, death of parent, child death4.3Amazon
Mar 2021What's Mine and Yourshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/whats-mine-and-yours-by-naima-coster.pngNaima CosterHistorical FictionFrom the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family—and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.

A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the next twenty years.

On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he'll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle's headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn't protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.

When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers—each determined to see her child inherit a better life—will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.

As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What's Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.
racism, drug abuse, gun violence3.6Amazon
Apr 2021Good Companyhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/good-company-by-cynthia-daprix-sweeney.pngCynthia D'Aprix SweeneyGenre Fiction
Flora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with her best friend, Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five.

Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And what happens now?

With Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s signature tenderness, humor, and insight, Good Company tells a bighearted story of the lifelong relationships that both wound and heal us.
infidelity, addiction, child abuse3.4Amazon
May 2021Great Circlehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/great-circle-by-maggie-shipstead.pngMaggie ShipsteadHistorical Fiction
After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There--after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes--Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.

A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two women's fates--and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times--collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, Great Circle is a monumental work of art, and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.
rape, sexual assault, war4.1Amazon
Jun 2021Malibu Risinghttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/malibu-rising-taylor-jenkins-reid-book-cover.pngTaylor Jenkins ReidHistorical Fiction
Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, the family drama that ensues will change their lives forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.
alcoholism, death of parent, abandoment4Amazon
Jul 2021Hell of a Bookhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/hell-of-a-book-by-jason-mott.pngJason MottLiterature & FictionAn astounding work of fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole

In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists, it truly becomes its title.
racism, police brutality, death of parent4.1Amazon
Aug 2021The Turnouthttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-turnout-by-megan-abbott.pngMegan AbbottMystery/Thrillers/Suspense
Genre Fiction
With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents' death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara's husband and once their mother's prized student.

Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, sidelined from dancing after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around one another, the three have perfected a dance, six days a week, that keeps the studio thriving. But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school's annual performance of The Nutcracker—a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration—an interloper arrives and threatens the sisters' delicate balance.

Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible.
suicide, incest, adult/minor relationship3.1Amazon
Sep 2021Beautiful Countryhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/beautiful-country-by-qian-julie-wang.pngQian Julie WangBiographies & MemoirsIn Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to “beautiful country.” Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal” and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.

In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days,” when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center—confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all.

But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here.

Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.
racism & racial slurs, animal cruelty, domestic abuse4.2Amazon
Oct 2021The Lincoln Highwayhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-lincoln-highway-by-amor-towles.pngAmor TowlesHistorical Fiction
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes. “Once again, I was wowed by Towles’s writing—especially because The Lincoln Highway is so different from A Gentleman in Moscow in terms of setting, plot, and themes. Towles is not a one-trick pony. Like all the best storytellers, he has range. He takes inspiration from famous hero’s journeys, including The Iliad, The Odyssey, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, and Of Mice and Men. He seems to be saying that our personal journeys are never as linear or predictable as an interstate highway. But, he suggests, when something (or someone) tries to steer us off course, it is possible to take the wheel.” – Bill Gates
suicide, violence, death4.2Amazon
Nov 2021The Familyhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-family-by-naomi-krupitsky.pngNaomi KrupitskyHistorical FictionA captivating debut novel about the tangled fates of two best friends and daughters of the Italian mafia, and a coming-of-age story of twentieth-century Brooklyn itself.

Two daughters. Two families. One inescapable fate.

Sofia Colicchio is a free spirit, loud and untamed. Antonia Russo is thoughtful, ever observing the world around her. Best friends since birth, they live in the shadow of their fathers’ unspoken community: the Family. Sunday dinners gather them each week to feast, discuss business, and renew the intoxicating bond borne of blood and love.

But the disappearance of Antonia’s father drives a whisper-thin wedge between the girls as they grow into women, wives, mothers, and leaders. Their hearts expand in tandem with Red Hook and Brooklyn around them, as they push against the boundaries of society’s expectations and fight to preserve their complex but life-sustaining friendship. One fateful night their loyalty to each other and the Family will be tested. Only one of them can pull the trigger before it’s too late.
death of parent, gun violence, violence3.6Amazon
Dec 2021Bright Burning Thingshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/bright-burning-things-by-lisa-harding.pngLisa HardingLiterature & Fiction
A rising international literary star makes her American debut with this visceral, tender, and brave portrait of addiction, recovery, and motherhood, as harrowing and intense as Shuggie Bain.

