Must-Read Books for 2024

The new year has us feeling, well… renewed! The commencement of endless possibilities for all good things the months ahead might bring. We’ve got Pinterest categories sorted and vision boards hung; you may be embarking on a cleanse of sweets or alcohol to counteract holiday indulgence; and the front desk at the gym has seen our faces enough to now know our name. However, right around February, all of this transformative energy we’ve had thus far begins to wane, and the thought of doing-new-things sounds like more of a chore than an opportunity. Luckily, we’ve got some mind-opening, attention-grabbing reads to help bolster this dip into midwinter blues. The best part? This particular corner of the vision board can be tackled in cozy socks and from the couch. Tuck into one of these must-read books for 2024: from a bird’s eye view of humanity, to crafting fabulous cocktails and mocktails, and even a bit of detective work for solving a mystery. Happy reading!

Contributing Editor // Claire Meyer

The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness
by Robert Waldinger MD and Marc Schulz PhD

“The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. The book is the result of the ‘longest in‑depth longitudinal study of human life ever done.’ Launched in 1938, the study—which is still ongoing—traces the lives of 724 participants and more than 1,300 of their descendants. Its takeaway thus far, unpacked in The Good Life, should come as no surprise: that deep, healthy relationships keep us happier.” —Rachel Sonis, Time Magazine. Stepping back to take a breather from modern living might just open up some perspective to the long-sought answer to the question: what makes a happy life? 

How to Solve Your Own Murder
by Kristen Perrin

“It’s 1965 and teenage Frances Adams is at an English country fair with her two best friends. But Frances’s night takes a hairpin turn when a fortune-teller makes a bone-chilling prediction: One day, Frances will be murdered. For fans of Knives Out and The Thursday Murder Club, an enormously fun mystery about a woman who spends her entire life trying to prevent her foretold murder only to be proven right sixty years later, when she is found dead in her sprawling country estate… Now it’s up to her great-niece to catch the killer.” A titillating whodunnit playing out in real time, this one is sure to keep readers guessing until the very end. 

The Life Impossible
by Matt Haig

“Grace Winters is a widow and retired math teacher whose life seems to be getting smaller and smaller. She keeps out of the way of people and passes time watching the birds in her garden and doing crossword puzzles. But when a long-lost friend dies in strange circumstances and leaves her a house on the Spanish island of Ibiza, Grace’s solitary existence drastically changes.” This highly-anticipated novel comes once again from renowned author Matt Haig of The Midnight Library. His imaginative and captivating writing keeps readers enthralled and invested throughout each chapter. Good things come to those who wait: this novel will be released in September of 2024. 

The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power
by Katherine Morgan Schafler 

“We’ve been looking at perfectionism all wrong. As psychotherapist and former on-site therapist at Google Katherine Morgan Schafler argues in The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control, you don’t have to stop being a perfectionist to be healthy. For women who are sick of being given the generic advice to ‘find balance,’ a new approach has arrived. As you identify your unique perfectionist profile, you’ll learn how to manage each form of perfectionism to work for you, not against you. Beyond managing it, you’ll learn how to embrace and even enjoy your perfectionism.” At long last, a working guide to letting go of the small things, embrace and the grander sentiments, and actually feel the balance of humility and accomplishment we so readily seek. 

Humanly Possible, Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Inquiry, and Hope
by Sarah Bakewell

“Bakewell brings together extraordinary humanists across history. She explores their immense variety: some sought to promote scientific and rationalist ideas, others put more emphasis on moral living, and still others were concerned with the cultural and literary studies known as ‘the humanities.’ Humanly Possible asks not only what unites all these meanings of humanism but why it has such enduring power, despite opposition from fanatics, mystics, and tyrants.” Dive into deep ponderance and see what you come up with. You may just find that our uniting factors as humans are much more numerous than our differences. 

Signature Cocktails
by Amanda Schuster 

A not-so-subtle dive back into the lush lifestyle, just in time for the end of Dry January. Signature Cocktails provides a little bit of everything: backstory, sumptuous ingredients, and creative names that can elicit a smile from even the most hard-up spirit connoisseurs. “Signature cocktails have become an increasingly popular way to define the style and character of a celebrated establishment and the talented mixologists behind them. Each unique drink in this collection is accompanied by the name of the creator, place and date of invention, alongside a specially commissioned image, easy-to-follow recipe, and a fascinating insight into its unique story. Covering almost 600 years of cocktail history, this elegant and uniquely focused collection will appeal to a wide range of readers – from lovers of cocktails to everyone who enjoys entertaining, food, and culture, to mixologists, bartenders, and industry professionals.”