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The 2020 Books You Should Add to Your Reading List

best books 2020
Design By Morgan McMullen

Somehow we've made it to the end of 2020. Despite being a trash year overall, it's still been an amazing year for books. Fiction seems to be the most compelling genre—see: Emily Henry's Beach Read and Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half—as we attempt to immerse ourselves in another world to escape the current political climate and COVID-19 crisis. Then there are the purely therapeutic books, like Lili Reinhart's Swimming Lessons and Maggie Smith's Keep Moving, that encourage us to practice more self-love. Ahead, a list of the 2020 book releases we loved the most.

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'Long Bright River' By Liz Moore
amazon.com
$26.00
$17.35 (33% off)

The opioid crisis is plaguing our country. Liz Moore brings the crisis to light in a twisty mystery where one of two inseparable sisters addicted to drugs goes missing. Oh, and that just so happens while a string of murders are happening in their Philadelphia neighborhood.

Available January 7, 2020

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'Topics of Conversation' By Miranda Popkey
amazon.com
$24.00
$14.59 (39% off)

If you loved Lisa Taddeo's Three Women, you'll appreciate Miranda Popkey's debut novel, Topics of Conversation. The book is formatted into a series of conversations between fictional women who discuss everything from motherhood to loneliness to anger and guilt. 

Available January 7, 2020

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'We Wish You Luck' By Caroline Zancan
amazon.com
$23.50

It's nearly impossible to describe the premise of Caroline Zancan's We Wish You Luck. Just know that a group of students want to take revenge on their professor, and this is their story. 

Available January 14, 2020

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'Followers' By Megan Angelo
amazon.com
$26.99
$17.39 (36% off)

Megan Angelo's debut novel traces the stories of three women, unexpectedly connected, who find themselves on the brink of high-profile success while discovering what their follower counts really means for their goals and dreams. It's a deep dive into the social media dominance we currently live within with lots of dark and hilarious turns. 

Available January 14, 2020

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'Uncanny Valley' By Anna Wiener
amazon.com
$27.00
$16.50 (39% off)

When Anna Wiener was in her mid-20s, she left her book publishing job in New York City for a data startup in Silicon Valley. What she didn't realize is that she'd find herself in a falsely progressive world masked by company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies. In her memoir, Wiener documents the rise and fall of her Silicon Valley dream. 

Available January 14, 2020

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'Love Her or Lose Her' By Tessa Bailey
amazon.com
$14.49

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey writes a juicy rom-com about a couple who seemingly grows apart instead of growing together—forcing one of them to establish a marriage boot camp and the other to expose a big secret. 

Available January 14, 2020 

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'Open Book' By Jessica Simpson
amazon.com
$28.99
$16.00 (45% off)

Every person nostalgic for the early 2000s will fall in love with Jessica Simpson's juicy memoir, Open Book, where she talks about everything from her relationship with ex John Mayer to how she convinced people to take her seriously while building an epic career. 

Available February 4, 2020

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'The Other Mrs.' By Mary Kubica
amazon.com
$26.99
$17.23 (36% off)

Mary Kubica's The Other Mrs. tells the chilling story about a woman named Sadie who moves from Chicago to Maine with her husband. All seems well...until her next door neighbor is murdered and she's one of the whispered-about suspects. 

Available February 18, 2020

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'Here For It' By R. Eric Thomas
amazon.com
$17.95

One could argue that ELLE.com columnist R. Eric Thomas is one of the funniest people on the internet, and now he's blessing the world with his debut book, Here For It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, filled with humorous essays about growing up and feeling like an outsider. 

Available February 18, 2020

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'The Girl With the Louding Voice' By Abi Daré
amazon.com
$26.00
$23.39 (10% off)

U.K.-based novelist Abi Daré makes her debut with an emotional story about a 14-year-old Nigerian woman determined to get an education and escape the fate of a child marriage her father forces her into with a local man.

