Editor’s Pick: 12 Must-Read Books for the New Year

Expand your horizons in 2016 with these new titles.

Good Reads - When?s the last time you picked up a book? Stay true to that ?new year, new me? motto and get to the bookstore for a good read, woman! By Britt Middleton  (Photos from Left: Penguin Publishing Group, Schwatrz & Wade, Penguin Random House)

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Good Reads - When’s the last time you picked up a book? Stay true to that “new year, new me” motto and get to the bookstore for a good read, woman! By Britt Middleton (Photos from Left: Penguin Publishing Group, Schwatrz & Wade, Penguin Random House)

Notes From Life by Raven Cras - If you?re about that poetry slam life, than this spirited collection of poems and prose is right up your alley. Author Raven Cras focuses on themes of love, friendship, social change, heartbreak and life in New York City. Purchase it here.(Photo: Raven Cras/Lulu)

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Notes From Life by Raven Cras - If you’re about that poetry slam life, than this spirited collection of poems and prose is right up your alley. Author Raven Cras focuses on themes of love, friendship, social change, heartbreak and life in New York City. Purchase it here.(Photo: Raven Cras/Lulu)

Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us the Way by Hoda Kotb - This collection of essays has no shortage of inspiration. The adored Today Show co-host shares the stories of people who radically changed the course of their lives by listening to their intuition, ultimately finding happiness and fulfillment. It?s a perfect read to set yourself up for success in 2016.(Photo: Simon and Schuster)

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Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us the Way by Hoda Kotb - This collection of essays has no shortage of inspiration. The adored Today Show co-host shares the stories of people who radically changed the course of their lives by listening to their intuition, ultimately finding happiness and fulfillment. It’s a perfect read to set yourself up for success in 2016.(Photo: Simon and Schuster)

The Score by Kiki Swinson - Sometimes you just need a little drama in your life. So, slip into this seductive thriller about identity theft mastermind Lauren Kelly, who uncovers that her lover and accomplice, Matt Connors, and their partner are about to pull the ultimate betrayal following a multi-million dollar heist. It's available January 26.(Photo: Kensington)

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The Score by Kiki Swinson - Sometimes you just need a little drama in your life. So, slip into this seductive thriller about identity theft mastermind Lauren Kelly, who uncovers that her lover and accomplice, Matt Connors, and their partner are about to pull the ultimate betrayal following a multi-million dollar heist. It's available January 26.(Photo: Kensington)

The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson - The year is 1989. Sisters Phaedra and Dionne are sent from their home in Brooklyn to live with their grandmother, a midwife and spiritual practitioner, in Bird Hill, Barbados, for the summer. What ensues is an enchanting coming-of-age story as the sisters uncover their family?s generations-long connection to Bird Hill. Available August 30.(Photo: Penguin Publishing Group)

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The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson - The year is 1989. Sisters Phaedra and Dionne are sent from their home in Brooklyn to live with their grandmother, a midwife and spiritual practitioner, in Bird Hill, Barbados, for the summer. What ensues is an enchanting coming-of-age story as the sisters uncover their family’s generations-long connection to Bird Hill. Available August 30.(Photo: Penguin Publishing Group)

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A Moment of Silence: Midnight III by Sister Souljah - New York Times best-selling author Sister Souljah never fails to take your breath away. In the third installment of this riveting thriller, Midnight, a young Muslim man, grapples with preserving his identity in America, where his faith and culture are misunderstood by outsiders in his Brooklyn community. Thrust into a world of crooked police, drugs, and gangs, the young, ninja-trained protagonist must fight back to protect his livelihood and the women (yep, that?s plural!) he loves.(Photo: Simon & Schuster)

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A Moment of Silence: Midnight III by Sister Souljah - New York Times best-selling author Sister Souljah never fails to take your breath away. In the third installment of this riveting thriller, Midnight, a young Muslim man, grapples with preserving his identity in America, where his faith and culture are misunderstood by outsiders in his Brooklyn community. Thrust into a world of crooked police, drugs, and gangs, the young, ninja-trained protagonist must fight back to protect his livelihood and the women (yep, that’s plural!) he loves.(Photo: Simon & Schuster)

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes - It?s the start of the New Year and the perfect time to say yes to new opportunities! That?s what Rhimes?s memoir is all about: making room for uninvited invitations that can positively change the course of your life. Funny, sharp and poignant, this memoir details how the uber-talented show-runner, a self-professed introvert, came out of her shell.(Photo: Simon & Schuster)

