We browse bestseller lists, check Goodreads, Instagram and ask our friends for recommendations when we are looking for books to read. We find that the standard genres and categories can be too broad. Sometimes we get the best recommendations if we choose books that suit our moods or interests.
We’ve compiled this list of highly-recommended books that you won’t want to put down if you’re searching for new and interesting books. No matter what your mood, this list will have you covered.
Are You Looking for an honest story about the loss of a mother?
- Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart
This memoir is Michelle Zauner’s debut book. She is the lead singer of Japanese Breakfast. Zauner shares her experiences as a Korean American growing up and how her mother’s death from cancer at the age of 25 forced her to reclaim her identity. It is a story about Zauner’s grief, and an exploration into all the gifts (languages, food, history, etc.) that her mother left.
- By Ocean Vuong, On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, a Vietnamese-American poet, wrote his debut novel in the form a letter written by a son to his mother who can’t read. The novel explores race, class and masculinity. It is beautiful and has the kind of lines that will stay with you long after the book is finished.
- Scaachi Koul: One day we’ll all be dead and none of this will matter.
This collection of essays was written by Scaachi Koul, a Buzzfeed senior writer. It is full of relatable humor no matter the situation. Koul invites readers to experience some of the most painful and distressing moments in her life, including feeling like an outsider in Canada as the daughter to Indian immigrants. She also discusses how she shaved her knuckles in order to fit in at school.
- Bell hooks, All About Love
Bell Hooks, a feminist activist and scholar, recently passed away at the age of 69. However her works are timeless and will continue to be so. As the title suggests, her 1999 novel is all about love from psychological, philosophical, and personal perspectives.
- World Travel: An Irreverent guide, by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever
Did you have to cancel your dream vacation because of the pandemic? This collection of essays and reflections, posthumously collected by Anthony Bourdain, a late TV host and travel writer, captures his favorite places around the globe. It may inspire you to travel again.
- Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
This book about secrets in marriage is a summer must-read. It offers insider insight into New York’s theater and Hollywood scenes.
- Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads sing
Kya grew up in the wild, almost alone, along the North Carolina coasts. Here the natural world is her classroom and her greatest love. It may encourage you to get outside and connect with nature.
- Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier & Wendy Katzman
The story follows three mothers as they try to get their daughters a spot at Stanford. This includes possibly attempted murder. (So no, you’re doing just fine!)
- Ann Patchett, The Dutch House
Spoiler alert! Life isn’t always as idyllic inside a dream home as it seems. This is a great book club read.
- Sally Rooney, Normal People
Rooney’s Normal People and Conversations With Friends are excellent books to start with if you enjoy witty dialogue and real stories about relationships.