In our current world, it’s easy to find true stories that make you feel something or see the world in a new way. We rounded up nine stories about love, life and family, each infused with unique – sometimes unfathomable – experiences that shaped the authors’ perspectives, and are sure to give readers a new perspective of their own.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

This spellbinding New York Times bestselling novel delivers a story of slave-born Sethe, powerfully and poetically, as she reflects on memories of her escape to Ohio, the death of her child and the farm where the unthinkable took place. This is a classic by the forever-loved Toni Morrison.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur

At age 14, Adrienne became her mother’s confidant and co-orchestrator of an affair with drastic consequences for their family. The events warped their mother-daughter relationship and led Adrienne to an unsteady marriage and into depression. Years later after reflection, however, Adrienne transformed her relationship with her mother – and with herself. This is the story of that journey.

Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North by Katherine Keith

Having traveled across the United States and visiting remote and peaceful places, Katherine Keith finally found her true home in Alaska. While life in Alaska wasn’t easy for her and her daughter, she always found the strength to persevere. Through all the heartbreak she encounters in Alaska, she also discovers her love for long-distance dog sledding. Participating in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, she’ll face a dangerous yet fulfilling journey alone – an experience that helps her find her way in life.

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung

With warmth and candor, Nicole Chung tells the story she was told about her adoption as a premature Korean baby, by a white family in Ohio. In stark contrast, she shares a very different adoption story that she believes to be the truth, along with the trials she faced growing up as a transracial adoptee.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Named one of the best books of the year by Washington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time and NPR, Tara Westover tells her story of growing up in the Idaho wilderness as survivalists living off the land. She shares about isolation, her lack of access to education, the dangers of their lifestyle and the drastic path she took to secure a new life for herself.  

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug 

Nora Krug was born decades after the Nazi regime fell, yet she was always aware of the impact the events had on her family – although her grandparents never spoke of it. After moving to the United States, her need to know more intensified, leading her through an exhaustive search for her family’s involvement in the Second World War, and ultimately to a shocking truth.  

The Hairbrush and the Shoe: A True Ghost Story by Jeanne D. Stanton

Jeanne Stanton always knew her 150-year-old house had a past but never did she consider it to be haunted. When a workman claims an unseen force hissed at him and pushed him, she has no choice but to investigate. A former Harvard Business School case writer, Stanton begins intensive research into the existence of ghosts including visiting a psychic, spending a night in an allegedly haunted bedroom and looking for “proof” of the paranormal. A truly unique read, The Hairbrush and the Shoe is the perfect book for fans of Ghost Adventures and anyone looking to read something that will expand your way of thinking.

A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them by Sue Hubbell

Sue Hubbell lives on a small Missouri farm among 300 beehives which she cares for and harvests for honey. In this book, which is part memoir, part manual for bee care, she shares about the rhythms of rural living, nature’s harmony and the ways human contentment adapts outdoors.

Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Painter

Upon retiring from Princeton University, historian Nell Painter surprised her friends and family by returning to school – art school – in her 60s. In this reflective autobiography, Painter explores the roles of female artists, her experience as a student decades older than the rest and critical questions like, “What defines ‘an artist’?”

(Feature image courtesy of @agrayreads)

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