1. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
For five days, two of the greatest religious leaders of our time (and close friends) shared their thoughts on finding joy despite a life that includes suffering. Their overall message? Relationships with others are paramount and joy comes through relationship.
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas focuses on the aftermath of the shooting of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer. I love young adult fiction!
3. Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles competes the Natchez Burning trilogy spectacularly. It is well worth your time to read all three books (Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree are the first two). The books feature Penn Cage, attorney and mayor of Natchez, who is faced with the accusation that his father, beloved doctor Tom Cage, killed his former nurse, an African-American woman. As Penn digs into his father's past, he is drawn into the world of an elite group of the KKK called the Double Eagles. A thrilling triology!
4. The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni is the fourth book featuring Detective Tracy Crosswhite. Tracy was drawn to a career in law enforcement following the kidnapping and murder of her sister when they were teenagers. I recommend reading the whole series (My Sister's Grave, Her Final Breath, In the Clearing, and the latest Close to Home).
5. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. Fascinating to learn more about the life of one of our Supreme Court Justices, who spent the majority of her career fighting for gender equality.
6. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, one of my favorite authors. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, and Lisa See is one of the best in this genre. Li-Yan lives in a remote Chinese village. More educated than most in their village, Li-Yan rejects many of their ancient customs. When she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she gives her baby up for adoption. The novel focuses on Li-Yan's search for her daughter, adopted by an American family. A beautiful and heartbreaking book.
7. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer. I found this book through Kindle First Books - the free books available each month to prime users. When divorcee Markie and her son move to a new town, they meet a rag-tag group of characters led by their new neighbor, Mrs. Saint. These characters stole my heart!
8. Lisa Gardner's Quincy and Rainie series - Right Behind You is the seventh book in the series featuring FBI profiler Quincy and his wife, law enforcement officer Rainie. It was the first I read in the series, and I found the characters fascinating, so I went back and read the other six books as well as many of Lisa Gardner's other books, thrillers all.
9. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn - another book of historical fiction based around women serving as spies in Europe during WWI and WWII. Part mystery, part history, all magical!