Available February 25, 2020

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'Anna K: A Love Story' By Jenny Lee
amazon.com
$18.99
$12.99 (32% off)

Marie Claire's March #ReadWithMC pick, Anna K, certainly doesn't disappoint. Jenny Lee's modern YA retelling of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina follows rich kids in New York as they navigate everything from sex and relationships to drugs and depression. Expect to be reminded of Gossip Girl. 

Available March 3, 2020

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'The Henna Artist' By Alka Joshi
amazon.com
$26.99
$16.03 (41% off)

In Alka Joshi's The Henna Artist, 17-year-old Lakshmi escapes her rural village to Jaipur and becomes a henna artist to the wealthy, discovering secrets and challenges along the way. 

Available March 3, 2020

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'Writers & Lovers' By Lily King
amazon.com
$27.00
$11.40 (58% off)

Lily King, the bestselling author of Euphoria (2014), knows exactly how to combine love, grief, creativity, and balance. A young prodigy who loses her mother must confront how to channel her ambition again...all while finding herself in love with two men at the same time.

Available March 3, 2020

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'The Night Watchman' By Louise Erdrich
amazon.com
$28.99
$20.27 (30% off)

Based on the author's grandfather, The Night Watchman takes place in 1953 as Thomas Wazhashk fights against the consequential treatment of Native Americans after a bill threatens to take away their land. 

Available March 3, 2020

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'My Dark Vanessa' By Kate Elizabeth Russell
amazon.com
$27.99
$11.49 (59% off)

This isn't your cliché trope about a high school student-teacher relationship. Kate Elizabeth Russell brings forth all of the emotion and complexity when Vanessa discovers almost two decades later that her first love has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'Untamed' By Glennon Doyle
amazon.com
$28.00
$15.90 (43% off)

Untamed is a beautiful memoir from activist, speaker, and bestselling author Glennon Doyle that explores the true lessons of motherhood, family, and divorce. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'In Five Years' By Rebecca Serle
amazon.com
$27.00
$12.52 (54% off)

Rebecca Serle's New York Times bestselling novel, In Five Years, is Marie Claire's April book club pick. Read an exclusive excerpt here, then dive in with us throughout the rest of the month. You'll devour it. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'The Herd' By Andrea Bartz
amazon.com
$27.00
$18.48 (32% off)

Anybody obsessed with the exclusivity of private women's clubs, typically accessible only to the elite, will appreciate Andrea Bartz's latest thriller, The Herd, about what happens to the members of (fictional) NYC–based THE HERD when its glitzy founder vanishes without a trace.

Available March 24, 2020

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'The Honey-Don't List' By Christina Lauren
amazon.com
$16.00
$9.29 (42% off)

You're always guaranteed a good time in Christina Lauren's novels, and The Honey Don't List is no exception. Home designers Melissa and Rusty Tripp have a very public Chip and Joanna Gaines-like relationship, except there's one problem: They actually can't stand each other. The story is told from the perspective of Melissa and Rusty's longtime employees, Carey and James, who are doing whatever it takes to keep their bosses' secret. 

Available March 24, 2020

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'It's Not All Downhill From Here' By Terry McMillan
amazon.com
$28.00
$13.13 (53% off)

Terry McMillan, the bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale is back with yet another heartwarming novel about the inevitabilities in life—this time with a 68-year-old who knows her best days are still ahead of her.

Available March 31, 2020

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'Chosen Ones' By Veronica Roth
amazon.com
$26.99
$14.30 (47% off)

The New York Times bestselling author of the YA Divergent series is releasing her debut #adult novel about the aftermath of a group of five teens who save the world, essentially asking the existential question: Where do we go from here? 

Available April 6, 2020

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'The Beauty of Your Face' By Sahar Mustafah
amazon.com
$26.95
$23.95 (11% off)

The unfortunate timeliness of Sahar Mustafah's The Beauty of Your Face will be triggering for anybody who has experienced gun violence or lost a loved one to gun violence. In the novel, a Palestinian principal for an all-girl Muslim school in Chicago is confronted with a school shooter fueled by radical alt-right beliefs.

