Guilty Admissions: The Bribes, Favors, and Phonies Behind the College Cheating Scandal by Nicole LaPorteWhat it is: a gossipy exposé of Operation Varsity Blues, the 2019 college admissions scandal that resulted in the arrest of actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Laughlin.
Read it for: a well-researched indictment of the toxic (and systemic) competition among the wealthy and privileged.
Try this next: Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit & the Making of the College Admissions Scandal by Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz.
The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice by Gayle Tzemach LemmonWhat it's about: the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ), an all-female militia established in 2013 to combat the Islamic State in Syria.
Don't miss: a pulse-pounding account of the Siege of Kobani; profiles of four YPJ fighters instrumental in retaking the city.
Reviewers say: "A well-told story of contemporary female warriors and the complex geopolitical realities behind their battles" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed by Wendy LowerHow it began: In 2009, historian Wendy Lower saw a World War II-era photograph capturing the execution of a Ukrainian Jewish family.
What happened next: Lower spent years researching the photograph's origins and the identities of the victims, perpetrators, and photographer, constructing a compelling narrative of what happened that day.
Further reading: For another heartwrenching investigation of the atrocities committed against Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust, check out Esther Safran Foer's memoir I Want You to Know We're Still Here.
The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code by Margalit FoxWhat it's about: the decades-long quest to decipher Linear B, a long-lost Mycenean (c.1400 BCE) script that resurfaced in 1900 Crete.
Cracking the code: Though British architect Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B in 1952, his efforts were aided by the work of American scholar Alice Kober, who painstakingly constructed syllabic grids at her kitchen table in the 1940s but died before she was able to solve the mystery.
Who it's for: This suspenseful history will appeal to language geeks, armchair archaeologists, and puzzle addicts.
A Death in the Rainforest: How a Language and a Way of Life Came to an End... by Don KulickWhat it's about: For nearly 30 years, anthropologist Don Kulick immersed himself in the culture of the tiny Papua New Guinea village of Gapun, where residents fought to preserve the dying Tayap language.
Read it for: a thought-provoking exploration of how colonialism and economic instability impact language.
Don't miss: Kulick's attempts to learn Tayap from elderly villager Raya.
Contact your librarian for more great books!