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The 12 Best Books to Read Right Now

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

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Best for: Fans of young adult fiction, like The Fault in Our Stars
If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey watching TV with her adorable British boyfriend, and not at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont. But life isn’t fair, and Jam’s boyfriend is dead. When Jam has a journal-writing assignment at school, she begins to remember parts of her past that had been forgotten. However, as she writes she also reveals hidden realities and she must ultimately decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to reclaim her loss. ($14;

OATrageous Oatmeals: Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes from this Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain by Kathy Hester

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Best for: Breakfast fanatics
This book will forever change the way you look at a humble bowl of oats. Forget plain, boring breakfasts—here, you’ll learn how to turn the grain into new, exciting dishes that work for lunch or dinner, like Italian Veggie and Oat Sausage or Oat Pizza Crust Topped with Vegan Sausage Crumbles. Classic standbys are also updated into gourmet versions, like Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes and Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oats. ($13;

The Secret Place by Tana French

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Best for: Fans of thrillers
“The Secret Place” is a board where girls at St. Kilda’s School can anonymously pin secrets from bits of harmless gossip tidbits to cruel comments. Someone, however, is using it to spark interest and speculation about the stalled murder investigation of handsome, popular Chris Harper who was found dead on school property one year earlier. Detectives are led to 16-year old Holly Mackey and her close-knit group of friends as well as their rival clique—and the tangled web of relationships connect these girls to the boy. ($17;

Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet

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Best for: Fans of romantic comedy
On the grounds of a Caribbean island resort, newlyweds Deb and Chip meet an interesting marine biologist who says she has spotted mermaids in a coral reef. As the resort’s parent company swoops in to corner the market on the mythical creatures, the couple teams up with some interesting characters to save the mermaids and their reef from a possible underwater theme park. This mesmerizing, funny book is full of satire and wit on the surface, but is illuminating in its deep exploration of human nature. ($16;

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

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Best for: Fans of coming-of-age novels
At age 14, after Johanna Morrigan embarrasses herself spectacularly on local TV, she decides there’s no point in being herself any longer. So she reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—a fast-talking, hard-drinking, Gothic hero. By 16, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, having sex with rock stars, and writing for an unconventional music paper. But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Are records, posters, and paperbacks enough to build a girl after all? ($17;

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone

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Best for: The eco-friendly cook
You’ll never again scramble last-minute for ingredients or waste time in the kitchen if you have this book handy on your counter. Featuring 400 interconnected recipes, this revolutionary cookbook creates a perpetual pantry as each dish draws on elements from a previous one and provides the building blocks for another. In order to preserve the ideal kitchen ecosystem, the author provides some basic tips, such as buying seasonal ingredients, eating some foods fresh, and preserving the rest to eat when the ingredient is out of season. ($17;

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Denham

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Best for: Fans of comic memoirs
From the acclaimed creator, producer and star of HBO’s Girls, Lena Denham, comes a hilarious, quirky and extremely honest collection of essays that readers of Tina Fey, Nora Ephron, and David Sedaris will fall in love with. The irreverent 28-year-old tackles everything from career to health to dating with her signature humor, smart writing style, and keen insight that goes far beyond her years. ($17;

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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Best for: Fans of metaphysical sagas
From the author of the bestseller Cloud Atlas, this novel spans several decades, characters, and genres in one epic masterpiece. After a horrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, 15-year-old Holly slams the door on her family and old life. But she is not a typical runaway; Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the sensation of a nightmare brought to life. Her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance and this unsolved mystery will reverberate through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people she loves—even the ones that are not born yet. ($18;

Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce

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Best for: Fans of gritty fiction
Marie is a young single mother with a constant appetite for the mind-numbing power of alcohol and drugs. When she lands a job at an upscale Dallas steakhouse, she quickly learns how to be attuned to her customers’ every need, but continues to hide her private struggle behind a smile and a crisp white apron. This riveting read is an unapologetic portrait of one young woman’s struggling path through early adulthood, and you’ll feel her heartbreak and emotion from the first sentence to the last. ($16;

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

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Best for: Americana aficionados
After years of being homeless and alone, Lila steps into a small-town Iowa church where she creates a new beginning, becoming the minister’s wife, and tries to make sense of her old life at the same time. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a young drifter, and brought her up in a hostile childhood. Despite moments of desperation and scarcity, they shared a life that was full of joy and love. Now a part of a new family, Lila struggles to reconcile her two worlds from the Christian perspective of her new husband, which ironically casts judgment on those she loves. ($19;

One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More

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Best for: Time-Pressed Home Cooks
From the editors of Martha Stewart Living, this gorgeously photographed cookbook features flavorful recipes that you can cook all in one pot—from perfect pastas to dinner-party-ready roasts to down-home casseroles. It’s the ideal companion for the busy mom, since each delicious meal can be prepared with little effort and minimal cleanup. ($26;

The Barter by Siobhan Adcock

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Best for: Fans of ghost stories
This haunting novel explores love, motherhood, and heartbreak of two women who are separated by 100 years—but bound by an unthinkable sacrifice and a cold, Texas farmhouse. In the 21st century, Bridget has given her career up as an attorney to raise her daughter in a suburb full of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment, but she knows something is missing. Now, a terrifying presence has entered her home and she is the only one who can feel it. In 1902, Rebecca also sacrificed something she loved and desired for her daughter, and reaped the ugly consequences in the cold house that Bridget now lives in. You’ll slow down through the gorgeous language, but speed up to find out what happens in the explosive, fast-paced plot. ($20;


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