In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed titles by BookLife authors, we’ve got a collection of feminist essays, historical fiction, terrifying tales, romantic thrills, and a whole lot more.

★ DeFacto Feminism

Judy Juanita

Synopsis: This essay collection provides a dynamic take on a subset of feminism and the author’s artistic coming of age.

PW’s Takeaway: Personal reminiscences mixed with pop culture details create a rhythmic and unforgettable portrait of an artist.

Comparable Titles: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Sample Line: “American society was one big happy family in the 1950s. A melting pot, a Jell-O white bread land of perfection and gleaming surfaces. Not for a minute. The truth was that America was one big white out.”

Read the review.


A.E. Nasr

Synopsis: Nasr’s novel, set in an unnamed country,

follows five jailed resistance fighters who escape after nine years in prison.

PW’s Takeaway: Nasr masterfully explores human strength and resilience while offering readers a smartly plotted narrative.

Comparable Titles: The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Sample Line: “Miro knew why men went mad in the dark. In the blackness of his cell, the revelation came cruelly disguised as a happy dream, urging him awake on a day of the week he could not name, at an hour he could only guess had come too soon.”

Read the review.

Angler in Darkness

Edward M. Erdelac

Synopsis: This collection runs the gamut of monster mayhem and historical weirdness, with plenty of gore.

PW’s Takeaway: This entertaining collection will appeal to a wide variety of horror readers.

Comparable Titles: Night Shift by Stephen King

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Trust Me

Laura Florand

Synopsis: Florand concocts a sizzling romantic thriller that could easily have been pulled from today’s headlines.

PW’s Takeaway: Florand’s lyrical prose immediately draws the reader into a world where danger mingles with hope.

Comparable Titles: Black Ice by Anne Stuart

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The Man with Two Names

Vincent B. Davis II

Synopsis: An inspired retelling of the life of legendary Roman statesman Quintus Sertorius.

PW’s Takeaway: Davis’s strengths lie in portraying the horrifying realities of war and in vivifying the ancient setting.

Comparable Titles: I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Read the review.