It should come as no surprise that Rebel Girls love to read. When we’re not working on Boundless or researching trailblazing women for our next edition of Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls, our staff can be found with their noses in books. We even have a Slack channel for book recommendations. 

And because Rebel Girls also love to share, we’ve compiled our favorite reads of 2019 in fiction and nonfiction for adults. We’ll be taking some time over the holidays to curl up with a good book, and hope you do too.  

Supper Club by Lara Williams

This dark debut novel that follows a group of young women who decide to reclaim their appetites by starting a secret, debaucherous supper club. This book is a captivating examination of female friendships and taking up space, but the story’s strength is in its description of food, which is deliciously woven into the narrative.

—Kristen Klemens, sales and marketing assistant

More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth was the youngest CEO of Teen Vogue magazine at age 29, and is only the second Black woman appointed to that role in Conde Nast history. In More Than Enough, she writes about her experience climbing to the top (where she experienced ageism, racism, and developed relationships) and encourages women to understand that they’re enough no matter what people say.  

—Epiphany Ciers, marketing strategist

Revenge of the She-Punks: A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot by Vivien Goldman

This book about punk’s leading, but oft-unsung heroines comes courtesy of “punk professor” Vivien Goldman, who spent much of her young adulthood running in these musical circles and offers the inside scoop to prove it. Revenge can be a little hard to follow and feels like an oral history, though its energy is infectious and Goldman’s passion for the subject is apparent on every page. 

—Jessica Lipsky, digital editor, Rebel Girls Boundless 

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Rooney’s latest novel is delightfully brief, but her ability to craft romantic tension, speak for an entire generation, and bring a reader to tears is unparalleled.

—Joy Fowlkes, head of content 

The Bride Test  by Helen Hoang

In this sweet and sexy romance, Khai Diep believes that his autism means he’s incapable of falling in love—and then Esme Tran walks into his life. Like Hoang’s first book, The Kiss Quotient, this read puts underrepresented characters’ stories on the page and gets you deep into their hearts and heads. With Hoang’s humor and talent for heart-wrenching scenes on full display, you’ll fall for Khai and Esme long before they fall for each other.

— Grace House, project and contracts manager

Conviction by Denise Mina

A solid mystery by one of the best in the genre! In Conviction, Mina leaves historical Scotland for a present-day tale of a woman whose life is falling apart when she gets sucked into a true crime podcast. Our protagonist knows one of the victims and is convinced that she knows the truth about their demise.

— Allison Devlin, former sales manager for North America

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

An intelligent examination of modern society that makes you feel less alone. It’s just comforting to be reminded that everyone around you is dealing with conflicting feelings about capitalism, social media, modern life/privilege, even if they seem to have figured everything out.

—Lily Cronig, licensing and rights support intern

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Just when you think there’s not too much left to say about Gilead, you learn it’s all too familiar to the world we’re living in which is just as unsettling as the first book.

—Joy Fowlkes 

 Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater by Ted Fox and James Otis Smith

This graphic novel adaptation of Fox’s definitive history of the Apollo Theater in New York City brings the sounds from the stage to life. Showtime is enjoyable for readers of all ages and expands upon Fox’s original work to bring the Apollo’s history into the 21st century.

—Jestine Ware, former editor

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

A modern romance at the intersection of politics, identity, and family, Red, White and Royal Blue tells the story of two men who fall in love despite geography and societal expectations. This queer romance-comedy was a sensation for a reason, and deftly walks a fine line of humor and tenderness. It’s also set in an alternative universe where a Texas Democrat became the first female president of the United States, and we can get behind a vision like that.

—Grace House and Pam Gruber