Sonya used to perform on stage. She used to attend glamorous parties, date handsome men, ride in fast cars. But somewhere along the way, the stage lights Sonya lived for dimmed for good. In their absence, came darkness—blackouts, empty cupboards, hazy nights she can't remember.

What keeps Sonya from losing herself completely is Tommy, her son. But her immense love for Tommy is in fierce conflict with her immense love of the bottle. Addiction amplifies her fear of losing her child; every maternal misstep compels her to drink. Tommy’s precious life is in her shaky hands.

Eventually Sonya is forced to make a choice. Give up drinking or lose Tommy—forever.

Bright Burning Things is an emotional tour-de-force—a devastating, nuanced, and ultimately hopeful look at an addict’s journey towards rehabilitation and redemption.
alcoholism, addiction, child abuse3.4Amazon
Jan 2022The School for Good Mothershttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-school-for-good-mothers-by-jessamine-chan.pngJessamine ChanScience FictionFrida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eye on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgement, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

An “intense” (Oprah Daily), “captivating” (Today) page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.
child abuse, suicidal thoughts, suicide3.5Amazon
Feb 2022Black Cakehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/black-cake-by-charmaine-wilkerson.pngCharmaine WilkersonHistorical FictionWe can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?

In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.
death of parent, racism, abandoment4.1Amazon
Mar 2022Groundskeepinghttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/groundskeeping-by-lee-cole.pngLee ColeGenre Fiction
Romance
In the run-up to the 2016 election, Owen Callahan, an aspiring writer, moves back to Kentucky to live with his Trump-supporting uncle and grandfather. Eager to clean up his act after wasting time and potential in his early twenties, he takes a job as a groundskeeper at a small local college, in exchange for which he is permitted to take a writing course.

Here he meets Alma Hazdic, a writer in residence who seems to have everything that Owen lacks—a prestigious position, an Ivy League education, success as a writer. They begin a secret relationship, and as they grow closer, Alma—who comes from a liberal family of Bosnian immigrants—struggles to understand Owen’s fraught relationship with family and home.

Exquisitely written; expertly crafted; dazzling in its precision, restraint, and depth of feeling, Groundskeeping is a novel of haunting power and grace from a prodigiously gifted young writer.
death, cancer, classism3.6Amazon
Apr 2022Memphishttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/memphis-by-tara-m-string-fellow.pngTara M. String FellowHistorical Fiction
Summer 1995: Ten-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister flee her father’s explosive temper and seek refuge at her mother’s ancestral home in Memphis. This is not the first time violence has altered the course of the family’s trajectory. Half a century earlier, Joan’s grandfather built this majestic house in the historic Black neighborhood of Douglass—only to be lynched days after becoming the first Black detective in the city. Joan tries to settle into her new life, but family secrets cast a longer shadow than any of them expected.

As she grows up, Joan finds relief in her artwork, painting portraits of the community in Memphis. One of her subjects is their enigmatic neighbor Miss Dawn, who claims to know something about curses, and whose stories about the past help Joan see how her passion, imagination, and relentless hope are, in fact, the continuation of a long matrilineal tradition. Joan begins to understand that her mother, her mother’s mother, and the mothers before them persevered, made impossible choices, and put their dreams on hold so that her life would not have to be defined by loss and anger—that the sole instrument she needs for healing is her paintbrush.

Unfolding over seventy years through a chorus of unforgettable voices that move back and forth in time, Memphis paints an indelible portrait of inheritance, celebrating the full complexity of what we pass down, in a family and as a country: brutality and justice, faith and forgiveness, sacrifice and love.
rape, domestic abuse, racism4.1Amazon
May 2022Remarkably Bright Creatureshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/remarkably-bright-futures-by-shelby-van-pelt.pngShelby Van PeltMystery/Thrillers/Suspense
Genre Fiction
After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.

Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.
giref, child death, abandonment4.4Amazon
Jun 2022These Impossible Thingshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-impossible-things-by-salma-el-wardany.pngSalma El-WardanyGenre Fiction
Romance
Whatever happened to the way we were?

