Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

Recommended By Maya Ebrahimpour, Editorial Contributor

Why? In North Korea’s horrific labor camps, only one prisoner - Shin Dong-hyuk - has ever been known to escape and live to tell the tale. This book details his shocking, gruesome, and thought-provoking true story. An especially important read in the wake of America’s (and the rest of the world’s) lack of action taken against the harsh and dictatorial North Korean regime. This book will take you on a surreal journey to what seems like a dystopian sci-fi world, but is actually daily life in North Korea.

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

Recommended By Grace Hawkins, Feminism Editor

Why? It’s a powerful story of a female survivor in an apocalyptic world where reproductive capability is uncertain and becoming pregnant is often fatal. Beautiful prose and an enveloping world.

Into the Magic Shop by Dr. James Doty

Recommended By Saskia Leonard, Editorial Contributor

Why? This book guides on how to attain happiness and success through compassion, meditation, and stubborn pursuit of one’s dreams. Doty recounts his life from humble and emotionally damaging beginnings to becoming a neurosurgeon. He provides a guide to meditation to control your inner critic, open your heart, and realize the power within you. It is wholly inspiring and empowering!

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Recommended By Bailey Brann, Social Media Director

Why? Beautifully-crafted poems are my soft spot. Silverstein offers a genuinely delightful collection of whimsical poetry accompanied by some lovely illustrations. The author is endlessly imaginative, and I guarantee you'll have a lot of fun making your way through this book. If you had the chance to read this gem as a child, reading it a second time offers a great opportunity to relive some of those sentimental memories and really get the nostalgia going. It's one of those books where you will find something new each time you read it.

1Q84 by Haruki Marukami

Recommended By Anna Tingley, Founder and Editor-In-Chief

Why? Not to be dramatic...but this might be the best book I've ever read in my life. It wouldn't be inaccurate of me to say that my summer very much consisted of 50% of me working  and 50% of me burying my head in this perfect piece of literature. The story follows two main characters -- Aomame, a young woman who dedicates her life to exacting revenge on cruel male rapists, and Tengo, a middle-aged writer who has just agreed to ghostwrite an intriguing story from a mysterious young girl. Their stories converge and they both realize they're living in a parallel existence called 1Q84 ("Q" standing for "question mark") But in all honesty, the plot has much less to do with the greatness of the plot than does the captivating and addictive writing of Marukami. He's always been one of my favorite authors, and if you can't commit to the 1000+ pages of 1Q84 at the moment, you should crack open his less intimidating (and just as amazing) Colorless Tsukuru

En El Tiempo de las Mariposas By Julia Alvarez

Recommended By Ashley Marte, Editorial Contributor

Why? It’s one of those books that gets you thinking. Also, I think Alvarez did an amazing job capturing the way the characters felt during Trujillo’s regime. Honestly, what sparked my interest in feminism and women empowerment.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Recommended By Lauren Cameron, Editorial Contributor

Why? As someone who loves books, I could not more highly recommend a novel that celebrates books themselves. This book follows the odyssey of a regretful and heartbroken French man on his journey to a mending romance of the past. This book will make you laugh and cry as you explore the rivers of France with such vibrant characters. Additionally, the poetic nature of the author’s tone will have you underlining something on every page as you earn a deeper appreciation for love and loss.

The Militant Muse: Love, War and the Women of Surrealism by Whitney Chadwick

Recommended By Katrina Froelich, Fashion Editor

Why? The Militant Muse documents what it meant to be young, ambitious and female in the context of the surrealist movement that has largely been only defined by the male artists of the movement. It’s a study not only about surrealism, but also of female friendship and female solidarity. These women were so often cast aside as “muses” but they were so much more. Chadwick's eloquence and research enable us to appreciate the substance of these women at last.