Likewise's profile image

25 Recent Hidden Gem Books to Read Next

5 Books | by Likewise User verified icon

Need a new book to read? Check out these recent book releases from the past year that slid under the radar!

The Prophets

The Prophets

Books

Best Book of the YearNPR • The Washington Post • Boston Globe • TIME • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Real Simple • Buzzfeed • BookRiot • PopSugar • Goop • Library Journal • KCRW • Finalist for the National Book Award• One of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year• One of the New York Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year• Instant New York Times Bestseller A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony. With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets fearlessly reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.

Come Fly the World

Come Fly the World

Books

Glamour, danger, liberation: in a Mad Men–era of commercial flight, Pan Am World Airways attracted the kind of young woman who wanted out, and wanted up Required to have a college education, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a Foreign Service officer, a jet-age stewardess serving on iconic Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 also had to be between 5′3" and 5′9", between 105 and 140 pounds, and under 26 years of age at the time of hire.Cooke’s intimate storytelling weaves together the real-life stories of a memorable cast of characters, from small-town girl Lynne Totten, a science major who decided life in a lab was not for her, to Hazel Bowie, one of the relatively few Black stewardesses of the era, as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life. Cooke brings to light the story of Pan Am stewardesses’ role in the Vietnam War, as the airline added runs from Saigon to Hong Kong for planeloads of weary young soldiers straight from the battlefields, who were off for five days of R&R, and then flown back to war. Finally, with Operation Babylift—the dramatic evacuation of 2,000 children during the fall of Saigon—the book’s special cast of stewardesses unites to play an extraordinary role on the world stage.

Lakewood

Lakewood

Books

NPR Book of the Year 2020Electric Literature: One of 55 Books by Women and Nonbinary Writers of Color to Read in 2020 |  Lit Hub & The Millions: Most Anticipated Books of 2020 | Ms. Magazine: Anticipated 2020 Feminist Books | Refinery29: Books by Black Women We are Looking Forward To Reading | One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Reads of 2020 | Amazon Book of the Month Pick | Audible Editor’s Pick | Essence’s Pick| Glamour’s Must Read | Ms. Magazine’s Anticipated Read of 2020 A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan. On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away.The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family. Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.

The Hungover Games

The Hungover Games

Books

'Deftly explores expectations of modern womanhood . . . Full of adventure and awe' Dolly AldertonPeople always said I'd find love where I least expected it. I always said they were idiots.I had no idea how to commit to another human being.I could barely commit to reading a magazine, and I wrote for magazines for a living. My specialist subject was celebrities, and my own relationships made their marriages look eternal. I'd never paid a household bill that didn't mention bailiffs, and my idea of exercise was to go and stand outside a famous person's house and stare until I'd convinced myself that I lived in it. But my life in LA was happy; free of care and consequence. That was, until I came down to earth - with a bump. So this is the story of how I staggered from partying in Hollywood to bringing up a baby in Piss Alley, Dalston; how I never did find a copy of What To Expect When You Weren't Even Fucking Expecting To Be Expecting, and why paternity testing is not a good topic for a first-date conversation.**AN EVENING STANDARD AND COSMOPOLITAN BEST BOOK OF 2020** **AN OBSERVER NON-FICTION BOOK TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2020**___________________Praise for THE HUNGOVER GAMES:'Funny, dark and true' Caitlin Moran'A deeper, funnier, realer, more poignant Bridget Jones' Philippa Perry 'Sharply observed and funny' Guardian'Frank and fearless' Red'Outrageously entertaining' David Nicholls'This is the first time I've read anything about motherhood that didn't bore me' Sara Pascoe

The Arsonists' City

The Arsonists' City

Books

"Feels revolutionary in its freshness." —Entertainment Weekly “The Arsonists’ City delivers all the pleasures of a good old-fashioned saga, but in Alyan’s hands, one family’s tale becomes the story of a nation—Lebanon and Syria, yes, but also the United States. It’s the kind of book we are lucky to have.”—Rumaan Alam A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home The Nasr family is spread across the globe—Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children: all have lived a life of migration. Still, they’ve always had their ancestral home in Beirut—a constant touchstone—and the complicated, messy family love that binds them. But following his father's recent death, Idris, the family's new patriarch, has decided to sell. The decision brings the family to Beirut, where everyone unites against Idris in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets—lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep-set shame—that distance has helped smother. But in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together.   In a novel teeming with wisdom, warmth, and characters born of remarkable human insight, award-winning author Hala Alyan shows us again that “fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us” (NPR).

Scroll to top