Fun and flirty, Read Bottom Up, by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham explores love in the modern age through emails and texts. Elliot and Madeline’s New York romance bubbles like champagne.

Three unexpected characters find each other and then themselves in a fancy Parisian hotel. Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog proves entirely winning.

Seriously disturbing and seriously intriguing, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer is set in Vietnam around the fall of Saigon. A complete original.

A riff on Anne of Green Gables, Andi Teran’s Ana of California updates the classic tale of an orphan and her new life. This time, the character lives in contemporary times and the stakes are much higher.

Brutal Youth, by Anthony Breznican, takes hazing seriously. A messy, coming of age tale with the brutality of The Hunger Games.

A family saga that manages to be entertaining and insightful at the same tiem, Julia Pierpont’s Among the Ten Thousand Things.

A motley group convene to resurrect goodness in Matthew Quick’s Love May Fail. With a few hiccups along the way, the beauty in life finds unlikely redemption.


Uptight yet simmering below the surface, the fifties were a great decade for style and culture. Peter Stanfield’s The Cool and the Crazy explores the pulpy cinema of the era with aplomb.

Full of juicy revelations, Mariel Hemingway’s, Out Came the Sun goes for the soapy jugular. The insights into this Great American Family, both tender and thoughtful, and with a fair share of dysfunction, make this memoir a great read.

Still great, the movie Clueless finally gets its due with As If!: The Oral History of Clueless. Jen Chaney includes interviews with the director, stars and other members of the crew to create a true homage to a classic.

Steve McQueen: Full-Throttle Cool, by Dwight Jon Zimmerman presents the actor’s life in graphic novel form. A cool format for a cool cat. That’s style.

Follow the filmmaker’s creative journey in Terminator Genisys: Resetting the Future, by David S. Cohen. With photos from the set, concept art and interviews with the cast and crew, this coffee table book gives you an inside look into a gorgeously thought out movie.


Fans of jazz will love John Szwed’s remarkable Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth. With great detail and precision, this biography celebrates a legend.

Graphic Memoir

New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Eric Kaplan (BEK) knows his way around a one liner. His new memoir, I Was a Child, is funny, unexpected and brimming with anxiety (in a good way).


Drinking can help grease the wheels but also leave you hanging by a thread. Such is the paradox of Sarah Hepola’s struggle in the poignant and insightful, Blackout.


Filthy, funny and fabulous, Jenny Mollen’s take on the world might just make you pee your pants. With nothing held back, the author takes on the world in I Like You Just the Way I Am.


Aziz Ansari’s unexpected new book, Modern Romance, delves into the world of dating. Well researched and insightful, Ansari could easily have an ancillary career as an anthropologist.

Beach Reads

Soak up the sun and relax into Jane Green’s Summer Secrets. Brimming with secrets, revelations and a little too much alcohol, this novel zips along like a trolley.

If you like marinating in suspense, Every Fifteen Minutes, by Lisa Scottoline, is the perfect book for you. Read it between dips in the pool to break the tension.

A little wine country + a little romance + a few secret = an awesome recipe for a beach read. Laura Dave nails it with Eight Hundred Grapes.


Binge on all three of titles in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy as they are now all out in paperback. The third book, The Magician’s Land, provides the thrill and joy of the Harry Potter books but just a bit more grown up.

If you’re enjoying the current spate of reinvented fairy tales in film and TV, check out where it all began: Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, now available in a beautiful new 75th anniversary paperback. In this landmark story collection, Carter brings lush prose and a feminist spin to make the familiar new again.

One of the best horror debuts in years, Josh Malerman’s Bird Box is set in a post-apocalyptic future where some unseen terror awaits a mother and her two young children. Together they must travel blindfolded downriver, using only their instincts to evade the horror closing in on them.


Learn how to make your own jewelry with basic materials and simple steps with Nancy Soriano’s The Jewelry Recipe Book. Fun to look at, with great, inspirational photos, this how to book offers up tricks that even the craft-a-phobic will love.

A bonafide trend, adult coloring books are like the new knitting, or rubik’s cube. Peter Deligdisch’s Color Me Crazy has enough intricacy and variety to bring out your inner OCD artist.

Naturalists will appreciate Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy, a tome chock full of charming illustrations. Loaded with information about butterflies, snowflakes, ferns and much more, this book is pretty enough to adorn a coffee table.


The growing trend for Middle Eastern flavors gets elevated to high art in Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer’s Honey & Co. Named for the London restaurant that whips up the recipes with perfect aplomb, these dishes are accessible enough to make at home. The seven ingredient (plus salt and pepper) watermelon and feta salad is a revelation.