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The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It’s impossible to do justice to The Water Dancer (2019) in a book review. The story is powerful and haunting, the characters are expertly and thoughtfully portrayed throughout, and the time period and settings are drawn such that I felt that I was viewing the horrors of slavery on a Virginia plantation and experiencing the terrifying dangers of the flight to freedom.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

If you enjoy dual narratives, flawed characters, and twisty plots, try The Lost Apothecary (2021) by Sarah Penner. Alternating between the late 18th century and contemporary London, the story is told from the perspectives of three women. In the 1790s, a secret apothecary shop caters to women seeking poisons to rid themselves of men who have wronged them.

A League of Nobleman

A League of Nobleman (2023) is a Chinese historical mystery TV series. It follows Zhang Ping, a poor orphan from the countryside who is making his living as a noodle seller in the capital while studying for the exam to become a government official. His dream is to someday join the Ministry of Justice and solve crimes. In the meantime, he has earned the nickname “Noodle Detective” through his efforts to solve minor everyday mysteries for his neighbors.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

If you’re looking for a sprawling novel that spans much of the twentieth-century and enters the twenty-first, features an array of distinctive points of view and complex relationships, ventures to far-flung places, and explores big ideas, then I invite you to consider reading Maggie Shipstead’s most recent release, Great Circle (2021).