Blockbuster thrillers, provocative novels and inspiring nonfiction—these 2017 hot reads cover the bases.
For fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's essay, "We Should All Be Feminists," this is another must-read. Inspired by a friend who had asked, "How do I raise a feminist?" it includes direction ("Teach her to love books"), insight ("Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive") and challenges ("Never speak of marriage as an achievement"). But mostly, it addresses all the ways we support a patriarchal system—and what we can do to make sure our daughters (and sons) are better equipped to address that inequality. — Alexandra Donaldson
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (Knopf Canada) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, $15.
In this thrilling and fast-paced historical novel, Hannah, a Jewish midwife, must risk everything to save Matteo, her adopted son. Only five years old, he has been kidnapped by an unscrupulous couple looking to claim the handsome inheritance left to him by his wealthy birth parents. The final installment in Roberta Rich's popular Midwife trilogy, this book is perfect to curl up with on the weekend. — Noelle Gauthier
A Trial in Venice (Doubleday Canada) by Roberta Rich, $24.
Laura Wright's debut cookbook (named after her award-winning blog) is full of mouthwatering plant-based dishes accompanied by gorgeous photographs. She writes thoughtful, approachable recipes that range from smoothies to hearty mains to desserts, and she marks the ones that might require a little advance planning or extra time. This collection is great not only for vegans but also for anyone looking to introduce more creative vegetable dishes into their repertoire. — Alanna Lipson
The First Mess Cookbook (Penguin Canada) by Laura Wright, $35.
Is it just us, or does Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel feel particularly timely? There's the recent miniseries, plus it's increasingly name-checked by women's-rights advocates. Offred, the titular handmaid, is the property of the Commander and must bear him and his wife a child. Relevant themes (the politicization of women's bodies, for example) make this essential reading. — AD
The Handmaid's Tale (McClelland & Stewart) by Margaret Atwood, $18.
Who's the bawse?
You'd be forgiven if you haven't yet heard of 28-year-old Toronto-born comedian, actor and YouTube star Lilly Singh, but we guarantee the kids in your life are huge fans. The new media mogul, who goes by the moniker Superwoman, has been building her online "fempire" since 2010 and, in that time, has racked up more than 11 million subscribers and a billion views. Last year, she ranked third on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid YouTube stars, and Singh has parlayed her vlogging success into movie roles, a world tour and even a clothing line. Her latest project, a field guide to nailing life like a boss (or, rather, bawse), is sure to inspire her fans to achieve great things. Is Singh a modern-day Ann Landers? Not quite, but she does tackle a dizzying number of topics in 50 short chapters, and always with a snappy, humorous and inspiring tone. She draws on personal struggles and experiences, including her depression, to address real-life issues, such as how to deal with failure (make mistakes quickly) and the best way to live online (be secretive—don't share everything about yourself). — Grace Toby