Welcome to the unofficial Good Good Good Book Club — we’re glad you’re here!
You’re in good company if you, too, are eager to consume the latest literary works from authors who don’t shy away from addressing pain and injustice, and instead inspire us — through their pages — to do good in the world.
Get your library card ready, because we’ll be updating this article every month with what we think are the best books to add to your ever-growing book list!
P.S. We’ve linked Amazon for convenience and accessibility, but we’re also linking to our favorite Amazon alternatives for books and audiobooks: Bookshop and Libro.fm, which are both great ways to support small, independent bookstores when you buy physical books and audiobooks. (Learn more about Amazon alternatives in our ultimate guide.)
Some of our links are affiliate links, which means that we may earn a commission if you buy something via this list. Thanks for supporting Good Good Good’s mission at no extra cost to you!
2022’s Best Books About Making a Difference, Caring for the Environment, and Doing Good
Every month we’ll update this list with new-release book recommendations for people who care about doing good in the world:
Best Books Coming Out in October 2022
“Which Side Are You On” by Ryan Lee Wong
In his debut novel, Ryan Lee Wong examines the complicated layers behind activism through the eyes of 21-year-old Reed — a vocal, idealistic Asian American organizer who devoted himself to the Black Lives Matter movement.
In a series of intimate, charged conversations with his mother — once the leader of a Korean-Black coalition — she demands that he rethink his outrage and what it means to be an effective organizer, student, and ally.
“Enslaved: The Sunken History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” by Sean Kingsley and Simcha Jacobovici
From the writers behind the widely acclaimed documentary series “Enslaved” comes a deeply revelatory exploration of the transatlantic slave trade — spanning 400 years, allowing 12 million people to be trafficked and two million to die en route.
The book follows the tireless efforts made by a group of international divers from Diving with a Purpose (DWP) — an organization seeking to reclaim the stories and artifacts of their forgotten ancestors.
“Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder” by William Shatner with Joshua Brandon
Star of the science fiction television series Star Trek, William Shatner, reflects on the interconnectivity of all things, our fragile bond with nature, and the joy that comes from exploration in this collection of essays.
“Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want” by Ruha Benjamin
Internationally renowned author, speaker, and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University Ruha Benjamin shares her inspiring vision for building a more just and joyful world (spoiler alert: it starts with small, individual actions).
Part memoir, part manifesto, “Viral Justice” is a deeply personal exploration of how we can transform society through the choices we make every day.
“Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto” by Tricia Hersey
Ever feel the unconscious urge to shame yourself for resting? Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry — an organization examining the liberating power of naps — is here to change that for you.
Informed by her experience in theology, activism, and performance art, “Rest Is Resistance” is a call to action, a field guide, and a manifesto for the sleep-deprived justice seekers looking for ways to liberate themselves from the “grind culture.”
“My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives” by Charlayne Hunter-Gault
From the legendary Emmy Award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault comes a collection of invaluable accounts from the Civil Rights Movement through the election and inauguration of America’s first Black president and beyond.
Hunter-Gault shows us the breadth and nuance of the Black, intersectional experience through everyday trials, tragedies, and triumphs.
“I'm So Happy You're Here: A Little Book About Why You're Great” by Liz Climo
We all need a fun little palette cleanser now and then — especially if we’re immersed in social causes that leave us feeling overwhelmed. Let this book be that gentle hug.
With the help of her charming animal drawings, international bestselling author Liz Climo encourages us to embrace the joyful moments, get back up after falling, and model ways we can love ourselves.
“Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions” by Temple Grandin Ph.D.
Temple Grandin forever changed how the world understood autism after her groundbreaking memoir, “Thinking in Pictures,” was published in 1995. In her latest book, this scientist and disability advocate highlights the different ways our brains are wired, celebrating visual thinkers' minds and contributions.
Grandin draws on cutting-edge research to take us inside visual thinking and proposes new approaches to educating, parenting, employing, and collaborating with visual thinkers.
“A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with Our Past and Driving Social Change” by Dolly Chugh
Dolly Chugh, award-winning professor of social psychology and author of the acclaimed “The Person You Mean to Be,” gives us the psychological tools and practical advice to dismantle the systems built by our ancestors and work toward an equitable future for all.
This evidence-based guide for developing resilience and grit to confront history allows readers to acknowledge the pain while also providing ways to drive long-lasting social change.
“Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem” by April Ryan
White House correspondent, April Ryan, combines profiles and in-depth interviews with some of the most influential female movers and shakers (like Maxine Waters, Valerie Jarrett, and Kamala Harris). Ryan also chronicles her personal journey from her working-class Baltimore days to the elite echelons of journalism — all while raising two daughters as a single mother in the aftermath of a messy divorce.
“Black Women Will Save the World” is a beautifully kaleidoscopic look at women of different ages and diverse backgrounds who devote their lives to making the world a better place — even if that means stepping on toes.
“Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life” by Margaret Sullivan
Margaret Sullivan has spent over four decades working in newsrooms big and small, making her a trusted champion and critic of the American news media.
With charm, keen observations, and nuanced criticism, Sullivan pulls the curtains back on the nation's most influential news outlets to explore how Americans lost trust in them and what it will take to regain it.
Best Books Coming Out in September 2022
“A Visible Man: A Memoir” by Edward Enninful
“A Visible Man” follows the astonishing journey of a Black, gay, working-class refugee who worked his way into one of the world’s most exclusive industries: fashion.
Becoming the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful began putting first responders, octogenarians, and civil rights activists on the cover of Vogue, while also supporting designers and photographers of color. He’s since cemented his status as one of his world’s most important changemakers and global icons.
