The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George’s dreams for his own purposes.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Drug dependency
  • Medical experimentation
  • Genocide

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success — but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania.

Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western – she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry’s meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris’s very soul… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Substance addiction mentioned
  • Suicide
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Gun violence

Nothing But My Body by Tilly Lawless

Nothing But My Body by Tilly Lawless

Nothing But My Body by Tilly Lawless

Nothing But My Body is an eight-day journey through the mind of a young woman, a queer sex worker in Australia, as she navigates breakups and infatuation across just over a year.

The unnamed narrator’s voice is both fierce and vulnerable, defiant and tender, as she explores the interplay between her external and internal world, and the fluctuations of her emotions as love affairs intensify and wane. Her loneliness is assuaged by her beloved chosen family-her friends-and by the beauty of the natural world.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Lesbomisia
  • Domestic abuse
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • Gambling addiction
  • Drug addiction discussed
  • Self harm, specifically cutting
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Emesis

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

It starts off simply. Draw a circle. Place a dead leaf in the centre. Sprinkle some salt. Recite a little Latin. Add a drop of blood…Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep … and spill some blood.

The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Parent with a substance addiction
  • Suicide & attempted suicide mentioned
  • Self-harm
  • Death of a parent
  • Loss of autonomy (possession)
  • Animal sacrifice

Needlework by Julia Watts 

Needlework by Julia Watts 

While other sixteen-year-old boys in Morgan, Kentucky, love hunting and football, Kody prefers to spend his time quilting with his grandmother (“Nanny”), watching Golden Girls reruns, and listening to old Dolly Parton albums. Nanny is Kody’s main caregiver, but it takes both Nanny and Kody to take care of Kody’s mother, whose drug problem is spinning out of control. Between looking after Mommy and trying to survive in a place that doesn’t look kindly on feminine boys, Kody already has a hard time making sense of his life. But then he uncovers a family secret that will change everything in his life.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Religious homomisia
  • Parent with a substance addiction
  • Death of a parent

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, and Donna Tartt.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Homomisia
  • Rape
  • Cheating
  • Alcoholism
  • Substance addiction
  • Drug use & abuse
  • Alcohol consumption & abuse
  • Overdose
  • Death from a heart attack
  • Murder
  • Poisoning
  • Physical assault
  • Drowning
  • Gun violence
  • Car accident
  • Blackmail

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.

As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band–and meeting the man who would become her husband–her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Abortion
  • Cancer
  • Death of a parent
  • Depiction of grief

The Year of the Crocodile by Courtney Milan

The Year of the Crocodile by Courtney Milan

Tina Chen and Blake Reynolds have been together for almost a year. In that time, they’ve grown closer on just about every front. The one exception? Blake’s father has never let anything stop him. Tina’s parents have never let anyone push them around. And they’ve never met.

That’s about to change. But don’t worry—fireworks are traditional at Chinese New Years.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Religious persecution & refugee experiences
  • Chinese education camps
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Eating disorder recovery
  • Substance addiction recovery
  • Heart attack recounted

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Racism
  • Sexual assault
  • Substance addiction
  • Drug use
  • Physical injuries
  • Cancer
  • Police brutality
  • Imprisonment
  • Animal death
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There There by Tommy Orange

There There by Tommy Orange 

Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American–grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcoholism
  • Substance addiction
  • Gun violence & mass shooting
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