Weyward by Emilia HartStarring: the captivating and unique Weyward women, whose lives affirm the power of desire, sex, personal freedom, and a legacy of magic that transcends centuries.
Read it for: "a tale of magic and female empowerment" that is also an "atmospheric, gripping read" (Booklist).
What to read next? One Thousand and One Nights by Hanan al-Shaykh or The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey by Serena Burdick.
White Cat, Black Dog by Kelly LinkWhat it is: a lightly illustrated collection of fairy tale re-tellings -- inspired by French folklore, the Brothers Grimm, and Scottish ballads -- that deftly combines realism with speculative elements.
As in tales of yore: These "enchanting, mesmerizing, brilliant" stories draw readers into a "world [that lingers] like an especially intense dream" (Kirkus Reviews).
For fans of: Helen Oyeyemi, Carmen Maria Machado, or Karen Russell.
The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlaneAustralia, 1883: A small, remote farming community pulls together to find a missing boy, but racial tension, ulterior motives, and personal secrets may prove as treacherous as the vast terrain they must search.
Read it for: a sweeping novel with a large cast of well-realized characters that vividly portray the scope of colonial life in Southern Australia.
Try this next: Benevolence by Julie Janson.
Hello Beautiful by Ann NapolitanoWhat happens: William, a reserved college basketball scholarship recipient, begins dating Julie, the eldest of four boisterous sisters in 1970s Chicago. His acceptance into the family becomes a defining moment for all concerned.
What it's about: "the deep, maddeningly frustrating, and ever-present love of family, whether tied by genetics or by choice" (Booklist).
Try this next: The Darlings by Cristina Alger, This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, or Crossing California by Adam Langer.
The Human Origins of Beatrice Porter and Other Essential Ghosts by Soraya PalmerWhat it's about: Fascinated by the Anansi folklore of their Jamaican mother and Trinidadian father, Sasha and Zora come of age in 1990s Brooklyn. Stories within stories emerge as time, distance, violence, and illness shape the sisters' identities and understanding of family.
For fans of: These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card, Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson, or Little Gods by Meng Jin.
The Shamshine Blind by Paz PardoWhat it is: an alt-history noir mash-up where colorful drugs that produce specific emotions upon contact have been weaponized. Drug Enforcement Agent Kay Curtida's newest "pyschopigment" case could make her career...or kill her.
Want a taste? "[T]he aging pigment’s mix of ennui and affection made me feel like I’d just walked into my dad’s old hardware store."
Read it for: a neurodivergent, Latine protagonist who's equal parts Sam Spade and Thursday Next.
Commitment by Mona SimpsonWhat happens: Walter, Lina, and Donny -- teen siblings in 1970s California -- lean on one another after their devoted single mom succumbs to debilitating depression. From turmoil emerges resilience, tenacity, and an enduring commitment to one another's joy.
Read it for: a warm-hearted, "kaleidoscopic portrait" of "sacrifices that keep a family together even when it's coming apart" (Kirkus Reviews).
Try this next: Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee.
Chlorine by Jade SongMeet: Ren Yu, a Chinese American teen, relentless in her pursuit of success as a competitive swimmer until the treacheries of the sport (including sexual abuse) transform her into a vengeful water creature.
Is it for you? Chlorine's blend of teen drama, magical realism, and "weird, immersive, female-driven body horror" (Booklist) requires a strong stomach.
Try this next: Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield or Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang.
Contact your librarian for more great books!