“How to Speak Whale: A Voyage into the Future of Animal Communication” by Tom Mustill
What if animals and humans could speak to one another? Tom Mustill — the naturalist and wildlife documentarian who went viral when a 30-ton humpback whale breached onto his kayak — asks this question in his thrilling investigation into whale science and animal communication.
From seventeenth-century Dutch inventors, the whaling industry of the nineteenth century, to the cutting edge of Silicon Valley, Mustill examines how scientists and start-ups around the world are decoding animal communications.
“Solito: A Memoir” by Javier Zamora
A young poet takes us through his gripping journey from El Salvador to the United States at just nine years old. “Solito” not only provides Javier Zamora’s perspective on this near-impossible trek but also reflects the millions of other refugees who have made similar life-altering decisions to leave home for safety and protection.
“The Book Haters' Book Club: A Novel” by Gretchen Anthony
If you love the iconic Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks rom-com, “You’ve Got Mail,” there’s a chance you might enjoy this read! “The Book Haters’ Book Club” follows the story of a beloved bookshop on the verge of being bought out by condo developers.
Filled with humor, family hijinks, and even some actual book recommendations, this novel is a feel-good read and love letter to the everyday heroes who fuel our literary thirst: the booksellers and librarians dedicated to providing their communities with access to books.
“How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water” by Angie Cruz
From Angie Cruz, author of “Dominicana,” comes an electrifying new novel about a 50-year-old woman who has lost everything but the chance to finally tell her story.
After Cara Romero lost her factory job due to the Great Recession, she was forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Romero instead begins to narrate the story of her turbulent life, confronting her darkest secrets and regrets.
“Less Is Lost” by Andrew Sean Greer
In the follow-up to the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning, “Less: A Novel,” the awkward and lovable Arthur Less returns, this time on an unforgettable road trip across America.
“Less Is Lost” is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of American life, love, the stories we tell, and the people we meet along the way.
“Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be” by Dr. Becky Kennedy
In this book, Dr. Becky provides a thoughtful, practical guide to raising resilient, emotionally healthy kids while offering overwhelmed parents a supportive and compassionate resource to turn to.
“Why We Travel: 100 Reasons to See the World” by Patricia Schultz
From the author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” who inspired many to venture out into the world, comes her brand new book, “Why We Travel.” Filled with personal stories, empowering quotes, and jaw-dropping images, this book examines the question: Why do we travel?
“Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice” by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile
During the 1968 Olympic medal ceremony in Mexico City, Tommie Smith (a 200-meter sprint gold medalist) and John Carlos (bronze medalist) stood on the podium in black socks and raised their black-gloved fists to protest racial injustice inflicted upon African Americans.
As a result, both men were forced to leave the Olympics, received death threats, and faced ostracism and economic hardships. Smith, alongside coauthors Derrick Barnes — a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Honor recipient — and Emmy Award-winning illustrator Dawud Anyabwile, worked to create this groundbreaking story. The graphic memoir pays tribute to Smith’s past and his continued fight for civil rights justice.
“Healing Through Words” by Rupi Kaur
Kaur’s latest release presents guided poetry writing exercises to help explore trauma, loss, heartache, love, family, healing, and celebration of the self.
“Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen” by George McCalman
“Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen” is a gorgeous collection of 145 original portraits celebrating Black pioneers — famous and little-known — in politics, science, literature, music, and more.
Each entry includes beautiful artwork by artist and award-winning graphic designer George McCalman. His visual work is accompanied by insightful biographical reflections.
“Uncultured: A Memoir” by Daniella Mestyanek Young
Author Daniella Mestyanek Young was raised in Brazil's religious cult called The Children of God — also known as The Family. At fifteen years old, she escaped to Texas, enrolled in high school, graduated as valedictorian of her university class, and later joined the military as an intelligence officer.
“Uncultured” explores the dangers unleashed when the harmful group mentality goes undetected and the many ways women have to contort themselves to survive under these conditions.
Best Books Coming Out in August 2022
“Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter” by E.B. Bartels
There’s really no best practice or guidebook to get you through mourning your pet, but “Good Grief” captures what it means to love and lose beloved pets — and how others around the world grieve them once they’ve passed.
E.B. Bartels brings in the expertise of veterinarians, archaeologists, ministers, and more, offering a personal, inspiring collection of grieving rituals from Massachusetts to Japan and ancient Egypt to today’s modern era.
“Inventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller” by Alec Nevala-Lee
If you’ve got an eye for architectural design and devotion to sustainability, this biography (written by Alec Nevala-Lee) gives us a behind the scenes look into the visionary architect, systems theorist, designer, inventor, and futurist: Buckminster Fuller.
From the widely recognizable Epcot Center at Walt Disney World Resort to the molecule named in his honor as the buckyball, Fuller’s legacy is alive and thriving. His work has not only transformed industries, but his belief in technology and innovation has profoundly influenced designers, activists, and innovators today.
“Acceptance: A Memoir” by Emi Nietfeld
As a homeless teenager writing college essays in her rusty Toyota Corolla, Emi Nietfeld was convinced that attending an Ivy League school was the only escape from her dysfunctional childhood. From navigating through the foster care system and homelessness, to graduating from Harvard and working at Google, Nietfeld examines society’s fixation with resilience — and its cost to herself and others.
“Acceptance” challenges our ideas of what it means to overcome — and find contentment on your own terms.
“All This Could Be Different: A Novel” by Sarah Thankam Mathews
In her debut novel, author Sarah Thankam Mathews provides a riveting look into the life of a young immigrant seeking love and community amidst struggle. It’s a profound portrait of queer love, friendship, work, and the insecurity of living in 21st-century America.