It’s always been Malak, Kees, and Jenna against the world. Since childhood, under the watchful eyes of their family and community, these three best friends have had to navigate love, sex, faith, and womanhood alongside the expectations of being good Muslim women. But they’ve always done it together.

Malak wants the dream: for her partner, community, and faith to coexist happily, and she’ll even break her own heart to get it. Kees is in love with Harry, a white Catholic man who her parents can never know about. Jenna is always the life of the party, even though she’s plagued by an unshakable loneliness. But when their college years come to a
close, one night changes everything.

As their lives take different paths, in the wake of heartbreaks, marriages, new careers and new beginnings, Malak, Kees, and Jenna need each other more than ever. Can they forgive and find a way back to each other in time?

These Impossible Things is a moving paean to youth and female friendship—and to all the joy and messiness love holds.
domestic abuse, abortion, emotional abuse4.2Amazon
Jul 2022The Measurehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/the-measure-nikki-erlick-book-cover.pngNikki ErlickScience Fiction
Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is an ambitious, invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny that encourages us to live life to the fullest.
death, grief, gun violence4Amazon
Aug 2022The Many Daughters of Afong Moyhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-many-daughters-of-afong-may-by-jamie-ford.pngJamie FordHistorical Fiction
Fantasy
Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living.

As Washington’s former poet laureate, that’s how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental health struggles into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter exhibits similar behavior and begins remembering things from the lives of their ancestors, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt her. Fearing that her child is predestined to endure the same debilitating depression that has marked her own life, Dorothy seeks radical help.

Through an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma, Dorothy intimately connects with past generations of women in her family: Faye Moy, a nurse in China serving with the Flying Tigers; Zoe Moy, a student in England at a famous school with no rules; Lai King Moy, a girl quarantined in San Francisco during a plague epidemic; Greta Moy, a tech executive with a unique dating app; and Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America.

As painful recollections affect her present life, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn’t the only thing she’s inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who’s loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.
racism, rape, mental illness3.9Amazon
Sep 2022Solitohttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/solito-by-javier-zamora.pngJavier ZamoraBiographies & MemoirsTrip. My parents started using that word about a year ago—“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.”

Javier Zamora’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks.

At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.

A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.
deportation, cursing, vomiting/excrement4.5Amazon
Oct 2022The Whalebone Theatrehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-whalebone-theatre-by-joanna-quinn.pngJoanna QuinnHistorical FictionOne blustery night in 1928, a whale washes up on the shores of the English Channel. By law, it belongs to the King, but twelve-year-old orphan Cristabel Seagrave has other plans. She and the rest of the household—her sister, Flossie; her brother, Digby, long-awaited heir to Chilcombe manor; Maudie Kitcat, kitchen maid; Taras, visiting artist—build a theatre from the beast’s skeletal rib cage. Within the Whalebone Theatre, Cristabel can escape her feckless stepparents and brisk governesses, and her imagination comes to life.

As Cristabel grows into a headstrong young woman, World War II rears its head. She and Digby become British secret agents on separate missions in Nazi-occupied France—a more dangerous kind of playacting, it turns out, and one that threatens to tear the family apart.
death of parent, war, death4.1Amazon
Nov 2022The Cloistershttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-cloisters-by-katy-hays.pngKaty HaysMystery/Thrillers/Suspense
Fantasy
When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
death of parent, drug use, death3.4Amazon
Dec 2022The Secret Historyhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-secret-history-by-donna-tartt.pngDonna TarttGenre Fiction
Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense
Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries. But their search for the transcendent leads them down a dangerous path, beyond human constructs of morality.murder, alcoholism, suicide4.2Amazon
Jan 2023Samhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/sam-by-allegra-goodman.pngAllegra GoodmanGenre Fiction“There is a girl, and her name is Sam.” So begins Allegra Goodman’s moving and wise new novel.

Sam is seven years old and living in Beverly, Massachusetts. She adores her father, though he isn’t around much. Her mother struggles to make ends meet, and never fails to remind Sam that if she studies hard and acts responsibly, adulthood will be easier—more secure and comfortable. But comfort and security are of little interest to Sam. She doesn’t fit in at school, where the other girls have the right shade of blue jeans and don’t question the rules. She doesn’t care about jeans or rules. All she wants to climb. Hanging from the highest limbs of the tallest trees, scaling the side of a building, Sam feels free.