Available April 7, 2020

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'Afterlife' By Julia Alvarez
amazon.com
$25.95
$17.99 (31% off)

Julia Alvarez, one of the most influential Latina writers of all time, returns with Afterlife—a story centered on Antonia Vega, an immigrant writer who is forced to cope with the sudden death of her husband, her sister's disappearance, and an undocumented teenager who shows up at her doorstep all at once.  

Available April 7, 2020

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'Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life' By Marie Kondo
amazon.com
$28.00
$20.53 (27% off)

The inimitable Marie Kondo is here to transform your messy desks...and stressful work relationships. 

Available April 7, 2020

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'Perfect Tunes' By Emily Gould
indiebound.org
$26.00

Fans of Daisy Jones & The Six will appreciate Emily Gould's Perfect Tunes—a story about one mother's journey to pursue her singing dreams and her daughter's quest to find the answers she's desperately searching for 15 years later.

Available April 14, 2020

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'The Book of Longings' By Sue Monk Kidd
amazon.com
$28.00
$14.00 (50% off)

You'll recognize Sue Monk Kidd from her critically-acclaimed novel The Secret Life of Bees (2003). In her fourth novel, The Book of Longings, she takes readers all the way back to the first century in a tale about a young woman who meets 18-year-old Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. 

Available April 21, 2020

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'All Adults Here' By Emma Straub
amazon.com
$27.00
$15.89 (41% off)

Emma Straub's All Adults Here will make you question your entire childhood, and how much your parents influenced it as you learn one mother's perspective of what went right and what went wrong with her own family. 

Available May 5, 2020 

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'Big Summer' By Jennifer Weiner
indiebound.org
$28.00

Jennifer Weiner always writes honest, relatable stories, and Big Summer—a story about ex friends Daphne Berg and Drue Cavanaugh who unexpectedly re-enter each other's lives—is no exception.

Available May 5, 2020

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'Rodham' By Curtis Sittenfeld
indiebound.org
$28.00

As one Marie Claire reviewer wrote, Curtis Sittenfeld writes a "frustrating but fascinating look" at Hillary Clinton's life if she didn't marry Bill. 

Available May 19, 2020

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'Beach Read' By Emily Henry
indiebound.org
$16.00

Emily Henry's Beach Read is a brilliant meta novel about two authors who are complete opposites and decide to spend the summer helping each other finish their books. Nobody will fall in love at the end, right? 

Available May 19, 2020

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'Pizza Girl' By Jean Kyoung Frazier
indiebound.org
$17.20

Pizza Girl is a witty, humorous novel about a pregnant 18-year-old pizza girl working in Los Angeles who ends up forming an unlikely relationship with a stay-at-home mother who's new to the neighborhood. 

Available June 9, 2020

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'The Boyfriend Project' By Farrah Rochon
amazon.com
$14.99
$11.99 (20% off)

Escape reality with Farrah Rochon's juicy rom-rom, The Boyfriend Project, that tells the story of three friends who swear off men after a catfish incident. That is, until Samiah meets Daniel at work. 

Available June 9, 2020

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'You Can't Catch Me' By Catherine McKenzie
amazon.com
$14.95
$8.79 (41% off)

If you're in need of a new thriller, Catherine McKenzie's You Can't Catch Me is a gripping account of a woman who escapes a cult and attempts to reenter society. All goes according to plan until she lands next to a woman in an airport bar with an identical name and birth date.

Available June 9, 2020

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'Death in Her Hands' By Ottessa Moshfegh
indiebound.org
$17.20

Ottessa Moshfegh brings her genius to her latest novel, Death in Her Hands, where an elderly widow finds a note about a dead body while on a walk with her dog and attempts to discover what happened to her. 

Available June 23, 2020

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'My Eyes Are Up Here' By Laura Zimmermann
indiebound.org
$703.00

Laura Zimmermann's relatable My Eyes Are Up Here documents a young girl's self-discovery while her body starts to change. 

Available June 23, 2020

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'Head Over Heels' By Hannah Orenstein
amazon.com
$16.99
$13.19 (22% off)

Hannah Orenstein is getting ready to release her latest novel, Head Over Heels, a rom-com set in the competitive gymnastics world. Avery Abrams is forced to learn a new way of life after her gymnast career suddenly ends. Meanwhile, her best friend slash former teammate, Jasmine, becomes an Olympic champion and marries their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri. Twisty storylines about love and relationships follow. 