“Walking Gentry Home: A Memoir of My Foremothers in Verse” by Alora Young
“Walking Gentry Home” tells the story of author Alora Young’s ancestors through poetic verses that together give voice to those historically left out in America: Black girls and women.
Informed by archival research, the last will and testament of an enslaver, formal interviews, family lore, and even a DNA test, Young traces the lives of her foremothers in West Tennessee and beyond. It’s a story that speaks to generational curses, homes and small towns, fleeting loves and lasting consequences, and the cruel and ever-present legacy of slavery.
“A Map for the Missing: A Novel” by Belinda Huijuan Tang
In Belinda Huijuan Tang’s debut novel, she paints a very human portrait of a man desperately searching for his father and reconnection with the community he once knew and loved.
Set against a rapidly changing post–Cultural Revolution China, “A Map for the Missing” is a deeply felt examination of family, forgiveness, and ultimately the meaning of home.
“Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs – An Antidote for Short-Termism” by Ari Wallach
If you feel overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of notifications and “Breaking News” updates, futurist and author Ari Wallach offers a way forward called “longpath,” a mantra and mindset to help widen our scope beyond today and tomorrow.
Drawing on history, theology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and social technologies, “Longpath” teaches readers to strengthen their ability to look ahead, approach stressful situations, increase capacity for cooperation, and boost creativity.
“Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis” by Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence
Release Date: August 23
Looking for a solutions-based guide to building a better world? “Owning the Future” offers a road map to its readers who seek to move from “the explosive concentration of wealth within the hands of the super-rich” to a more people-forward, post-pandemic system.
Authors Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence outline achievable plans supporting decommodification, social welfare, and equitable opportunity and growth.
“Walking in My Joy: In These Streets” by Jenifer Lewis
“Walking in My Joy” is a collection of stories by American actress, singer, comedian, and activist Jenifer Lewis. Her laugh-out-loud commentary and her insightful wisdom encourage readers to embrace each other’s uniqueness as a way to reach societal healing.
“Didn't Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta” by James Hannaham
From the author of the PEN/Faulkner Award winner, “Delicious Foods” comes a harrowing story of a trans woman's re-entry experience. The novel challenges us to confront the glaring injustices of a prison system that continues to punish people long after serving their time.
Best Books Coming Out in July 2022
“The Displacements: A Novel” by Bruce Holsinger
Part disaster film, part page-turning novel, author Bruce Holsinger transports us into a tumultuous world where an unprecedented catastrophe wipes out an entire South Florida community.
Holsinger explores what happens when everyone is left on the same playing field. He examines what privilege, resilience, ethics, and morals look like when exposed to a catastrophic event.
“NSFW: A Novel” by Isabel Kaplan
Isabel Kaplan’s “NSFW” is a gritty exploration of the gray area between empowerment and complicity.
The story follows an unnamed female protagonist who is working her way up the ranks of the male-dominated Hollywood industry. The result is a stunning portrait of what women have sacrificed (and still sacrifice) to protect their careers.
Trigger warnings: This novel discusses sexual assault, eating disorders, and harassment.
“Growing Up Getty: The Story of America's Most Unconventional Dynasty” by James Reginato
Fan of “Succession,” or “The House of Gucci?” This enthralling and comprehensive biography gives us a glimpse into the current state of one of the wealthiest family dynasties in the world: the Getty family.
American industrialist J. Paul Getty — once the richest man in the world — is the patriarch of a cast of sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who are building new empires, becoming award-winning environmentalists, and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.
“Imagine a City: A Pilot's Journey Across the Urban World” by Mark Vanhoenacker
Described as a “love letter to the cities of the world,” this travelogue meets memoir is a journey around both commercial airline pilot Mark Vanhoenacker’s inner thoughts and the planet's great cities.
Vanhoenacker’s warm and immersive accounts celebrates the cities he has come to know and love, while also honoring the overlooked beauty that lies within our own backyards.
“Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales: A Memoir” by Doreen Cunningham
Doreen Cunningham and her mischievous toddler decide to follow the grey whale migration from Mexico to northernmost Alaska. Throughout this journey, Cunningham dives deeper into understanding the history, habits, and attempts made by these whales and their calves to adapt to a world threatened by climate change.
They also find themselves voyaging onto the Arctic Sea ice and into the changing world of Indigenous whale hunters, where they become immersed in the ancient values of the Iñupiaq whale hunt.
In this unique blend of nature writing, whale science, and feminist memoir, Cunningham interweaves stories of motherhood, love, and enduring resilience.
“Crying in the Bathroom: A Memoir” by Erika L. Sánchez
When Emmy award-winning actress America Ferrera calls a book “equal parts pee-your-pants hilarity and break your heart poignancy” and “the perfect brunch date you never want to end,” you immediately add it to your reading queue!
From the New York Times bestselling author of “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” Erika Sánchez gives us a brutally honest and insightful memoir-in-essays on growing up as the daughter of Mexican immigrants, intimacy, feminism, and mental health — while cracking a few jokes along the way.
“Why Didn't You Tell Me?: A Memoir” by Carmen Rita Wong
An immigrant mother’s long-held secrets upend her daughter’s understanding of her family, her identity, and her place in the world in this powerful and dramatic memoir by former national television host Carmen Rita Wong.
“Why Didn’t You Tell Me?” is a riveting and moving story of Wong’s experience of race and culture in America and how they shape who we think we are.
Best Books Coming Out in June 2022
“Noodle and the No Bones Day” by Jonathan Graziano
Famous for their sweet and silly “bones or no bones” series on TikTok, pet owner Jonathan Graziano gently wakes his sleepy 13-year-old pug, Noodle, every morning for his daily mood reading.
