In this installment of our Four Resolutions, Four Weeks series, some of our agents reveal which books they are most excited about to get you started on your 2018 reading goal. From groundbreaking new releases to modern classics, we are pleased to share their suggestions below.
This post is part of the 4 Resolutions, 4 Weeks series, in which we spotlight speakers whose unique expertise can help you achieve your goals. If you’re just tuning in now, check out weeks 1 and 2: Productivity and Giving Back. Want to get these posts delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter.
“I’m really excited to be diving into The Line Becomes a River, Francisco Cantú’s powerful memoir about his time as a U.S. Border Patrol agent. With immigration at the forefront of the headlines, this book gives human faces to the statistics, and Francisco movingly portrays the tragic violence the border creates on both sides. As someone who is really interested in this topic, I think it will be fascinating to hear about it from the perspective of someone who worked on the border.”
—Jayme Boucher, Senior Agent Director at Penguin Publishing Group
“I have recommended I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez to countless people. A coming-of-age story combining mystery, mental illness and family struggles, it’s a compelling novel that feels particularly relevant. Erika is a celebrated poet and her debut young adult novel truly offers something for all readers.”
—Christine Labov, Agent Director at Random House Children’s Books
“I’m most looking forward to finally getting to The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham and the forthcoming The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya. I would also highly recommend Educated by Tara Westover – a powerful memoir about one young woman’s determination to learn and explore the world beyond her limiting, and at times dangerous, childhood home.”
—Wade Lucas, Senior Agent Director at Crown Publishing Group
“Preparing for the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative’s revolutionary Legacy Museum is the perfect time to revisit Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. An account of Bryan’s work to exonerate the wrongfully incarcerated, it’s both a searing look at a broken system and full of reasons to hope for a more just future. For further inspiration, I’ll be turning to Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason. Written after Kate’s diagnosis with Stage IV colon cancer at age 35, Bowler’s insights and lessons on finding optimism and fortitude in the face of the unthinkable will leave all readers transformed.”
—Caitlin McCaskey, Senior Agent Director at Random House
“I’m very excited for Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There. Tommy is a tremendous new voice in literary fiction, and There There is a gorgeously-written, defiant, and extremely powerful story about the lives of Urban Native Americans. I’m also looking forward to She Has Her Mother’s Laugh by Carl Zimmer, which is a major new work that encapsulates so much of what Carl has written about throughout his career in science journalism.”
— Kim Thornton Ingenito, Senior Agent Director at Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Browse our agents’ recommendations:
Everything Happens for a Reason - Kate Bowler
Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate Bowler offers up her irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live.
The Line Becomes a River - Francisco Cantú
For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River makes urgent and personal the the consequences the border wreaks on both sides of the line.
The Far Away Brothers - Lauren Markham
The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador’s violence to build new lives in California—fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.
There There - Tommy Orange
Fierce, angry, funny, groundbreaking–Tommy Orange’s first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. There There is a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter - Erika L. Sánchez
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA novel about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads - Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us, Clemantine Wamariya’s memoir of the Rwandan holocaust captures the true costs and aftershocks of war.
Educated - Tara Westover
An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University
She Has Her Mother's Laugh - Carl Zimmer
Award-winning, celebrated New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer presents a history of our understanding of heredity in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society–a force set to shape our future even more radically.
Next week: Cooking at Home