Available June 23, 2020

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'Party of Two' By Jasmine Guillory
amazon.com
$26.00
$17.95 (31% off)

Jasmine Guillory's Party of Two follows Olivia, a lawyer who moves to L.A. and unexpectedly meets a high-profile junior senator. Finally going public with their relationship after keeping it a secret, they couple is forced to deal with intense media scrutiny and the consequences of their past lives. 

Available June 23, 2020

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'The Last Flight' By Julie Clark
indiebound.org
$26.99

Psychological thriller The Last Flight tells the story of a woman, Claire, who plans to disappear from her seemingly-perfect life. When she meets a woman in an airport bar who's planning to do the same, they end up switching tickets. Tragically, the woman who ends up taking Claire's ticket dies in a plane crash (it was supposed to be Claire!), prompting Claire to assume the woman's identity and, therefore, her secrets.

Available June 23, 2020

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'Empty: A Memoir' By Susan Burton
amazon.com
$27.00
$23.99 (11% off)

In her raw memoir, Susan Burton explores her relationship with food and the secret binge-eating, which later led to anorexia, that shaped her life.

Available June 23, 2020

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'Thin Girls' By Diana Clarke
amazon.com
$27.99

Thin Girls recounts the story of twin sisters who help each other through their eating disorders and toxic relationships—attempting to save each other from themselves.

Available June 30, 2020

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'Mexican Gothic' By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
indiebound.org
$17.20

When Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her cousin, she discovers her trapped in a nightmare that only she can see. Expect Mexican folklore mixed with darkness and suspense in this captivating novel.

Available June 30, 2020

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'Blue Ticket' By Sophie Mackintosh
indiebound.org
$26.95

Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure, returns with Blue Ticket—a Handmaid's Tale-esque story centered on a disturbing reality where women report to a station the first day they bleed to discover their fate: a white ticket, which grants you marriage and children, or a blue ticket, which grants you a career and freedom.  

Available June 30, 2020

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'All the Broken People' By Leah Konen
amazon.com
$24.70

Leah Konen's All the Broken People is a domestic thriller centered on Lucy, who flees from Brooklyn to Woodstock, New York, and meets a couple next door who asks her to help fake the husband's death. As you might imagine, things don't go exactly as planned.

Available June 30, 2020

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'Destination Wedding' By Diksha Basu
indiebound.org
$27.00

Diksha Basu's Destination Wedding is a charming rom-com about Tina Das who escapes to India for her cousin’s lavish wedding thinking it will help solve her problems. Instead, she's met with family drama and life-changing decisions she's forced to confront.

Available June 30, 2020

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'One to Watch' By Kate Stayman-London
amazon.com
$17.00
$13.14 (23% off)

When plus-size fashion blogger Bea Schumacher gets an opportunity to star in hit reality show Main Squeeze, she realizes that trying not to fall in love—something she swore off doing on the show—is harder than she thought. 

Available July 7, 2020

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'Well-Behaved Indian Women' By Saumya Dave
indiebound.org
$16.00

Saumya Dave's Well-Behaved Indian Women tells the story of three generations of women who grapple with their identity and how they shaped each other's lives...through the good and the bad. 

Available July 14, 2020

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'Sex and Vanity' By Kevin Kwan
amazon.com
$26.95
$10.95 (59% off)

Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan returns with a sexy tale about a young woman who's torn between two worlds: the "WASP establishment" of her family and George Zao, a Hong Kong surfer boy she's desperately trying not to fall in love with.  

Available July 14, 2020

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'It Is Wood, It Is Stone' By Gabriella Burnham
indiebound.org
$26.00

Brazilian-American author Gabriella Burnham's debut novel, It Is Wood, It Is Stone, is set in São Paulo, Brazil. The story centers on Linda and how her maid Marta's lives intersect. Expect themes of class, privilege, and power. 