Capturing the attention of millions of TikTok users who resonated with their message, Graziano has written an entertaining picture book following Noodle the pug and his human as they navigate Noodle’s first No Bones Day — a self-proclaimed day for being extra kind to yourself!
“Still Life” by Jay Hopler
When author and National Book Award-finalist of “The Abridged History of Rainfall” Jay Hopler was confronted with a terminal cancer diagnosis, he got to writing.
The result? A collection of poems that are described to be heartbreaking, terrifying, and deeply, darkly hilarious. Far from an elegy, “Still Life” is a testament to courage, love, compassion, and the fierceness of the human heart.
“Paul Laurence Dunbar: The Life and Times of a Caged Bird” by Gene Andrew Jarrett
Author Gene Andrew Jarrett offers readers a richly detailed and nuanced portrait of a significant figure in American literary history.
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906), born during the Reconstruction era to formerly enslaved parents, became one of the first African American writers to garner international recognition in the wake of emancipation. A prolific and successful poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright, Dunbar’s life and legacy live on through this beautifully fascinating biography.
“How to Raise an Antiracist” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the bestseller “How to Be an Antiracist,” wants to help parents raise the next generation of antiracist thinkers. Combining scientific research with vulnerable and compelling personal narratives as a parent and as a child in school, Dr. Kendi takes readers through the stages of child development from pregnancy to toddler to schoolkid to teenager and how parents (and parents-to-be) can raise their children to be antiracist.
“Horse: A Novel” by Geraldine Brooks
Set in three different time periods and based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, “Horse” is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.
“Spirit Matters: White Clay, Red Exits, Distant Others” by Gordon Henry
A major new collection from Indigenous author Gordon Henry comes a dazzling, surrealistic, original collection of poems informed by loss, love, and trauma.
Henry gains inspiration from imagined relatives, living, dead, and yet to be, providing us with an understanding of the living power of memory, story, and song.
“Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation” by Linda Villarosa
From an award-winning writer at the New York Times Magazine and a contributor to the 1619 Project comes “Under the Skin,” an intersectional book on the racial health disparities in America and the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation.
“My Greatest Save: The Brave, Barrier-Breaking Journey of a World Champion Goalkeeper” by Briana Scurry and Wayne Coffey
A profoundly moving memoir from the trailblazing, World Cup-winning, Olympic gold medalist, and US Women’s soccer goalie Briana Scurry.
“My Greatest Save” is a story of triumph, tragedy, and redemption from a woman who has broken through barriers her entire life.
Best Books Coming Out in May 2022
“Inheritance: A Visual Poem” by Elizabeth Acevedo and Andrea Pippins
New York Times bestselling author of “Clap When You Land”, “With the Fire on High,” and “The Poet X,” Elizabeth Acevedo is known for her empowering views on embracing the complexities of Afro-Latinidad.
Paired with full-color illustrations by artist Andrea Pippins, this poem can only be described as a deeply powerful and inspiring homage to Afrolatinas of all ages.
“Now What?: How to Move Forward When We're Divided (About Basically Everything)” by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers
If you’re a natural-born peacemaker and aspire to be a positive influence in your community, then “Now What?” is a great resource!
Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers, co-hosts of the popular podcast Pantsuit Politics present us with helpful tools on how to engage family and friends with curiosity, listen closely to the anxiety and fears of others, and hold lightly those things that are beyond our control around the world.
“All the Secrets of the World” by Steve Almond
Part crime story, part coming-of-age, part satire, part dissection of America’s criminal justice system, “All the Secrets of the World” is told from the perspective of 13-year-old, Lorena Saenz, in 1980s Sacramento.
An unlikely school project pairing takes two girls from starkly different backgrounds and offers an unflinching vision of the powerful and powerless colliding.
“Future Tense: Why Anxiety Is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad)” by Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D.
Many of us who seek to create positive impact in the world struggle with the all too real, paralyzing, and uncomfortable feeling of anxiety.
Anxiety researcher and author, Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D., presents us with a powerful new framework for reimagining and reclaiming the confounding emotion as the advantage it evolved to be: an emotion that protects us and strengthens our creativity.
By distilling the latest research in psychology and neuroscience — including her own — Dennis-Tiwary shows how we can acknowledge the discomfort of anxiety and see it as a tool, rather than something to be feared.
“Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making” by Tony Fadell
Creating change in the world looks different for everybody. Whether it be through volunteer work or activism, there’s a place for us all to make meaningful impact. “Build” is a book for the world-changer who aspires to grow at work and use their day-job as a means to create something that benefits the community at large.
Written by Tony Fadell — the leader behind the iPod, iPhone and Nest Thermostat — he shares over 30 years of Silicon Valley leadership and design experience. From decision-making to mentorship to devastating failure and success, Fadell throws out the traditional Silicon Valley credo that you have to reinvent everything from scratch to make something great and instead encourages his readers to take a more unorthodox approach.
“How to Prevent the Next Pandemic” by Bill Gates
Cofounder of a little-known company called Microsoft and author of the #1 New York Times best seller “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” comes a brand new book that shares knowledge of the world's foremost experts, as well as Bill Gates’ own experience of combating fatal diseases through the Gates Foundation.
Gates clearly lays out lessons learned from COVID-19 and what all of us can do to ward off a future disasters like it.
“Nasty, Brutish, and Short: Adventures in Philosophy with My Kids” by Scott Hershovitz
Father and University of Michigan professor of law and philosophy, Scott Hershovitz, has written a fresh, deep, and funny inquiry into life’s biggest questions — with the help of first-rate philosophers, which include his two young children.
Hershovitz calls on us to support kids in their philosophical adventures. But more than that, he challenges us to join them so that we can become better, more discerning thinkers and recapture some of the wonder kids have about the world.
