1.- My Monticello

Jacelyn Nicole Johnson's searing short-story collection is one to read in order.

Its narratives dissect an American present that doesn't feel at all removed from the country's violent past, and build to brutal finish.

The unnerving standout story - the titular novella - follows a group of neighbors on the run from white supremacists.

It's as apocalyptic as it is realistic, a haunting portrait of a community trying to survive in a nation that constantly undermines its very existence.

2.- Klara and the Sun

The eighth novel from a Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro follows a robot-like ''Artificial Friend '' named Klara, who sits in a store and waits to be purchased.

When she becomes the companion of an ailing 14-year-old girl, Klara puts her observations of the world to the test.

In exploring the dynamic between the AI and the teen, Ishiguro crafts a narrative that asks unsettling questions about humanity, technology and purpose.

3.- Cloud Cuckoo Land

The five protagonists of Anthony Doerr's kaleidoscopic and remarkably constructed third novel, all living on the margins of society, are connected by an ancient Greek story.

Cloud Cuckoo Land, a National Book Award finalist, moves from 15th century Constantinople to an interstellar ship to a dusty Idaho library as the characters interact with the tale.

Doerr's immersive word-building and dazzling prose tie together seemingly disparate threads as he underlines the value of storytelling and the power of imagination.

4.- Open Water

In his incisive debut novel, Caleb Azumah Nelson tells a bruising love story about young Black artists in London.

His protagonist is a photographer who has fallen for a dancer, and Nelson proves masterly at writing young love, clocking the small and seemingly meaningless moments that encompass longing.

He celebrates the art that has shaped his characters' lives while interrogating the unjust world that surrounds them.

The World Students Society thanks Time Magazine.


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