1. Black Cake: A Novel
Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel chronicles the story of two siblings and the consequences of their late mother’s unexpected wealth. It’s a story of buried pasts, family secrets, and second chances.
2. Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies
Women like Consuelo Vanderbilt, Barbara Hutton, and Nancy Cunard seem to enjoy lives that are almost fairytale-like, with large inheritances and exquisite clothes. The true lives of these women (and many more) are studied in Laura Thompson’s new book to reveal how they lived and, in many cases, used their power and money in surprising ways, defying traditional assumptions of what a woman was born into riches should be.
3. In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage
We all have our problems to deal with, and those of us who are fortunate enough will find a way to find peace. Climbing became an outlet for Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, who struggled with drinking, masking her sexuality, and surviving childhood trauma. Shadow of the Mountain follows the author on her mammoth trip to the summit of Mount Everest, reclaiming her life one step at a time and bringing a group of other young female survivors on this therapeutic journey with her.
4. The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act
We’ve all heard the term “method acting,” but what exactly does it imply? Isaac Butler delves into how Konstantin Stanislavski and his acolytes impacted generations of actors, authors, and filmmakers, including Marlon Brandon, Marilyn Monroe, and Dustin Hoffman, and forever transformed the way we perceive performance.
5. Joan Is Okay
Weike Wang, the award-winning author of Chemistry, returns with her second novel, which follows a New York City doctor as her world is turned upside down when her mother visits from China and an extraordinary health crisis upends her professional and personal life. It’s a brilliant, compelling, and very current book that explores the kinds of conflicts that are defining the world we live in today.