As a teenager, Sam begins to doubt herself. She yearns to be noticed, even as she wants to disappear. When her climbing coach takes an interest in her, his attention is more complicated than she anticipated. She resents her father’s erratic behavior, but she grieves after he’s gone. And she resists her mother’s attempts to plan for her future, even as that future draws closer.

The simplicity of this tender, emotionally honest novel is what makes it so powerful. Sam by Allegra Goodman will break your heart, but will also leave you full of hope.
adult/minor relationship, death of parent, addiction3.8Amazon
Feb 2023Maamehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/maame-by-jessica-george.pngJessica GeorgeLiterature & FictionMaame (ma-meh) has many meanings in Twi but in my case, it means woman.

It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting.

So when her mum returns from her latest trip, Maddie seizes the chance to move out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”: She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But when tragedy strikes, Maddie is forced to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils―and rewards―of putting her heart on the line.

Smart, funny, and affecting, Jessica George's Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism, to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most important, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures―and it celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.
death of parent, grief, mental illness4.1Amazon
Mar 2023Black Candle Womenhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/black-candle-woman-by-diane-marie-brown.pngDiane Marie BrownLiterature & Fiction
Fantasy
Generations of Montrose women—Augusta, Victoria, Willow—have always lived together in their quaint California bungalow. They keep to themselves, never venture far from home, and their collection of tinctures and spells is an unspoken bond between them. But when young Nickie Montrose brings home a boy for the first time, their quiet lives are thrown into disarray.

For the family has withheld a crucial secret from Nickie all these years: any person a Montrose woman falls in love with will die. Their surprise guest forces each woman to reckon with her own past choices and mistakes. And as new truths about the curse emerge, they're set on a collision course dating back to 1950s New Orleans’s French Quarter—where a hidden story in a mysterious book may just hold the answers they seek in life and in love…
death, grief, chronic illness3.4Amazon
Apr 2023Camp Zerohttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/camp-zero-by-michelle-min-sterling.pngMichelle Min SterlingScience Fiction
Fantasy
In remote northern Canada, a team led by a visionary American architect is break­ing ground on a building project called Camp Zero, intended to be the beginning of a new way of life. A clever and determined young woman code-named Rose is offered a chance to join the Blooms, a group hired to entertain the men in camp—but her real mission is to secretly monitor the mercurial architect in charge. In return, she’ll receive a home for her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother and herself.

Rose quickly secures the trust of her target, only to discover that everyone has a hidden agenda, and nothing is as it seems. Through skill­fully braided perspectives, including those of a young professor longing to escape his wealthy family and an all-woman military research unit struggling for survival at a climate station, the fate of Camp Zero’s inhabitants reaches a stunning crescendo.

Atmospheric, fiercely original, and utterly gripping, Camp Zero is an electrifying page-turner and a masterful exploration of who and what will survive in a warming world, and how falling in love and building community can be the most daring acts of all.
murder, sexual assault, death3.2Amazon
May 2023Chain-Gang All Starshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/chain-gang-all-stars-by-nana-kwame-adjei-brenyah.pngNana Kwame Adjei-BrenyahScience Fiction
Fantasy
LGBTQ+
She felt their eyes, all those executioners…

Loretta Thurwar and Hamara “Hurricane Staxxx” Stacker are the stars of the Chain-Gang All-Stars, the cornerstone of CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, a highly popular, highly controversial profit-raising program in America’s increasingly dominant private prison industry. It’s the return of the gladiators, and prisoners are com­peting for the ultimate prize: their freedom.

In CAPE, prisoners travel as Links in Chain-Gangs, competing in death matches before packed arenas with righteous protestors at the gates. Thur­war and Staxxx, both teammates and lovers, are the fan favorites. And if all goes well, Thurwar will be free in just a few matches, a fact she carries as heavily as her lethal hammer. As she prepares to leave her fellow Links, Thurwar considers how she might help preserve their humanity, in defiance of these so-called games. But CAPE’s corporate own­ers will stop at nothing to protect their status quo, and the obstacles they lay in Thurwar’s path have devastating consequences.

