Rachel's Picks

   born a crime

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was illegal. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother began embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

   house of broken angels

House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Big Angel buries his mother the day before his birthday bash, what he has decided will be his farewell party as he nears the end of his struggle with cancer. As his large, boisterous and complicated family descends on his San Diego home, Big Angel reflects on his life and the epic story of the his clan, the De La Cruzes, a true border family who are uniquely American. Humorous, heartbreaking and authentic, Urrea has proven himself a masterful storyteller.


There, There by Tommy Orange

The story of twelve Urban Indians living in Oakland, California. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow-some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent-momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything.


Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

The story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer contrasts with Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap.

   seven husbands

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

   today will be different

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

   my year

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Our narrator should be happy. She's young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs designed to heal our heroine from her alienation from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable, even necessary, alienation can be.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.


Go to top