1 of 26
by Heather Gudenkauf
A small-town murder gets covered up by big-time falsehoods in the heart-pounding mystery thriller This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf (The Weight of Silence).
Winter, 1995. Rural Iowa. Fifteen-year-old Maggie O'Keefe and 13-year-old Nola Knox find the beaten and murdered body of 16-year-old Eve Knox. Twenty-five years later, the case remains unsolved, when some kids find Eve's missing boot in the caves where she was murdered. Local police scramble to reopen the case because newer DNA technology ... [ Read More » ]
2 of 26
by Caitlin Chung
The art of storytelling features an engrossing tale and pitch-perfect delivery; Caitlin Chung excels at both in her debut, Ship of Fates. A young woman listens as Mei, an ancient lighthouse keeper, combines the legend of "Maker of Gold Mountain" with her tragic life story. The young woman hears "these stories--the ones about her, about this place, and about the old place, too."
The legend begins in China in 1000 BC, where Mei, a beautiful woman betrothed to a foreigner, steals her dowry gold and ... [ Read More » ]
3 of 26
by Christopher Moore
He's back! Pocket washes up on a Grecian beach in Shakespeare for Squirrels, Christopher Moore's third hilarious adventure (after Fool and The Serpent of Venice) starring the Fool of Dog Snogging, along with the great beef-brained Drool and the chapeau-obsessed (perfect forking French, eh?) Jeff the monkey. Set adrift by pirates, the trio is rescued by Cobweb the fairy in a nick-of-time turn of fortunes that leads to magical, bawdy, exuberant antics, with a murder mystery thrown in.
As in his previous ... [ Read More » ]
4 of 26
by Ramiza Shamoun Koya
In her provocative, intense debut novel, The Royal Abduls, Ramiza Shamoun Koya introduces the extended members of a fractured family four years after the horrors of 9/11. Each is attempting to deal with ongoing anti-Muslim challenges, from microaggressions to outright civil rights abuses. Despite a shared history that includes overlapping teenhoods, Amina, her brother Mo and her sister-in-law (and friend since high school) Marcy now seem to have only Marcy and Mo's 11-year-old son, Omar, in ... [ Read More » ]
5 of 26
by Katherine Reay
Readers will be eager and charmed to return to Winsome, Ill., where several characters from The Printed Letter Bookshop and a host of new ones richly populate the literary landscape that Katherine Reay (The Austen Escape) presents in Of Literature and Lattes.
Thirty-one-year-old Alyssa Harrison left Winsome on bad terms with her overbearing mother, Janet, a bookstore employee who cheated on Alyssa's dad. For several years, Alyssa worked in Silicon Valley in California at a health-centric start-up ... [ Read More » ]
6 of 26
by Samanta Schweblin, trans. by Megan McDowell
Technology twists human relationships to the breaking point in Samanta Schweblin's thrilling dystopian novel, Little Eyes.
Expertly translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell, the novel is a deft and heartrending exploration of technology's capacity for both good and evil. Schweblin (Fever Dream) creates a present day in which new devices called "kentukis" explode in popularity until people are connected to them all over the world. The small devices come in many shapes, resembling bunnies, dragons, ... [ Read More » ]
7 of 26
by Roger Morgan-Grenville
The opening pages of Liquid Gold: Bees and the Pursuit of Midlife Honey by Roger Morgan-Grenville offer a delightful window into the distinctly British adventure about to unfold in this entertaining memoir. A chance meeting between two cricket fans at a pub in West Sussex leads to a beekeeping partnership, and for the author the benefits go far beyond anything he could have imagined. His memoir is a toast to the humble honeybee, the joys of unexpected friendship, midlife adventures and the slow, ... [ Read More » ]
8 of 26
by Adiba Jaigirdar
This debut YA novel about self-acceptance in the face of intolerance and ignorance is tactful, sincere and culturally immersive.
When 16-year-old Nishat decides to come out to her Bengali Muslim parents, she hopes that because they have a "love marriage" they'll be able to accept her for who she is. Instead, they think she's "confused" and needs time to "work it out." Shattered, Nishat distracts herself with a student-run business competition at her secondary school in Ireland. Encouraged by her ... [ Read More » ]
9 of 26
by Monica Brown, trans. by Adriana Domínguez, illus. by Elisa Chavarri
Monica Brown, Elisa Chavarri and Adriana Domínguez's accessible bilingual text, Sharuko, gives children access to the life of Julio C. Tello, "the first and greatest Indigenous archaeologist of Peru."