Moving from the Links in the field to the protestors, to the CAPE employees and beyond, Chain-Gang All-Stars is a kaleidoscopic, excoriating look at the American prison system’s unholy alli­ance of systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and mass incarceration, and a clear-eyed reckoning with what freedom in this country really means from a “new and necessary American voice” (Tommy Orange, The New York Times Book Review).
violence, murder, death4.1Amazon
Jun 2023The Celebrantshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-celebrants-by-steven-rowley.pngSteven RowleyLiterature & Fiction
LGBTQ+
It’s been a minute—or five years—since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation from Berkeley when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Though not for a lack of trying. Over the years they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living—that their lives mean something, to one another if not to themselves.

But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact.

A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.
death, cancer, terminal illness3.7Amazon
Jul 2023Banyan Moonhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/banyan-moon-by-thao-thai.pngThao ThaiHistorical FictionWhen Ann Tran gets the call that her fiercely beloved grandmother, Minh, has passed away, her life is already at a crossroads. In the years since she’s last seen Minh, Ann has built a seemingly perfect life—a beautiful lake house, a charming professor boyfriend, and invites to elegant parties that bubble over with champagne and good taste—but it all crumbles with one positive pregnancy test. With both her relationship and carefully planned future now in question, Ann returns home to Florida to face her estranged mother, Huơng.

Back in Florida, Huơng is simultaneously mourning her mother and resenting her for having the relationship with Ann that she never did. Then Ann and Huơng learn that Minh has left them both the Banyan House, the crumbling old manor that was Ann’s childhood home, in all its strange, Gothic glory. Under the same roof for the first time in years, mother and daughter must face the simmering questions of their past and their uncertain futures, while trying to rebuild their relationship without the one person who’s always held them together.

Running parallel to this is Minh’s story, as she goes from a lovestruck teenager living in the shadow of the Vietnam War to a determined young mother immigrating to America in search of a better life for her children. And when Ann makes a shocking discovery in the Banyan House’s attic, long-buried secrets come to light as it becomes clear how decisions Minh made in her youth affected the rest of her life—and beyond.

Spanning decades and continents, from 1960s Vietnam to the wild swamplands of the Florida coast, Banyan Moon is a stunning and deeply moving story of mothers and daughters, the things we inherit, and the lives we choose to make out of that inheritance.
domestic abuse, death, infidelity4Amazon
Aug 2023Summer Sistershttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/summer-sister-by-judy-blume.pngJudy BlumeGenre Fiction
Romance
In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard’s world changes forever when Caitlin Somers chooses her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomes Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, an enchanting place where the two friends become “summer sisters.”

Now, years later, Vix is working in New York City. Caitlin is getting married on the Vineyard. And the early magic of their long, complicated friendship has faded. But Caitlin begs Vix to come to her wedding, to be her maid of honor. And Vix knows that she will go—because she wants to understand what happened during that last shattering summer. And, after all these years, she needs to know why her best friend—her summer sister—still has the power to break her heart.
child death, toxic relationship, abandonment3.9Amazon
Sep 2023Amazing Grace Adamshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/amazing-grace-adams-by-fran-littlewood.pngFran LittlewoodGenre FictionGrace Adams gave birth, blinked, and now suddenly she is forty-five, perimenopausal and stalled―the unhappiest age you can be, according to the Guardian. And today she’s really losing it. Stuck in traffic, she finally has had enough. To the astonishment of everyone, Grace gets out of her car and simply walks away.

Grace sets off across London, armed with a £200 cake, to win back her estranged teenage daughter on her sixteenth birthday. Because today is the day she’ll remind her daughter that no matter how far we fall, we can always get back up again. Because Grace Adams used to be amazing. Her husband thought so. Her daughter thought so. Even Grace thought so. But everyone seems to have forgotten. Grace is about to remind them . . . and, most important, remind herself.
child death, grief, adult/child relationship3.4Amazon
Oct 2023How to Say Babylonhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/how-to-say-babylon-by-safiya-sinclair.pngSafiya SinclairBiographies & MemoirsThroughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair’s father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman’s highest virtue was her obedience.

In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya’s mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father’s beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya’s voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them.