“Seen and Unseen: Technology, Social Media, and the Fight for Racial Justice” by Marc Lamont Hill and Todd Brewster
Marc Lamont Hill, host of BET News and journalist Todd Brewster join forces to incisively explore the evolution of American media and how the immediacy of technology and social media are allowing those on the frontlines to reveal injustice and allow for broader movements to gain traction.
“My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist's Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole” by Will Jawando
Author Will Jawando provides us with a profoundly affirmative story of hope and respect for men of color at a time when they are routinely stereotyped and stigmatized.
Drawing from his personal experiences and involvement in My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, President Obama’s national initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color, this book beautifully displays a transformative way for Black men to shape the next generation.
“Outdoor Kids in an Inside World: Getting Your Family Out of the House and Radically Engaged with Nature” by Steven Rinella
In his latest book, author, father, and outdoorsman Steven Rinella explores what it means for children to ditch screentime and instead understand and engage with the outdoors.
He offers practical advice for getting kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way, with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural ecosystem.
No matter their location—rural, suburban, or urban — this book provides guardians and kids with activities that promote their curiosity about the world around them, confidence and self-sufficiency, and a lifelong sense of stewardship of the natural world.
“Be My Baby: A Memoir” by Ronnie Spector
Hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest rock memoirs of all time, “Be My Baby” is the true story of how Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ronnie Spector carved out a space for herself against tremendous odds amid the chaos of the 1960s music scene.
“Be My Baby” is not only a revealing representation of the artist’s turbulent past, but it’s also an empowering testament to one woman’s courage to face her abuser and pave a new path forward.
“The Power of Conflict” by Jon Taffer
Doing good in the world often means coming into direct contact with conflict. Many of us — like, ahem, myself — find conflict deeply uncomfortable and therefore something to avoid altogether!
Star and executive producer of the hit TV show Bar Rescue and New York Times bestselling author of “Don't Bullsh*t Yourself,” Jon Taffer reveals the transformational power of conflict, sharing his toolkit for arguing smarter.
“The Power of Conflict” provides readers with a guide to argue smarter and uphold your values.
“Permission to Come Home: Reclaiming Mental Health as Asian Americans” by Jenny Wang, Ph.D.
Jenny Wang, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist that works from a social justice and intersectional framework focused on understanding the impact of racial trauma and racial identity on mental health.
“Permission to Come Home” takes Asian Americans on an empowering journey toward reclaiming their mental health by weaving her insights as a clinician and evidence-based tools. She challenges the reader to question, feel, rage, say no, take up space, choose, play, fail, and grieve. For Asian Americans, this book is a beautiful road map that offers permission to return closer to home, a place of acceptance, belonging, healing, and freedom.
“Isn't Her Grace Amazing!: The Women Who Changed Gospel Music” by Cheryl Wills
Cheryl Wills, the granddaughter of a Gospel singer, provides us with a unique tribute to the often-overlooked women who have left an indelible mark on Gospel music.
The only book of its kind, “Isn’t Her Grace Amazing!” showcases the powerful talents who overcame racism and sexism to define the genre, establish its sound, and set the standard for generations.
“The Movement Made Us: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride” by David J. Dennis Jr. and David J. Dennis Sr.
A unique and effecting account of father-son, chronicling the extraordinary stories of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and its legacy embodied in the Black Lives Matter movement.
A dynamic family exchange that shifts between the voices of a father and son,. David Dennis Sr. — a core architect of the 1960s Civil Rights movement — speaks out for the first time, swapping recollections both harrowing and joyful with David Jr, a journalist working on the front lines of change today.
“Bad Girls: A Novel” by Camila Villada
An intimate, nuanced portrait of gender oppression in the trans community, “Bad Girls” — beautifully translated by Kit Maude — is a close cry to what trans youth in Texas and Florida are experiencing.
The novel, a work of autofiction, is a first-person coming-of-age story told by Villada. This gritty yet tender story is a trans woman’s tale about finding community on the margins challenges the reader’s ideas about love, sexuality, gender, and identity.
“A Place to Belong: Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and Beyond” by Amber O'Neal Johnston
Creating a more inclusive and sustainable world starts in our families. “A Place to Belong” is a thoughtful guide for families of all backgrounds to celebrate cultural heritage and embrace inclusivity in their homes and beyond. Author Amber O'Neal Johnston provides parents with tools to empower children to embrace their unique identities while feeling beautifully tethered to their global community.
“We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story” by Simu Liu
Simu Liu made history as the first Asian superhero in film when he starred in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” In his memoir, Liu discusses his own origin story, battling cultural stereotypes as a Chinese immigrant, and his identity.
“We Were Dreamers” is much more than a celebrity memoir — it's a story about growing up between cultures, finding your family, and carving out your own life.
“Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments” by D. Watkins
“Black Boy Smile” is D. Watkins’s love letter to Black boys in urban concrete cities that provides a daring testimony of contradictions, fears, and hopes of boys hurdling headfirst into adulthood.
D. Watkins pinpoints how generational hardship — left raw and unnurtured — breeds toxic masculinity and instead urges his readers to seek healing through language and love. “Black Boy Smile” is evidently the story of a Black boy who found healing.
“We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies” by Tsering Yangzom Lama
“We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies” is a profoundly written reflection on colonization, displacement, and the lengths one Tibetan family went through to remain connected to their family and ancestral land.
Told through the lives of four people over 50 years, this novel provides a nuanced, moving portrait of the little-known world of Tibetan exiles.
“How to Grow: Nurture Your Garden, Nurture Yourself” by Marcus Bridgewater
Often compared to Bob Ross and Mister Rogers for his soothing TikTok videos on botany and humanity, Marcus Bridgewater — aka @gardenmarcus on TikTok — has created a beautiful manual offering lessons for growth rooted in his knowledge of the plant world.
