By Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews

The Female Persuasion

Meg Wolitzer

$28.00 $25.20

This book hit me like a modern Bell Jar - it was real, honest, and unapologetic about being an adult in today’s world. I wouldn’t describe this book as action-packed, but whose life really is? Instead, Wolitzer covers the big things in life like grief, hope, ambition, love, power, loyalty, and womanhood through the lives of her characters. By the end of The Female Persuasion, I didn’t feel happy per se, but I did feel seen and comfortably at home in life, like I don’t need to worry about where I am and that somehow, it’ll all work out.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things

Jenny Lawson

$26.99 $24.29

I love this book. It's funny and dark and just absolutely, unapologetically great. Jenny is open and honest about her life with mental illness and her decision to be "Furiously Happy." She'll make you laugh and cry and wonder "whose life is really like this?!?!" (Answer: Jenny's life.) I don't normally read memoirs, but I *love* hers (I own all three of the books she's published so far) and I've reread them again and again. Even if I'm just looking for a quick giggle, I know I can count on the "Advance Praise" and "A Series of Unfortunate Disclaimers" to see me through. Check it out -- you won't regret it!

Romanov

Nadine Brandes

$17.99 $16.55

Anastasia is not a new character for many of us -- the Romanov grand duchess was thought to have possibly escaped her family’s tragic fate -- but what if she had magic to help her? Informed by history, Brandes draws upon the Romanov’s connection to mysticism to craft a new ending for Anastasia which leads her on a journey from Siberia to western Russia in an effort to save herself and those she cares about. For those who like to imagine a better end and magic in an ordinary world, Romanov will give you hope in the sight of great loss and humanize a family not always treated kindly by historians, just like it did for me.

We Set the Dark on Fire

Tehlor Kay Mejia

$17.99 $16.55

“In a battle between two men trying to control her, she’d chosen herself.” In this Latinx dystopian novel, Mejia created a world that mirrors our own in some ways - walls built to keep others out, vast inequalities, and rising tides of unrest - but they also incorporated a custom-made mythology and characters that you can’t help but get caught up in. They confront issues of gender, accidents of birth, and how far is too far for a revolution, as well as forbidden love and loyalties. We Set the Dark on Fire is not for the faint of heart and it kept me on the edge of your seat to the very end!

Whisper Network

Chandler Baker

$26.99 $24.29

This is not a quiet book. Baker takes on workplace sexual harassment in a way that's relevant and angry and real. The #metoo movement is at the heart of the Whisper Network, but not so much that it overshadows women's lives. Baker seated an incredibly complex issue in a page-turner that manages to stay grounded throughout. This is a must-read for every professional -- no matter what gender you identify with.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Kim Michele Richardson

$15.99 $14.71

Not only is this a beautifully written piece of historical fiction, but it’s also an extraordinary story about difference, compassion, and the power of books in Appalachia. Cussy Mary is the last of the blue-skinned people in Kentucky in a time where different = bad, but her strength in the face of discrimination and the hardship of need are an inspiration. I can’t recommend this novel enough and hope you enjoy it too!

When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt

Kara Cooney

$28.00 $25.20

Cooney digs up ancient history to give six notable women the attention they deserve. A celebrated Egyptologist and a professor at UCLA, this work makes me wish I could take her class. Rather than just recount the stories of these incredible leaders, Cooney uses modern political and social events to put them in conversation with our world today. Whether you're an Egyptian history afficianado, a feminist, or just curious, this book will bring you into a new understanding of these amazing people that we still know so little about.

Circe

Madeline Miller

$27.00 $24.30

I loved Greek Mythology growing up and Miller's retelling of the Odyssey's classic tale didn't disappoint! Circe hersefl is an underrated and often demonized character in these stories, but I believe Miller did her justice. This is the story of a woman with power in a world of men. It's a story of strength, trauma, and raw emotion -- and I loved every beautifully written moment of it!

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love

Jonathan Van Ness

$27.99 $25.19

I’m a big Queer Eye fan. I live for JVN’s everything. But nothing could’ve prepared me for this book. JVN is raw and honest and so truly himself. His voice is clearly heard throughout as he discusses everything he’s been through up to this point in his life. Over the Top gives us insight into the making of the lovely person who’s made such a lasting effect on so many. Whether you’re a Queer Eye fan, a Gay of Thrones fan, or a JVN fan, you’ll love this book. But also if you’re just struggling to find yourself and need a little inspiration and motivation to make it through!

The Mess That We Made

Michelle Lord and Julia Blattman

$18.95 $17.43

Honestly, I picked up this book because of how pretty the illustrations were, but once I actually read it -- wow. It's dark, but beautiful and terrifying in its reflection of reality. That said, the authors choose not to make this an expression of hopelessness by providing images of hope and suggestions to help towards the end. The lyricism of the text paired with the (at times devastating) beauty of the illustrations creates an extremely effective and striking message of the need (and possibility) for change in how we treat our oceans.

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

$9.99 $9.19

Beautifully written and illustrated, this is *not* your typical princess story! The queen at the center of the journey is nothing short of badass and the twists at the end break the mold of every iteration of “Sleeping Beauty” I’ve read!