How to Say Babylon is Sinclair’s reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about.
child abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse4.5Amazon
Nov 2023The Sun Sets in Singaporehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-sun-sets-in-singapore-by-kehinde-fadipe.pngKehinde FadipeLiterature & FictionThe Lion City has gone by many names and is famous for many things—its decadent street food, its world-class shopping, its lush gardens that burst with tropical blooms. But paradise is always hiding a snake.

For Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, Singapore is opportunity. Every day, brokering deals for her firm’s wealthy clientele, she gets closer to her ultimate goal: making partner. For Amaka, a sharp-tongued banker from Nigeria, Singapore is extravagance. Gucci, Prada, Hermès—she loves nothing more than to luxuriate in the major department stores that call her name on Orchard Road. And for Lillian, a former pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the U.S., Singapore is reinvention. In a stunning apartment with 360° views, the island seems to glitter as far as the eye can see.

But complications are looming in the form of an enigmatic stranger, whose presence exposes cracks in Singapore’s beguiling façade. Dara’s ambitions mean she has no life outside the firm, and her insecurities are threatening to derail the promotion she’s spent the last six years striving for. Amaka is desperate to escape the chaos she left behind at home and hiding a spiraling shopping addiction that’s endangering her very sense of self. And while Lillian’s life may be the envy of outsiders, a new obsession is imperiling everything—and everyone—around her.

In The Sun Sets in Singapore, Kehinde Fadipe captures the richness of this metropolis through the eyes of three tenacious women, who are about to learn that unfinished history can follow you anywhere, no matter how far you run from home.
infertility, racism, sexism3.4Amazon
Dec 2023We Must Not Think of Ourselveshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/we-must-not-think-of-ourselves-lauren-grodstein.pngLauren GrodsteinHistorical FictionOn a November day in 1940, Adam Paskow becomes a prisoner in the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jews of the city are cut off from their former lives and held captive by Nazi guards to await an uncertain fate. Weeks later, he is approached by a mysterious figure with a surprising request: Would he join a secret group of archivists working to preserve the truth of what is happening inside these walls?

Adam agrees and begins taking testimonies from his students, friends, and neighbors. He learns about their childhoods and their daydreams, their passions and their fears, their desperate strategies for safety and survival. The stories form a portrait of endurance in a world where no choices are good ones.

One of the people Adam interviews is his flatmate Sala Wiskoff, who is stoic, determined, and funny—and married with two children. Over the months of their confinement, in the presence of her family, Adam and Sala fall in love. As they desperately carve out intimacy, their relationship feels both impossible and vital, their connection keeping them alive.

But when Adam discovers a possible escape from the Ghetto, he is faced with an unbearable choice: whom can he save, and at what cost ?

Inspired by the testimony-gathering project with the code name Oneg Shabbat, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Grodstein draws readers into the lives of people living on the edge. Told with immediacy and heart, We Must Not Think of Ourselves is a piercing story of love, determination, and sacrifice.
genocide, antisemitism, death of parent, infidelity, child death4.2Amazon
Jan 2024The Watershttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-waters-bonnie-jo-campbell.pngBonnie Jo CampbellGenre FictionA master of rural noir returns with a fierce, mesmerizing novel about exceptional women and the soul of a small town.

On an island in the Great Massasauga Swamp―an area known as “The Waters” to the residents of nearby Whiteheart, Michigan―herbalist and eccentric Hermine “Herself” Zook has healed the local women of their ailments for generations. As stubborn as her tonics are powerful, Herself inspires reverence and fear in the people of Whiteheart, and even in her own three estranged daughters. The youngest―the beautiful, inscrutable, and lazy Rose Thorn―has left her own daughter, eleven-year-old Dorothy “Donkey” Zook, to grow up wild.

Donkey spends her days searching for truths in the lush landscape and in her math books, waiting for her wayward mother and longing for a father, unaware that family secrets, passionate love, and violent men will flood through the swamp and upend her idyllic childhood. Rage simmers below the surface of this divided community, and those on both sides of the divide have closed their doors against the enemy. The only bridge across the waters is Rose Thorn.

With a “ruthless and precise eye for the details of the physical world” (Jane Smiley, New York Times Book Review), Bonnie Jo Campbell presents an elegant antidote to the dark side of masculinity, celebrating the resilience of nature and the brutality and sweetness of rural life.
animal death, animal cruelty, cancer, rape, sexual assault, abortion3.5Amazon
Feb 2024Good Materialhttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/good-material-dolly-alderton.pngDolly AldertonLiterature & FictionAndy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy. And he can't work out why she stopped.

