Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the most original, moving novels I’ve read in years. Set in a future of human-looking, solar-powered robots purchased in stores as companions for real humans, the story unravels slowly. The narrator is Klara, an unusually aware android, who becomes the artificial friend of a frail little girl. Klara’s entire purpose is to serve and understand her human, and as Klara learns through the years, the reader makes a similar journey of discovery. We’re in a new world of genetic engineering and authoritarian thinking, and yet the core of Klara’s story is a spiritual quest, touching on death, love and the universal question, what does it mean to be human? —Susan Burns, editor-in-chief

I’ve been on a binge of reading just about all of Ann Cleeves’ books, set either in the remote Northern Isles of Scotland (the Shetland series with police detective Jimmy Perez) or the beautiful but challenging landscape of Northumberland (the Inspector Vera Stanhope series). Sure, both feature some fairly gruesome murders, but they also offer plenty of tea, scones and scenery as the crimes get solved. It’s been a substitute for travel while grounded at home. —Kay Kipling, executive editor

I love a good spy novel, and few have captivated me more than those in John le Carré's so-called "Karla trilogy," which includes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), The Honourable Schoolboy (1977) and Smiley's People (1979). The books are dense with spy jargon, convoluted plots and characters with multiple identities, which, at times, can make them difficult to follow, but I love the claustrophobic, menacing aura of the books, and the way le Carré captures the humdrum everyday lives of spies and traitors. —Cooper Levey-Baker, senior editor/food editor

Atomic Habits, the 2018 self help book by author James Clear, has been praised by the athletic community as one of the most practical ways to get into the habit of working out. But its comprehensive guide to getting one percent better every day can be used for just about anything. It's not exactly thrilling fiction, but it's a go-to if you're looking to make a change. —Allison Forsyth, editorial intern

Although Marianne Williamson's A Return to Love was published in 1972, the book discusses topics that are more important now than ever. Williamson posits that any action other than love stems from fear and deviates from our truth. The book has been eye-opening for me in understanding others and approaching situations with love. To shift from a mindset of fear to love makes the world a bit brighter and a lot more magical. This read could change your relationships, your work and your understanding of our world. —Emma Moneuse

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