Books help us understand ourselves and one another. They serve as mediators, bed warmers, and best friends; passports to other continents and perspectives. 

Novels are the mirrors we need to see our roles in the world clearly. They’re also the covers we hide underneath when that role becomes too much to bear.  In the pages of Jasmine Guillory, Tia Williams and Alyssa Cole we see our fairy tales. In the voices of Kiley Reid, Candice Carty-Williams, and Zakiya Dalila Harris we hear our struggles.

Books are gifts that renew the spirit. They educate us into finding a new way when the old ones fail us. They also help us find new friends to love and learn beside. Communities are springing up all over #bookstagram to give us a chance to discuss our favorite page-turners without leaving our couches. 

Celebrate National Book Lover’s Day wherever you are with one of these 13 picks below.