Now he is. . .

Without a home

Waiting for his stand-up career to take off

Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn't looking

Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of his ruined relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him. But Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend's side of the story…

In this sharply funny and exquisitely relatable story of romantic disaster and friendship, Dolly Alderton offers up a love story with two endings, demonstrating once again why she is one of the most exciting writers today, and the true voice of a generation.
grief, alcoholism, sexual content, drug use, infertility4.1Amazon
Mar 2024The Great Dividehttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/the-great-divide-cristina-henriquez.pngCristina HenriquezGenre FictionA powerful novel about the construction of the Panama Canal, casting light on the unsung people who lived, loved, and labored there

It is said that the canal will be the greatest feat of engineering in history. But first, it must be built. For Francisco, a local fisherman who resents the foreign powers clamoring for a slice of his country, nothing is more upsetting than the decision of his son, Omar, to work as a digger in the excavation zone. But for Omar, whose upbringing was quiet and lonely, this job offers a chance to finally find connection.

Ada Bunting is a bold sixteen-year-old from Barbados who arrives in Panama as a stowaway alongside thousands of other West Indians seeking work. Alone and with no resources, she is determined to find a job that will earn enough money for her ailing sister’s surgery. When she sees a young man—Omar—who has collapsed after a grueling shift, she is the only one who rushes to his aid.

John Oswald has dedicated his life to scientific research and has journeyed to Panama in single-minded pursuit of one goal: eliminating malaria. But now, his wife, Marian, has fallen ill herself, and when he witnesses Ada’s bravery and compassion, he hires her on the spot as a caregiver. This fateful decision sets in motion a sweeping tale of ambition, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Searing and empathetic,The Great Divide explores the intersecting lives of activists, fishmongers, laborers, journalists, neighbors, doctors, and soothsayers—those rarely acknowledged by history even as they carved out its course.
death, racism, Colonisation, infertility, infidelity, miscarriage4.1Amazon
Apr 2024The Husbandshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/the-husbands-by-holly-gramazio.pngHolly GramazioGenre FictionWhen Lauren returns home to her flat in London late one night, she is greeted at the door by her husband, Michael. There’s only one problem—she’s not married. She’s never seen this man before in her life. But according to her friends, her much-improved decor, and the photos on her phone, they’ve been together for years.

As Lauren tries to puzzle out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael goes to the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man emerges, and a new, slightly altered life re-forms around her. Realizing that her attic is creating an infinite supply of husbands, Lauren confronts the question: If swapping lives is as easy as changing a lightbulb, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? When do you stop trying to do better and start actually living?
drgu use, sexual content, gun violence, fire injury3.6Amazon
May 2024Real Americanshttps://creatorpreneurdiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/real-americans-by-rachel-khong-cover.pngRachel KhongLiterature & FictionReal Americans begins on the precipice of Y2K in New York City, when twenty-two-year-old Lily Chen, an unpaid intern at a slick media company, meets Matthew. Matthew is everything Lily is not: easygoing and effortlessly attractive, a native East Coaster, and, most notably, heir to a vast pharmaceutical empire. Lily couldn't be more different: flat-broke, raised in Tampa, the only child of scientists who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Despite all this, Lily and Matthew fall in love.

In 2021, fifteen-year-old Nick Chen has never felt like he belonged on the isolated Washington island where he lives with his single mother, Lily. He can't shake the sense she's hiding something. When Nick sets out to find his biological father, the journey threatens to raise more questions than it provides answers.

In immersive, moving prose, Rachel Khong weaves a profound tale of class and striving, race and visibility, and family and inheritance—a story of trust, forgiveness, and finally coming home.

Exuberant and explosive, Real Americans is a social novel par excellence that asks: Are we destined, or made? And if we are made, who gets to do the making? Can our genetic past be overcome?
mental illness, suicide, animal cruelty, sexual assault4.2Amazon

Conclusion

So there you have it, friends! The entire selection of books from the Read with Jenna book club. I hope you have found a book worth adding to your TBR.

I will do my best to keep this guide updated each month, so be sure to check back when you want to find out the latest.

Let me know in the comments below which book you selected to read!

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