As a boy, Julio dauntlessly searched for bones and skulls in the Andes Mountains. Because of his fearlessness, Julio was nicknamed Sharuko, or "brave," in Quechua, the Indigenous language of his tribe and the "language of the great Inca Empire." Sharuko first studied medicine, but his absorption ... [ Read More » ]
10 of 26
by Benjamin Taylor
"There was no dramatic arc to our life together," Benjamin Taylor (Proust: The Search) writes in Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth. "It was as plotless as friendship ought to be." Here We Are is this plot-free fellowship's enchanting coda, which had the late novelist's blessing: "Maybe write a book about our friendship," Roth once told Taylor.
Taylor estimates that between their first meeting in 1994 and Roth's death in 2018, they spent literally thousands of hours together, often at Roth's ... [ Read More » ]
11 of 26
by Ilze Hugo
The Down Days have come to South Africa. A pandemic of contagious mirth, fittingly called the Laughter or the Joke, has seen that country quarantined and its capital, Cape Town, rechristened Sick City. In this future zone of near anarchy and constant danger, laughing is banned and citizens are required to wear masks at all times (prohibited pornography now features lips and giggling). The Down Days, South African writer Ilze Hugo's debut novel, follows a disparate cast of characters struggling to ... [ Read More » ]
12 of 26
by Maggie Downs
As a child, journalist Maggie Downs spent hours poring over National Geographic with her mother, hatching plans for the adventures they would have together. But when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Downs had to accept that many of their plans would never happen. As her mother's condition worsened, Downs--determined to travel for both their sakes--headed off on a trip around the world. Her first memoir, Braver than You Think, chronicles Downs's inner and outer journey to follow ... [ Read More » ]
13 of 26
by Natalie Jenner
In The Jane Austen Society, a fictionalized account of the Society's founding, Canadian debut novelist Natalie Jenner draws on the broad, timeless appeal of Jane Austen for a charming story of an unlikely collection of readers who band together to save what remains of Austen's home. Along the way, their shared passion for the author of Pride and Prejudice brings hope, healing and surprising connections into each of their lives in ways that will gratify bibliophiles in general and Janeites in particular. ... [ Read More » ]
14 of 26
by Corinne Manning
"My family had no rules."
"There are certain rules you learn early."
Corinne Manning's nuanced debut short story collection is bookended by these two statements, both straightforward in concept but complex in execution. The first entry in We Had No Rules is a story of the same name; it follows a queer teen girl as she runs away from home to live with her older sister in 1990s New York City. She recalls a childhood in which rules seemingly didn't exist--that is, until her sister broke them ... [ Read More » ]
15 of 26
by Marion Brunet, trans. by Katherine Gregor
Summer of Reckoning is a thriller set in the hothouse of the Luberon region in the south of France, as poverty, racism and boredom boil over into terrible violence. Marion Brunet's first book to be translated into English from the French is almost cruelly efficient, hurtling the reader toward inevitable tragedy in little more than 200 pages. Brunet's novel is overheated and psychologically complex, filled with the kinds of intense, conflicting personalities that wouldn't be out of place in a Tennessee ... [ Read More » ]
16 of 26
by Richard Ford
Richard Ford's short story collection Sorry for Your Trouble offers nine emotionally resonant tales of aging, loss and existential displacement. In "Nothing to Declare," a pair of ex-lovers, estranged for decades, take a walk together through the New Orleans French Quarter. "Second Language" tells the story of an ex-husband and wife who manage to maintain a relationship after their divorce. Finally, in the longest tale, "The Run of Yourself," a man traverses the unsettled and lonely terrain of his ... [ Read More » ]
17 of 26
by Amy Jo Burns
Set on a mountain in West Virginia and populated by snake-handling preachers, moonshiners and the women who survive them, Amy Jo Burns's first novel, Shiner, is a powerful story about finding moments of light in the dark--even if that means burning everything down. Shiner is a story about stories: those we tell ourselves, those we tell others and the stories that live on after we can no longer tell them.