Available July 28, 2020

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'This Is My America' By Kim Johnson
indiebound.org
$17.99

In an unfortunately timely novel, Kim Johnson's This Is My America recounts the story of 17-year-old Tracy Beaumont who's working to get her innocent father off of death row. That is, until her older brother, Jamal, is accused of killing a white girl. Now, she's forced to discover the truth about what happened within the racist town her family resides in. 

Available July 28, 2020

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'Must I Go' By Yiyun Li
indiebound.org
$28.00

When 81-year-old Lilia Liska finds the diary of Roland Bouley, a man she once had an affair with, she finds herself outlining a different interpretation of events that transcends into themes of grief, loss, resilience, and rebirth.

Available July 28, 2020

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'Luster' By Raven Leilani
bookshop.org
$23.92

Marie Claire's August book club pick is Raven Leilani's brilliant debut about a young Black artist named Edie who finds herself in an open marriage with a man named Eric, a digital archivist, and his wife, an autopsist. What follows is an invitation into the couple's home, but not without struggles of racial and sexual identity as Edie attempts to navigate this chaotic world she's living in. 

Available August 4, 2020

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'Wandering in Strange Lands' By Morgan Jerkins
bookshop.org
$25.75

Morgan Jerkins, New York Times-bestselling author, is back with Wandering in Strange Lands—a powerful journey about discovering her roots and understanding how an entire lineage of Black Americans came to be who they are today. 

Available August 4, 2020

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'The Death of Vivek Oji' By Akwaeke Emezi
indiebound.org
$17.20

What would you do if you were a mother who opened the front door and discovered your son's body wrapped in colorful fabric? Akwaeke Emezi's The Death of Vivek Oji is equal parts brilliant and heartbreaking as readers are taken on a journey to discover the hidden parts of Vivek's life and the mystery surrounding his death. 

Available August 4, 2020

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'Midnight Sun' By Stephenie Meyer
indiebound.org
$8.00

Stephenie Meyer returns with the highly-anticipated continuation of the Twilight series. This time, fans are hearing Edward's side of the story.

Available August 4, 2020

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'The Black Kids' By Christina Hammonds Reed
indiebound.org
$18.99

When four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a Black man named Rodney King half to death, Ashley's Blackness is front and center. Now, she's no longer just "one of the girls" and is forced to navigate the racism she experiences as a Black woman living in L.A. during the 1992 riots.

Available August 4, 2020

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'They Wish They Were Us' By Jessica Goodman
amazon.com
$17.99
$15.28 (15% off)

After Jill's best friend, Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend freshman year, she attempts to begin her senior year in Gold Coast, Long Island, with a fresh mindset. That is, until she starts receiving texts insisting the boyfriend is innocent. 

Available August 4, 2020

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'Caste' By Isabel Wilkerson
penguinrandomhouse.com
$32.00

If you've already read Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist, add Isabel Wilkerson's Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents to your reading list next. 

Available August 4, 2020

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'Finding Freedom' By Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand
bookshop.org
$36.79

Royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand released Finding Freedom—an inside look into Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's life over the past few years and the decision behind their royal exit. 

Available August 11, 2020

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'She Will Rise' By Katie Hill
bookshop.org
$25.76

Former Congresswoman Katie Hill wrote She Will Rise in three months (!) to document the misogyny and double standards she faced after essentially being forced to step down from Congress when nude photos of her were leaked on the internet last year. 

Available August 11, 2020

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'The Comeback' By Ella Berman
amazon.com
$26.00
$17.06 (34% off)

At the height of her career, teen star Grace Turner disappeared. Now, she's trying to enter back into society while being unexpectedly confronted by her abuser. This time around, she knows she's the one in control. 

Available August 11, 2020

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'Transcendent Kingdom' By Yaa Gyasi
target.com
$24.49

Readers can expect the same genius in Transcendent Kingdom that Yaa Gyasi delivered in Homegoing (2016), which received the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in 2017. In Transcendent Kingdom, Gyasi tells the story of a family from Ghana that struggles to make a home for themselves in small-town Alabama.

Available September 1, 2020 

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