With so many amazing books hitting the shelves every week, it can be easy to let a few go unnoticed, and we think this list of under-the-radar books deserves a second look. You never know, your favorite book of the year might be in this treasure trove of hidden gems.
The seven houses in these seven stories are strange. In each story, twists and turns will unnerve and surprise: Schweblin never takes the expected path and instead digs under the skin, revealing surreal truths about our sense of home, of belonging, and of the fragility of our connections with others. This is a masterwork from one of our most brilliant modern writers.
All Down Darkness Wide is a perceptive and unflinching meditation on the burden of living in a world that too often sets happiness and queer life at odds, and a tender and honest portrayal of what it’s like to be caught in the undertow of a loved one’s deep depression. As lives are made and unmade, this memoir asks what love can endure and what it cannot.
When Anna’s sister calls with an urgent message, Anna doesn’t return the call. She knows it’s about their mother. This story about sisterhood, the complications of class, and the chains of inheritance between mothers and daughters delivers an unvarnished portrayal of the fragile horrors of domestic life and a young woman consumed by her past.
A dazzling and heartfelt novel about two sisters caught in their parents’ ambition, the accident that brings it all crashing down, and the journey that follows. At turns devastating and funny, warm and wise, sexy and transportive, Kaleidoscope confronts the meaning of freedom of travel, youth and innocence, and what it looks like to belong, grieve, and love on one’s own terms.
A novel about a young woman’s life-altering affair with a much older, married woman. This simmering, unsettling debut novel reveals the consequences of desire and influence, portraying two women whose lives have been transformed by love, loss, and secrecy.
A “dazzling, cinematic, intimate, lyrical” (Roxane Gay) epic of betrayal, love, and fate that spans five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West, from the author of the National Book Award finalist Sabrina & Corina.
A profoundly moving and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties that bind families together – or break them apart – as a young Korean American man’s search for answers about his girlfriend’s mysterious death becomes a soul-searching journey into his own bi-cultural identity.
From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, an utterly original memoir-in-essays that is as deeply moving as it is hilarious. Raunchy, insightful, unapologetic, and brutally honest, Crying in the Bathroom is Sánchez at her best–a book that will make you feel that post-confessional high that comes from talking for hours with your best friend.
Four teenagers grow inseparable in the last days of the Soviet Union – but not all of them will live to see the new world arrive in this powerful debut novel, loosely based on Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.
Four artists are drawn into a web of rivalry and desire at an elite art school and on the streets of New York in this “gripping, provocative, and supremely entertaining” (BuzzFeed) debut. With a canny, critical eye, Sirens & Muses overturns notions of class, money, art, youth, and a generation’s fight to own their future.
A mythic love story set in Trinidad, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s radiant debut is a masterwork of lush imagination and exuberant storytelling – a spellbinding and hopeful novel about inheritance, loss, and love’s seismic power to heal.
Passion and risk, fathers and daughters, wives and single women, jazz and soul: a “gorgeously written debut” (Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere) about the perennial temptations of dangerous love, told by the women who love Circus Palmer – trumpet player and old-school ladies’ man – as they ultimately discover the power of their own voices.
From the Booker Prize nominee and New York Times bestselling author of Great Circle, a piercing, irresistible first collection of short stories exquisite in their craft and audacious in their range. Rich in imagination and dazzling in its shapeshifting style, You Have a Friend in 10A excavates the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways unsparing and hilarious, sharp-eyed and tender.
The Long Answer is a stunning novel of secrets kept, and secrets shared. Deeply empathetic and hugely absorbing, it unravels the intimate dynamics of female friendship, sisterhood, motherhood, and grief, and the ways that women are bound together and pulled apart by their shared and contrasting experiences of pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, and infertility.
A bestselling, prize-winning novel by one of Japan’s most acclaimed young writers, for fans of Convenience Store Woman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and the movies Parasite and Rear Window. Studiously deadpan and chillingly voyeuristic, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores envy, loneliness, power dynamics, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, suspenseful narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen.
A memoir in essays that expands on the viral sensation “The Crane Wife” with a frank and funny look at love, intimacy, and self in the twenty-first century. Told with the late-night barstool directness of your wisest, most bighearted friend, The Crane Wife is a book for everyone whose life doesn’t look the way they thought it would; for anyone learning to find joy in the not-knowing; for everyone trying if sometimes failing, to build a new sort of life story, a new sort of family, a new sort of home, to live in.