Teenage Wren and her mother, Ruby, are cut off from the world. Their only regular contact outside ... [ Read More » ]
18 of 26
by Kylie Logan
As contrary as it seems to reference charm and murder in the same sentence, Kylie Logan's The Secrets of Bones blends them wonderfully. The second in Logan's Jazz Ramsey series (The Scent of Murder) finds Jazz recovering from large life losses. She finds solace in her Airedale puppy, Wally, who she's training to be her next Human Remains Detection partner, and her job as administrative assistant to Sister Eileen Flannery, principal of St. Catherine's Prep Academy for Girls.
Assembly Day at ... [ Read More » ]
19 of 26
by Jazmina Barrera, trans. by Christina Macsweeney
"Even before I ever saw a lighthouse, I dreamed of one," writes Mexico City writer Jazmina Barrera in her luminous, wistful book of essays, On Lighthouses. "Obsession," she explains, "is a form of mental collecting," and Barrera's obsession leads her "to research the history of lighthouses, the stories surrounding them... it was like falling in love."
She's not alone. James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Jeanette Winterson and Robert Louis Stevenson are only a few of the writers who share her passion; Herman ... [ Read More » ]
20 of 26
by Gail Godwin
The lifelong impact of a brief friendship is the theme of Old Lovegood Girls, Gail Godwin's 16th novel. Spanning decades and moving from a traditional women's junior college in 1958 North Carolina to New York City, yet always returning to the South, the emotional interdependence of Feron Hood and Merry Jellicoe is a quiet force propelling this engaging novel.
For ill-matched roommates, their bond is surprising. Feron had been "subjected to a wider range of life's misadventures than the typical Lovegood ... [ Read More » ]
21 of 26
by Elizabeth Acevedo
NBA, Printz and Carnegie Medal-winner Elizabeth Acevedo's second novel-in-verse, Clap When You Land, is inspired by and pays tribute to "the lives lost on American Airlines flight 587," which crashed in Queens, N.Y., in 2001 on its way to the Dominican Republic. Diving deep into the lives of two teens who have lost their father in a plane crash, Acevedo (The Poet X) uses her immense skill to describe their lush, complicated inner worlds.
Through an apprenticeship with her tía, 16-year-old ... [ Read More » ]
22 of 26
by Kacen Callender
After coming out as transgender, changing his name and physically transitioning, 17-year-old Felix Love got exactly what he wished for. So why does he still feel like something isn't right? Kacen Callender's second work for young adults is an enigmatic story of self-discovery featuring a dynamic cast of queer characters who are divided by their insecurities but secretly united by their desire to be loved.
Felix is a Black, trans, queer art student desperate for his own Cinderella story. ... [ Read More » ]
23 of 26
by Dori Hillestad Butler, illus. by Kevan Atteberry
This comical and surprisingly touching collection of letters between a snooty cat and an exuberant and oblivious dog introduces young readers to the richness awaiting them in early chapter books.
Simon is a pompous--though perhaps a bit insecure--black cat. He lives with his human, Andy, and Andy's mom. Ever since Andy's parents split up, Simon has managed just fine as his boy's singular pet (if you don't count the goldfish, which he doesn't). Learning that Andy's dad has adopted a dog is a serious ... [ Read More » ]
24 of 26
by John Moe
Comedic and sobering, The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe, host of the podcast of the same name, imparts what living with depression looks like.
Depression has tried to kill Moe (Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth) since he was 12. Tricked by an "If I Could Just mentality," he believed achieving goals would bring happiness. It didn't. Dream jobs--writing for NPR, hosting Weekend America, launching American Public Media's Wits--fueled stress, strengthening the disorder's grip on his psyche. ... [ Read More » ]
25 of 26
by Jill Watts
In 1933, as FDR's first New Deal programs sprung up across a United States in crisis, NAACP official William Pickens found the Roosevelt administration's relief efforts lacking: he saw Roosevelt's NRA--the National Recovery Act--as more akin to a "Negro Removal Act," thanks to the early New Deal's targeting of aid toward white communities and its enshrinement of discriminatory hiring practices.
This vivid, penetrating study by historian Jill Watts (Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood ... [ Read More » ]
26 of 26
by Won-Pyung Sohn, trans. by Sandy Joosun Lee
The engrossing voice and outsider's perspective from a young narrator with a brain condition will reward readers of Almond, the debut novel from Won-Pyung Sohn. Yunjae's underdeveloped amygdalae--two almond-shaped clusters of nuclei in the brain--mean that he doesn't experience emotions the same way most people do. His mother and his grandmother raise him with great care, writing down instructions for him to memorize, such as to move away if a car comes close to him and to smile back when people ... [ Read More » ]