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Mouthful of Birds: Stories Cover Image
Mouthful of Birds

Mouthful of Birds is an unsettling collection with a wide range of fascinating characters, finely tuned to focus on misogyny and parenthood, life and death. Across many of the stories in this book, it feels like the characters are running towards something until suddenly they realize they’re running away from it instead. Either way, their desperation is palpable. The final story, "The Heavy Suitcase of Benavides," absolutely slays—it’s a brilliant, albeit disturbing, take on male violence and idolization. Published in Spanish over a decade ago—though, you’d never know it—this collection has never been more relevant. Recommended by Mary

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Good Sh*t: Your Holistic Guide to the Best Poop of Your Life Cover Image
Good Sh*t

Finally, a poop book for grown-ups! Good Sh*t is a super accessible guide to gut health and all things poopy. It seems funny to talk about, and it is—the tone is lighthearted and conversational throughout—but we simply don’t talk about poop as much as we should, considering how indicative it is of our overall health. While sidestepping diet culture and incorporating Ayurveda and yogic philosophy, the authors provide basic tips for behavior around meal times, suggest foods to aid elimination, and explain the connection between sleep and digestion. This book isn’t just for your friends with tummy problems—it’s for everyone who wants to feel good! Recommended by Mary

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The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel Cover Image
The Cat Who Saved Books

When high school bibliophile Rintaro Natsuki inherits his grandfather’s tiny used bookstore after his passing, he’s prepared to close the shop for good, but a visit from a mysterious tabby cat changes everything. Boy and cat embark on a series of labyrinths in an alternate dimension—though not far from reality—in which books are being mistreated. It’s almost like A Christmas Carol, but Japanese and in reverse: a trio of grumpy old men are visited by the dynamic duo—books are saved and hearts are changed. With a pinch of innocent first love sprinkled in, The Cat Who Saved Books is a charming, thought-provoking read that will make you appreciate books more than ever. Recommended by Mary

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Death under the Perseids (A Havana Mystery) Cover Image
Death Under the Perseids

Dovalpage takes us into the Havana the average cruise ship tourist wouldn't see and into a murder mystery most of the other characters might assume her narrator Mercedes Spivey too uneducated to unravel. She sees red flags long before others precisely because, unlike them, she isn't blinded by ego. So when her husband disappears on his way to an academic lecture arranged by the same mysterious entity who offered them a "free" cruise to her hometown of Havana, she is hardly surprised. Peppered with pithy dialogue and vivid description of Cuba's food and people, this book is a multifaceted pleasure. Recommended by Kelly

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Within These Wicked Walls: A Novel Cover Image
Within These Wicked Walls

In historical Ethiopia, Andromeda is a debtera in desperate need of a job. A nineteen-year-old exorcist and religious worker, Andi can cleanse things—and people—of the Evil Eye. Having grown up in poverty on and off the street, the only person she trusts is herself. Despite the fact that many more experienced than she have already run screaming from the haunted mansion where she’s just been hired, Andi believes in her ability to complete the job—if not for herself then for the cursed heir who’s gradually stolen her heart. But the Evil Eye’s presence here is much worse than she’s ever imagined. This retelling of Jane Eyre is the spooky, sensual, Black-authored read of your nightmares. Recommended by Mary

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1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir Cover Image
1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

From behind layered veils of oppressive silence comes the lovely voice of Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist who himself along with his family has experienced the volatile rise and fall of regimes. This memoir not only details the development of an artist sorting through his own past but also offers a history of a wondrous country and culture in turmoil. Recommended by Kelly

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No One Else Cover Image
No One Else

R. Kikuo Johnson's clean style and brilliant storytelling follow single mom Charlene, her son Brandon, and her brother Robbie at their home on Maui. After single-handedly caring for her aging father during his final years, Charlene quits her nursing job and decides to apply to medical school upon his death. Brandon, whose cat, Batman, had recently run off, splits his time between searching for his friend and cleaning up after his mom. Robbie, a traveling musician, returns home to find his sister in the throes of grief and struggles to process his own relationship with his dad. A masterful, timeless, touching story of an ordinary family. Recommended by Mary

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The Shadow Cover Image
The Shadow

In this psychological thriller, Black German author Melanie Raabe explores the concepts of free will, misogyny, guilt, and art. As soon as Norah moves from Berlin to Vienna, strange things start happening to her. A homeless woman speaks to her a prophecy--that Norah will kill a man she's never met on the anniversary of her childhood best friend's suicide, which haunts her to this day. A journalist who'd moved once to escape a stalker and then again from a committed relationship and career disaster, Norah is clever and bold. She's always stood up for what's right--could she really be capable of killing someone? With a twist that flips everything on its head, this intricately-plotted book is not to be missed! Recommended by Mary

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Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult Cover Image
Sex Cult Nun
Sex Cult Nun offers a shocking glimpse into the Children of God cult from its founder’s granddaughter. Faith Jones grew up in a world of farm chores and praising God. This world, however, also consists of secrecy. She recalls a childhood of moving across many countries to escape detection from government entities while asking for donations and performing God-centered songs at venues to keep her family afloat. Through her striking description of Mo letters, her authoritarian father, and other members of The Family, Jones unveils her upbringing as built on abuse for the sake of male pleasure. In a shocking yet hopeful memoir, Jones details her journey to leaving the world she knows to find agency and her dreams. Recommended by Nikita
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Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems Cover Image
Postcolonial Love Poem

Pulitzer Prize-winning Postcolonial Love Poem will make you want Natalie Diaz to write a love poem about you. Here, she writes sensual lesbian poems and warm platonic ones, poems about water and basketball and things lost in translation. Her elegant poetry begs to be studied—add this stunner from a Mexican Mojave poet to your shelf, and eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Recommended by Mary