Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden KeefeWhat it is: a compelling three-generation family history of the Sacklers, the Purdue Pharma owners who have made billions marketing and selling OxyContin.
Read it for: a sobering account of the role the Sackler family played in spurring America's opioid crisis.
Did you know? Award-winning author Patrick Radden Keefe (Say Nothing) wrote a New Yorker exposé on the Sacklers in 2017.
Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny LawsonWhat it's about: humorist Jenny Lawson's battles with mental and physical illnesses.
Why you might like it: Equal parts irreverent and reflective, Lawson's self-deprecating confessional will resonate with fans and readers who can relate to her experiences.
Essays include: "I Already Forgot I Wrote This;" "My Dentist Hates Me;" "Six Times I've Lost My Shoes While Wearing Them."
Buses Are a Comin': Memoir of a Freedom Rider by Charles Person with Richard RookerWhat it's about: At age 18, civil rights activist Charles Person was the youngest participant in the 1961 Freedom Rides.
Why you should read it: Person's vivid and rousing you-are-there account of a key moment in the civil rights movement is "an instructive gift to future generations fighting for change" (Kirkus Reviews).
Don't miss: profiles of Person's fellow Riders, including John Lewis.
Crying in H Mart by Michelle ZaunerWhat it is: a lyrical expansion of musician Michelle Zauner's viral 2018 New Yorker essay of the same name.
What happened: After she lost her mother to cancer, biracial Korean American Zauner navigated her increasingly tenuous connection to her cultural heritage by revisiting the foods she and her mother both loved.
Featuring: mouthwatering descriptions of the author's favorite dishes, including kimchi and jatjuk.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole ChungWhat it's about: transracial adoptee Nicole Chung's upbringing as the only Asian person living in her Oregon hometown.
Read it for: Chung's candid account of her complicated feelings about her adoption, how impending motherhood spurred her quest to find her birth family, and her lifelong search for belonging.
Want a taste? "I collected every fact I could, hoarding the sparse and faded glimpses into my past like bright, favorite toys. This may be all you can ever know, I was told."
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira JacobWhat it is: Mira Jacob's funny and thoughtful graphic memoir about race and identity that chronicles the difficult conversations she had with friends and family -- including her six-year-old biracial son -- following the 2016 presidential election.
Art alert: Jacob's striking collage illustrations, featuring full-color photographs and black-and-white characters who address the reader directly, add intimacy to her dialogue-driven narrative.
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira MaddenWhat it's about: T Kira Madden’s privileged and dysfunctional upbringing spent navigating her parents’ abusive relationship, their addictions, and her identity as a biracial lesbian.
How she coped: Madden sought communion with the titular group of fiercely supportive teens in her Boca Raton community and later moved to New York City to study fashion design.
Book buzz: A finalist for the John Leonard First Book Prize, Madden's lyrical memoir in essays has received accolades from The Washington Post, Esquire, Variety, Autostraddle, and many more.
The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I've Made About Race, Resistance, and... by Matt OrtileWhat it is: a witty and wide-ranging essay collection from Filipino American Matt Ortile, a managing editor at Catapult magazine.
Topics include: Ortile immigrating to the United States from the Philippines as a pre-teen; assimilationism and the model minority myth; Grindr hookups and performative masculinity; his love of Barthes.
Reviewers say: "insightful and honest" (Library Journal).
Habitat Threshold by Craig Santos PerezWhat it is: Chamorro poet Craig Santos Perez's thought-provoking collection of poetry exploring the ecological effects of capitalism and colonialism in his native Guam and other Pacific Island communities.
Featuring: "Disaster Haiku," which discusses tropical storms: "the world/ briefly sees us/ only after/ the eye/ of a storm/ sees us."
Try this next: Poet and climate change activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner's Iep Jaltok, which in 2017 became the first published work of poetry written by a Marshallese author.
Contact your librarian for more great books!