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THE RED WIDOW

One of our recommended books is The Red Widow by Sarah Horowitz

Sex, corruption, and power: the rise and fall of the Red Widow of Paris

Paris, 1889: Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a marriage to a failed artist twenty years her senior, she knows her options are limited.

Determined to fashion herself into a new woman, Meg orchestrates a scandalous plan with her most powerful resource: her body. Amid the dazzling glamor, art, and romance of bourgeois Paris, she takes elite men as her lovers, charming her way into the good graces of the rich and powerful.

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COCOON

One of our recommended books is Cocoon by Zhang Yueran

A new generation comes to terms with China’s past

Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi go way back. Both hailing from dysfunctional families, they grew up together in a Chinese provincial capital in the 1980s. Now, many years later, the childhood friends reunite and discover how much they still have in common. Both have always been determined to follow the tracks of their grandparents’ generation to the heart of a mystery that perhaps should have stayed buried. What exactly happened during that rainy night in 1967, in the abandoned water tower? Zhang Yueran’s layered and hypnotic prose reveals much about the unshakable power of friendship and the existence of hope.

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FIGHT BACK

One of our recommended books is Fight Back by A.M. Dassu

Thirteen-year-old Aaliyah can’t wait for a concert by her favorite K-pop boy band, 3W. She isn’t too concerned with stories on the news about the rise of the far right—after all, it doesn’t affect her—until a terrorist attack at the concert changes everything.

Local racists are emboldened and anti-Muslim rhetoric starts cropping up at school and on the street. When Aaliyah starts getting bullied, she knows she has to do something to stand up to the hate. She decides that, instead of hiding who she is, she will begin wearing a hijab for the first time, to challenge how people in her community see Muslims.

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THE SKI JUMPERS

One of our recommended books is The Ski Jumpers by Peter Geye

A brilliant ski jumper has to be fearless—Jon Bargaard remembers this well. His memories of daring leaps and risks might be the key to the book he’s always wanted to write: a novel about his family, beginning with Pops, once a champion ski jumper himself, who also took Jon and his younger brother Anton to the heights. But Jon has never been able to get past the next, ruinous episode of their history, and now that he has received a terrible diagnosis, he’s afraid he never will.

In a bravura performance, Peter Geye follows Jon deep into the past he tried so hard to leave behind,

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