“How to Grow” isn’t a gardening book, it’s a mental health guide filled with nurturing wisdom taken from perennial knowledge from plants to teach us about ourselves and our capabilities.
“Neruda on the Park” by Cleyvis Natera
In her debut novel, Cleyvis Natera, follows the lives of one Dominican family in New York City who all take radically different paths when faced with encroaching gentrification.
A beautifully layered portrait of family, friendship, and ambition, “Neruda on the Park” weaves a rich and vivid tapestry of community and the sacrifices made to protect what they love most.
“Rainbow Rainbow: Stories” by Lydia Conklin
A fearless collection of stories that celebrate the humor, darkness, and depth of emotion of the queer and trans experience that's not often represented.
In this prize-winning collection, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming characters seek love and connection that reflect the complexity of our current moment.
“Black Oak: Odes Celebrating Powerful Black Men” by Harold Green III
As he did for Black women in Black Roses, Poet Harold Green III honors iconic men who are spearheading movements, fighting for equality, challenging the status quo, embracing fatherhood, providing a transformative model of masculinity for children, inspiring a new generation of creators, and more.
Featuring full-color illustrations by Melissa Koby, this book is divided into five sections — bravehearts, champions, dreamers, guardians, and humanitarians.
Best Books Coming Out in April 2022
“How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth” by The Moth, Meg Bowles, Catherine Burns, Jenifer Hixson, Sarah Austin Jenness, and Kate Tellers
If you’re getting ready to deliver a wedding toast, graduation address, or job interview, you’ve found your next book! From The Moth — an organization on a mission to promote the art and craft of storytelling while honoring and celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience — comes the guidebook of any storyteller’s dreams.
Drawing on 25 years of storytelling experience, the experts at The Moth work with people from all walks of life to share easy-to-follow tips on what it takes to connect more authentically with those around you through storytelling.
“Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole” by Susan Cain
We’re firm believers that in order to be helpers in this world, we must also do the work of helping ourselves. Author of the bestselling phenomenon “Quiet” reveals the power of a bittersweet outlook on life, and why we’ve been blind to its value.
“If we don’t acknowledge our own heartache, we can end up inflicting it on others via abuse, domination, or neglect,” Cain says. “But if we realize that all humans know — or will know — loss and suffering, we can turn toward one another.”
“Easy Beauty: A Memoir” by Chloé Cooper Jones
Chloé Cooper Jones — Pulitzer Prize finalist, philosophy professor, and Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient — writes a groundbreaking memoir about disability, motherhood, and a journey across the world in search of reclaiming the spaces she’d been denied — and denied herself.
Born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis, which affects both her stature and gait, she shares a fierce and revealing account of moving through a world in a body that looks different than most.
“Finding Me” by Viola Davis
Viola Davis has graced our screens for decades, and is now intimately sharing her journey through life-changing hardship, navigating the entertainment industry as a Black woman, and arriving at her purpose.
“Finding Me” is a deep reflection, promise, and love letter to herself that she hopes inspires readers who feel untethered to create a path born from radical honesty and courage.
“The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan
Named one of the “Most Anticipated Book of the Year” by Time, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, and many more, comes an electrifying, deeply moving novel about the quest for authenticity and meaning in a world where memories and identities are no longer private.
From one of the most celebrated writers of our time, Jennifer Egan imagines a world where new technology allows you to access your own memories, and share them in exchange for access to the memories of others. “The Candy House” exposes the consequences of this technology and the human longing for real connection, love, family, and privacy.
“We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth” edited by Dahr Jamail and Stan Rushworth
When addressing the climate crisis, it’s crucial that we center Indigenous voices around the world since most — if not all — are at the forefront of its wrath and are diligently fighting for solutions.
“We Are the Middle of Forever” is a powerful, intimate collection of conversations with North American Indigenous communities who share their knowledge, experience, questions, observations, and dreams of maintaining a healthy, regenerative relationship to all of life.
“Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History” by Jori Lewis
Americans consume over 1.5 billion pounds of peanut products every year. But few of us know the peanut's tumultuous history, or its connection to slavery and freedom.
As we grapple with the enduring consequences of slavery, “Slaves for Peanuts” provides us with a little-known chapter in global history and the characters who challenged the motives and people who supported it.
“Portrait of a Thief” by Grace D. Li
Named “A Most Anticipated Book of 2022” by Vulture, Marie Claire, Medium, and more, comes a book that author Grace D. Li describes as “Ocean’s Eleven” meets “The Farewell.”
This heist novel — inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums — is a story about the colonization of art and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
“Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life” by Brianna Madia
A woman defined by motion, Brianna Madia bought a beat-up bright orange van — named Bertha — filled it with her two dogs Bucket and Dagwood, and headed into the canyons of Utah with her husband.
In this beautifully written, vividly detailed memoir, Madia chronicles everything from the backroads to the breakdowns, marriage and her reflections on living an unconventional life — all while traveling across the deserts of the American West.
“Riverman: An American Odyssey” by Ben McGrath
“Riverman” is a moving portrait and true story of Dick Conant, an American folk hero who, over the course of 20 years, canoed thousands of miles of American rivers — and subsequently disappeared near the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
This riveting story of a complex and fascinating man shows us the power of connection and how one person can bring countless people together.
“The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer” by Janelle Monáe
What can’t Janelle Monáe do, right?! Drawing inspiration from the Afrofuturistic vision of her hit album “Dirty Computer,” this short fiction collection features stories by Monáe and a slate of "talented female and non-binary writers."