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Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes - It’s the start of the New Year and the perfect time to say yes to new opportunities! That’s what Rhimes’s memoir is all about: making room for uninvited invitations that can positively change the course of your life. Funny, sharp and poignant, this memoir details how the uber-talented show-runner, a self-professed introvert, came out of her shell.(Photo: Simon & Schuster)

Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams - Williams?s formal debut is a powerful collection of poems exploring addiction, murder and hate crimes. At some points chilling, his words encapsulate our country?s volatile socio-political climate with unrelenting passion.(Photo: Alice James Books)

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Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams - Williams’s formal debut is a powerful collection of poems exploring addiction, murder and hate crimes. At some points chilling, his words encapsulate our country’s volatile socio-political climate with unrelenting passion.(Photo: Alice James Books)

Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson - Kimberla Lawson, author of the New York Times best-selling Reverend Curtis Black novels, returns with this sure-to-be tearjerker (in the best way possible). As Celine?s marriage falls apart, with her 10-year-old daughter in the crosshairs, Celine receives another devastating blow when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. In this story of grace and faith, her childhood best friend Lauren swoops in to comfort her in her darkest moments. (Photo: Grand Central Publishing)

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Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson - Kimberla Lawson, author of the New York Times best-selling Reverend Curtis Black novels, returns with this sure-to-be tearjerker (in the best way possible). As Celine’s marriage falls apart, with her 10-year-old daughter in the crosshairs, Celine receives another devastating blow when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. In this story of grace and faith, her childhood best friend Lauren swoops in to comfort her in her darkest moments. (Photo: Grand Central Publishing)

Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi - A graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, Gyasi begins her novelist career with a harrowing tale for the ages about two sisters torn apart in 18th century Africa. One sister, Effia, is married off to an English aristocrat while the other, Esi, is imprisoned and sold into slavery in America. Homegoing spans 300 years, revealing how the sisters and their descendants evolved through tribal wars in Ghana, slavery and the Civil War. Available June 7.(Photo: Penguin Random House)

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Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi - A graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, Gyasi begins her novelist career with a harrowing tale for the ages about two sisters torn apart in 18th century Africa. One sister, Effia, is married off to an English aristocrat while the other, Esi, is imprisoned and sold into slavery in America. Homegoing spans 300 years, revealing how the sisters and their descendants evolved through tribal wars in Ghana, slavery and the Civil War. Available June 7.(Photo: Penguin Random House)

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Sirens in Her Belly by Romaine Washington - Washington?s book of poetry zeros in on the unique challenges women face in our modern world, and does it with unwavering strength.(Photo: Jamii Publishing)

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Sirens in Her Belly by Romaine Washington - Washington’s book of poetry zeros in on the unique challenges women face in our modern world, and does it with unwavering strength.(Photo: Jamii Publishing)

Appropriate and Other Plays by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins - Jacobs-Jenkins is a decorated playwright, having won the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Tennessee Williams Award among others. Appropriate and Other Plays has already received rave reviews, most noting his razor sharp humor that?s buoyant and delightfully twisted ? all good things in our book. He explores themes of racial politics and history, confronting age-old stereotypes head-on. Available March 29.(Photo: Theater Communications Group)

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Appropriate and Other Plays by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins - Jacobs-Jenkins is a decorated playwright, having won the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Tennessee Williams Award among others. Appropriate and Other Plays has already received rave reviews, most noting his razor sharp humor that’s buoyant and delightfully twisted — all good things in our book. He explores themes of racial politics and history, confronting age-old stereotypes head-on. Available March 29.(Photo: Theater Communications Group)

I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos by Andrea Pippins - OK, technically, this is a coloring book for adults, but these pages are sure to tickle your imagination ? or least help you decompress after a long day. The intricate illustrations celebrate all things hair. Think: luscious kinks, braids, mohawks, sweeping updos and everything in between.(Photo: Schwatrz & Wade)

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I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos by Andrea Pippins - OK, technically, this is a coloring book for adults, but these pages are sure to tickle your imagination — or least help you decompress after a long day. The intricate illustrations celebrate all things hair. Think: luscious kinks, braids, mohawks, sweeping updos and everything in between.(Photo: Schwatrz & Wade)