'The Ensemble' By Aja Gabel & 8 More New Books To Read This Week

May 15th brings with it a new moon and the half-way point of the month. For me, this is always that delightful and exhausting pause in time when it's not quite spring and not quite summer and the whole world seems to be open with possibility. In other words, it's the perfect time to make your plans for summer and start reading some of the best new books.

This week brings with it fresh novels from established favorites like Jessica Knoll, Victoria Aveyard, Sarah Winman, and Amy E. Reichert, as well as new reads from debut novelists like Aja Gabel. These books explore modern womanhood, first love, last love, intergenerational female relationships, lifelong friendships, and so much more, and each and every one will inspire you to pause and think deeply about how these themes play out in your own life. Many of these books will encourage you to reevaluate the energies and intentions you want to bring with you into the new season, and many of them will provide you with specific quotes to motivate your journey moving forward.

As you prepare your beach getaways, hiking trips, and picnic gatherings, remember to bring a good book along for the journey. Here are the nine best books out this week:

'The Favorite Sister' by Jessica Knoll

When two sisters decide to compete in a reality TV show for self-made millionaire women, they never expect that one of them will end up dead. In this brand new thriller, The Luckiest Girl Alive author Jessica Knoll explores the perils of modern womanhood through the story of a group of woman who have unwittingly settled into roles as vehicles of the patriarchy.

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'The Ensemble' by Aja Gabel

This gorgeous novel (inside and out!) tracks the lives of four chamber musicians — Henry, the violist; Jana and Brit, the violinists; and Daniel, the cellist — through several decades of their life, as they come to terms with real love, lost love, their complex, ever-changing relationships with each other, and the enduring role of music in their lives.

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'The Art of Gathering' by Priya Parker

If you want to learn how to better create meaningful gatherings for you and your friends, co-workers, potential connections, and more, this is the book to read. In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker examines why tradition reigns supreme when it comes to meetups with friends, and lays out exactly how you can shake things up to create encounters that bring more fulfillment to everyone involved.

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'War Storm' by Victoria Aveyard

In the final installment of the mega popular Red Queen series, Mare Barrow embraces her fate and reckons with the possibility that she just might be able to channel her magical power, overthrow Norta's cruel boy king, Maven, and create the peace she has wanted for her country and people since day one.

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'My So-Called Bollywood Life' by Nisha Sharma

Winnie's romantic fate has always been written in stars, literally — a pandit predicted she would meet the love of her life before she turned 18, and Raj, her boyfriend, pretty much fits the requirements exactly. Well... until she discovers he's cheating on her with her best friend. Now, Winnie must reckon with an uncertain future — and her blossoming feelings for Dev, the film geek she knows she can depend on.

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'The Optimist's Guide To Letting Go' by Amy E. Reichert

Gina can never seem to please her nitpicking mother, Lorraine, or her sullen teen daughter, May. Instead, she finds comfort in managing the grilled cheese food truck her late husband built. But when Lorraine suffers a stroke, Gina accidentally discovers a family secret that could change her entire relationship with her mother and daughter.

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'Tin Man' by Sarah Winman

This luminous novel explores first love, last love, and the enduring bonds of friendship through the story of two boys, Ellis and Michael, who meet when they are 12 years old and slowly, quietly fall for each other. Though their lives divert in different directions, the two remain best friends, even when Ellis meets and marries Annie, the love of his life.

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'How I Resist' edited by Maureen Johnson

Featuring essays from acclaimed authors like Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson alongside celebrities like Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rosie O'Donnell, How I Resist is the ultimate inspiration guidebook for the years ahead. It's an essential addition to any feminist bookshelf, especially with the midterm elections looming large on the horizon.

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'The Trials Of Nina McCall' by Scott W. Stern

Nina McCall was just one of countless women unjustly imprisoned by the U.S. government in the 20th century on suspicions of being a prostitute, carrying an STD, or simply being too "promiscuous." The program under which she was imprisoned, the "American Plan," is examined under the microscope in this fascinating account of a forgotten, haunting moment in American history.

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