Monáe explores threads of liberation through queerness, race, gender plurality, and love, all while being transported into a world where thoughts could be controlled or erased by a select few.
“Nobody Gets Out Alive” by Leigh Newman
Named a “Most Anticipated” book by Vogue, Literary Hub, and Oprah Daily, this book chronicles the story of women creating space for themselves in a male-dominated Alaskan society.
From struggling to survive in the remote wilderness, to marriage and family, comes a phenomenal collection of stories about women navigating the outdoors and societal expectations.
“Such Big Dreams” by Reema Patel
If you’re looking for a fiction book with a strong female lead, look no further! Reema Patel takes us into the world of a fiercely intelligent protagonist and former street child working at a human rights law office in Mumbai.
Patel's transportive debut novel offers a moving, smart, and arrestingly clever look at the cost of ambition and power in reclaiming one's story.
“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
From the New York Times bestselling author of “Wench,” Dolen Perkins-Valdez writes a profoundly moving story about a young Black nurse’s shocking discovery and burning quest for justice in post-segregation Alabama.
Inspired by true events, “Take My Hand” dives into the exploration of accountability, redemption, and hope.
“Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives” by Mary Laura Philpott
Hailed by The Washington Post as “Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin all rolled into one,” Mary Laura Philpott — bestselling author of “I Miss You When I Blink” — returns with her unique perspective on all things big, heavy, life, and death — with her signature dash of humor and optimism.
A self-proclaimed lifelong worrier, Philpott dissects protective instincts and the limits — both tragic and hilarious — of the human experience that we so often turn to when we’re faced with anxious thoughts.
“Hello, Molly!” by Molly Shannon
You might recognize the hilariously brilliant Molly Shannon from her days on “Saturday Night Live” or “Superstar.” Finding a memoir that balances life’s inevitable challenges and grief with resiliency and humor can be a tough find, however, Shannon’s book is a testament that both can beautifully coexist.
In her heartbreaking memoir, “Hello, Molly!” Shannon candidly shares her experience with losing her mother, baby sister, and cousin in a car accident with her father at the wheel. She takes us through her tender and complicated relationship with her grieving father, who helped foster her drive and gifts which would eventually lead her to becoming the celebrated actress we know today.
“Memphis” by Tara M. Stringfellow
In Tara M. Stringfellow’s debut novel, she draws inspiration from her own family history.
“Memphis” — the Black fairy tale she always wanted to read — is a story that unfolds over seventy years, weaving back and forth in time to explore the complexity of what we pass down from one generation to the next, and how we have the power to alter its course.
“Young Mungo” by Douglas Stuart
A story of queer love and working-class families, “Young Mungo” is the brilliant second novel from the Booker Prize-winning author, Douglas Stuart, of “Shuggie Bain.”
Centering the voices of people rarely acknowledged in the literary world, “Young Mungo” is a gripping story about the bounds of masculinity, the divisions of sectarianism, and the violence faced by many queer people.
Best Books Coming Out in March 2022
“Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021” by Margaret Atwood
In this collection of essays, award-winning, bestselling author of “The Handmaid's Tale” and “The Testaments” offers her funny and endlessly curious take on everything from debt and tech, to the climate crisis, freedom, and the importance of how to define granola.
“Faithful Antiracism: Moving Past Talk to Systemic Change” by Christina Barland Edmondson and Chad Brennan
Genre: Nonfiction, Spirituality
Release Date: March 22
“Faithful Antiracism” will equip readers of faith with information to move past talk and enter the fight against racism, in both practical and hopeful ways.
“The Helpers : Profiles from the Front Lines of the Pandemic” by Kathy Gilsinan
You know how much we love Helpers! (Thank you, Mister Rogers!) This book is a deeply moving narrative of the Coronavirus pandemic, told through portraits of eight individuals who tirelessly worked to help others through COVID.
“All the White Friends I Couldn't Keep: Hope--and Hard Pills to Swallow--About Fighting for Black Lives” by Andre Henry
A leading voice for social justice shares his stories from his own path to activism and offers a proven way forward for Black people and people of color based on the history of nonviolent struggle.
You can read an excerpt of the chapter, How To Be Hopeful, here on our site.
“Change for Good: An Action-Oriented Approach for Businesses to Benefit from Solving the World's Most Urgent Social Problems” by Paul Klein
Genre: Fiction, Business Development
Release Date: March 15
Paul Klein’s action-oriented book inspires readers, and their organizations, to make the shift from passive social responsibility to actionable solutions in solving the world’s most pressing social problems — as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers” by Dylan Marron
From the host of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast “Conversations with People Who Hate Me” comes a thought-provoking, witty, and inspirational exploration of difficult conversations and how to navigate them. It serves as both a guide to anyone partaking in difficult conversations and a permission slip for those who are curious enough to believe that connection is possible.
“Brighter by the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams” by Robin Roberts
Host of “Good Morning America” and New York Times bestselling author, Robin Roberts crafts a compassionate guide to instilling hope and optimism — meeting readers where they’re at on their journey.
“All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir
From one of today’s most cherished — and bestselling — young adult (YA) authors comes a breathtaking YA novel about family, forgiveness, love, and loss.
“The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet” by Leah Thomas
This is the environmentalism textbook we wish we read in school! This essential read from Leah Thomas, the founder of Intersectional Environmentalist, addresses the most pressing issues that people and our planet face today. It examines and dismantles privilege, honors the history of the environmental justice movement, and looks to the future.
“Inclusion on Purpose : An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work” by Ruchika Tulshyan
From warning against hiring for “culture fit,” to instead arguing for “culture add,” Ruchika Tulshyan’s latest book covers a more intersectional approach to culture-building in the workplace, one that takes action to address and prevent bias while centering women of color.
