New Reads for a New Year

FIONA AND JANE

JEAN CHEN HO

Viking

This book is an honest look at friendship as women struggle to understand each other and themselves.

Fiona Lin and Jane Shen have been best friends since they were kids growing up in Los Angeles. As adults, they support each other through various failed romantic relationships and family dramas. When Fiona moves to New York to help an ailing friend, Jane is left behind in California to deal with the sudden death of her estranged father as well as tensions with her girlfriend. The physical distance takes a toll on their friendship as their lives get increasingly more complicated. Comprised of linked short stories that are told in alternating points of view, this book portrays female friendship as a roller coaster ride of emotions.

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MISS ME WITH THAT: HOT TAKES, HELPFUL TIDBITS, AND A FEW HARD TRUTHS

RACHEL LINDSAY

Ballantine Books

Catch up with Rachel as a correspondent on “Extra” and as co-host on the “Higher Learning” podcast.

Rachel Lindsay might have found love as the first Black “Bachelorette,” but there’s more to living happily ever after than what you see on reality TV. In a collection of essays that spans a variety of topics from love and relationships to race and politics, Rachel shares her story with her unique brand of wit and wisdom that has made her so beloved with fans. Even those who have never seen an episode of the “Bachelor” franchise will find Lindsay an inspiration as they carve out their own paths in life and search for a love that will empower them.

LET’S GET PHYSICAL

DANIELLE FRIEDMAN

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

This book serves as the origin story for women’s fitness, and how we can all be superheroes with our own health.

Did you know that well into the 20th century, women’s workouts were considered detrimental to their health? Fast forward to the 21st century and the multibillion-dollar fitness industry that proves the world has done a 180 on that hogwash. This book, written by an award-winning journalist, tells the story of how we got from exercising for a trim figure to fitness as the savior of our mental and physical health. We’ve come a long way since Jane Fonda and Jazzercise, but we can thank these and other fitness trailblazers for encouraging us to get our sweat on and feel good in our bodies, no matter what shape or size they are.

ENOUGH ALREADY

VALERIE BERTINELLI

Mariner Books

This book dishes up great advice on how to live a better life, along with tasty recipes Valerie’s foodie fans will love.

Valerie Bertinelli knows what it’s like to look at the scale and feel miserable because of the number staring up at you. Never mind that she’s won Emmys for her show on The Food Network and praise from critics for her previous books—even stars can feel less than shiny sometimes. After her mom passed away, she found an old box of recipes was also filled with inspiring words from the women who created them. That’s when she said, “Enough already!” and set out to silence her internal critic and learn to love herself again. In her new book, Valerie shares personal stories that many women in their midlife can relate to, including caring for a sick parent, changing careers, sustaining a loving marriage, and more.

Other Books in our TBR Pile

Read before you Stream

If you’re like us, you want to finish a book before the adaptation hits the screen. Which is why we’re giving you plenty of time to dive into “Olga Dies Dreaming” before you can stream it on Hulu.

Xochitl Gonzalez’s novel tells the story of Olga and her brother Prieto, who have both made a name for themselves in New York. Prieto is a beloved congressman representing a rapidly gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn while Olga is an in-demand wedding planner for the Manhattan elite.

Does Prieto have a promising political future, or will the return of the mother who abandoned them to follow a Puerto Rican militant cause put a stop to his aspirations? Will Olga get to plan her own wedding now that she’s met Matteo, or will secrets from her family’s past get in the way?

The story is told in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact on Puerto Rico—and storm clouds are also heading for Olga and Preito back in the States.

Gonzalez wrote the pilot for Hulu, which is set to be directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, starring Aubrey Plaza, Ramon Rodriguez, and Wanda De Jesus. A release date has not yet been announced as of this writing.

INDIE AUTHOR Spotlight

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A BITCH TO BE A BOSS: HOW TO FLAUNT FEMININITY, EMBRACE EMPATHY, AND WIN WITH A VENGEANCE

MINDIE BARNETT

Post Hill Press

Whether you’re looking to be an actual boss or just take your life by the horns, Mindie Barnett’s new book will give you the morale boost you need.

Many women revert to bitch mode, thinking they must be aggressive and mean-spirited to get ahead. Being compassionate has somehow become a liability instead of an asset, but Barnett says it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, she argues, showing your soft and feminine side can be a superpower—though that power does not involve vanquishing any enemies.

“My book explores the difference between competition in an unhealthy lane versus competition in a healthy lane, as it can be healthy if it’s done in the right way,” Barnett says.

Barnett should know. It’s how she built her successful company, MB and Associates Public Relations, and it’s how she’ll teach you to achieve your own goals. By leading with compassion instead of fear, Barnett says it’s possible to keep your edge without resorting to cutthroat tactics.

In addition to steering her company, Barnett also serves as an on-air lifestyle expert with a decade of TV news reporter and anchor experience. Her media expertise has contributed to her being one of the country’s top publicists, as well as a frequently sought- after motivational speaker.

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