“The Worth of Water: Our Story of Chasing Solutions to the World's Greatest Challenge” by Gary White and Matt Damon
Even better, all the authors’ proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Water.org!
Best Books Coming Out in February 2022
“White Lies: The Double Life of Water F. White and America’s Darkest Secret” by A.J Baime
A riveting biography of Walter F. White, a little-known Black civil rights leader who passed for a white man in order to investigate racist murders, help put the NAACP on the map, and change the racial identity of America forever.
“What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma” by Stephanie Foo
A powerful memoir of reckoning and healing by acclaimed journalist Stephanie Foo, who investigates the little-understood science behind complex PTSD, and how it's shaped her life.
“Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World — and How to Repair It All” by Lisa Sharon Harper
Christian activist Lisa Sharon Harper draws on her lifelong journey to know her family's history, and lights a path through national and religious history in order to expose the brokenness that race has wrought in America Lisa casts a vision for collective repair.
“Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body Liberation” by Dalia Kinsey
Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dalia Kinsey helps readers improve their health without restriction, eliminate stress around food and eating, and turn food into a source of pleasure instead of shame.
This road map is specifically designed for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and filled with constructive eating practices, journal prompts, affirmations, and mindfulness tools.
“The Awesome Human Project: Break Free from Daily Burnout, Struggle Less, and Thrive More in Work and Life” by Nataly Kogan
Nataly Kogan, co-founder and CEO of Happier — a leading wellness company on a mission to make people, well, happier — shares an accessible, super-practical, and “unboring” guide for reducing daily struggle and burnout ― so you can live, work, and lead with more energy, joy, and meaning— even during difficult times.
“Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World's Most Creative People” by Debbie Millman
Debbie Millman brings her widely successful and award-winning “Design Matters” podcast to the pages of her upcoming anthology.
She brings together insights and reflections from today’s leading creative minds across diverse fields, offering wisdom into new ways of being and living.
“Recitatif: A Story” by Toni Morrison
The one and only short story from legendary Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison gives us a remarkable look into what keeps us together and what keeps us apart — with an introduction by Zadie Smith.
“Radical Healership: How to Build a Values-Driven Healing Practice in a Profit-Driven World” by Laura Mae Northrup
Therapist Laura Mae Northrup navigates the complexities of being a healer today — and shows us how we can stay true to our calling in a world built from systems that were designed to extract, oppress, and exploit.
“How to Host a Viking Funeral: The Case for Burning Your Regrets, Chasing Your Crazy Ideas, and Becoming the Person You're Meant to Be” by Kyle Scheele
One man’s way of closing out his 20s turned into a worldwide community of 20,000 people sharing regrets they wanted him to burn in a mock viking ship.
This is a story of letting go of the people we used to be, the past, and embracing the future with hope.
Best Books Coming Out in January 2022
“The Urge: Our History of Addiction” by Carl Erik Fisher
In the midst of the opioid crisis, Carl Erik Fisher — an addiction physician, bioethicist, and researcher — provides a voice to those who struggle with addiction by providing historical context on the issue and a way to empathize.
“Olga Dies Dreaming” by Xochitl Gonzalez
Pulling from her personal experience in the high-pressure venues of New York City, author Xochitl Gonzalez tackles elitism, racism, and the pitfalls of ambition.
Set in the months surrounding the most destructive hurricane in Puerto Rico's history, “Olga Dies Dreaming” ultimately explores the reality — and the struggle — of the American dream.
“Living While Black: Using Joy, Beauty, and Connection to Heal Racial Trauma” by Guilaine Kinouani
Psychologist Guilaine Kinouani gives us a powerful look at the impacts of anti-Black racism and a practical guide for overcoming racial trauma through radical self-care as a form of resistance.
“Wrong Lanes Have Right Turns: A Pardoned Man's Escape from the School-to-Prison Pipeline and What We Can Do to Dismantle It” by Michael Phillips
The unforgettable true story of one man’s escape from the school-to-prison pipeline, how he reinvented himself as a pastor and education reform advocate, and what his journey can teach us about turning the collateral damage in the lives of our youth into hope.
“The Answers Are Within You: 108 Keys to Unlock Your Mind, Body & Soul” by Amber Rae
In “The Answers Are Within You,” Rae offers an invitation to explore your inner world freely and joyfully through her brilliant illustrations and thought-provoking questions — from reimagining success, to setting heart-centered boundaries, to honoring your intuition.
“Lost & Found: A Memoir” by Kathryn Schulz
Kathryn Schulz's book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy, and tribulation and suffering — a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.
“How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question” by Michael Schur
Does the name Michael Schur ring a bell? From the creator of “The Good Place” and the co-creator of “Parks and Recreation,” “How to Be Perfect” is a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,400 years of deep thinking from around the world.
“The Sunny Nihilist: A Declaration of the Pleasure of Pointlessness” by Wendy Syfret
“The Sunny Nihilist” explains why achievement has not made us happy and challenges us to turn to a philosophy usually associated with grumpy pessimists. Writer Wendy Syfret examines our modern experience of work, love, religion, and wider society, and asks whether a touch of upbeat nihilism could actually lighten our loads.
“Worn: A People's History of Clothing” by Sofi Thanhauser
A sweeping and captivating panoramic social history of clothing and an unparalleled deep-dive into how everyday garments have transformed our lives, societies, and planet.
“Joan Is Okay” by Weike Wang
“Joan Is Okay” is a portrait of a modern woman wrestling with being Chinese-American right now, working in medicine at a high-stakes time, finding one’s voice in a male-dominated workplace, and staying independent within a tight-knit family.
We’ll continue to update this post month by month, with new releases. Bookmark this page to easily find your next good good good read.