Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the eight titles that our editors are most excited to add to their TBR shelves. For even more hot new releases, check out our Winter Previews for the best books coming out this season.
With the #MeToo movement and stories of women reclaiming their voices and power dominating the headlines of late, Danielle Lazarin’s debut short story collection Back Talk hits the shelves at just the right time. In this marvelous book, Lazarin writes unapologetically about the needs and desires of women and girls. Most importantly, she writes about how women care for and relate to each other, which is the thread that holds these stories together. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly writes, “Lazarin’s work is confident and exhilarating; this auspicious collection is uniformly excellent.”
In The Earth Gazers, Christopher Potter begins with the startling fact that there are only 24 people who have seen the whole Earth from space. These Earth-gazing astronauts took the iconic images of space that show us our beautiful planet. In this book, Potter offers a unique and engaging history of the space program that led to those photographs. From Charles Lindbergh to Robert Goddard to NASA, until the end of the program in 1972, Potter reminds us of the brilliance of space travel and how much the United States lost as a nation when it gave up its place in the stars.
It’s 1956 and London reporters have overrun the Cornish village of St. Steele. Betty Broadbent is fifteen and has never traveled outside of her small town. The reporters, in town seeking a scoop on the murders of young girls, rent rooms in the boarding house Betty’s mother runs and become a source of fascination for sheltered Betty. She finds herself particularly drawn to a reserved reporter named Mr. Gallagher. Soon the two form a bond and become lovers, despite their age difference. The novel flashes back and forth between the haunting summer of 1956 and 50 years later. Enter a woman named Mary who is seeking someone she once knew in St. Steele. Laura Powell’s debut mystery, The Unforgotten, will be hard for readers to forget.
Imagine a world where plants are the dominant life form. This is the premise behind Sue Burke’s debut sci-fi novel Semiosis. When space-traveling colonists stray from their course and end up on the planet Pax, they discover that the native plants are sentient. The plants see the humans as tools to be used. In order to survive, the humans must find a way to align themselves with the plants or risk never leaving Pax.
Going Overboard is the fifth book in L.A. Witt’s Anchor Point series. Chris and Dalton have a friendship that stretches all the way back to coxswain school. Now they are both petty officers and stationed together. Though they’re both gay, Dalton is open about his sexuality and Chris is not. The two privately yearn for each other, but they keep their feelings to themselves until the fateful day when an accident nearly gets Dalton killed. Knowing it would be all too easy to lose each other, Chris and Dalton turn from best friends to lovers. There are rough seas ahead, however, and when the Navy starts investigating the accident, it’s Dalton who’s unfairly in the hot seat. Will their love be able to withstand the scrutiny?
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza Shaun David Hutchinson tells the story of Elena Mendoza, who is not quite like her classmates. In fact, her mother was a virgin when she gave birth to her and now, 16 years later, Elena has discovered that she has a special power. She is able to heal people, which comes in handy when she saves her crush, a girl named Freddie. Elena’s best friend, Fadil, believes Elena’s powers were given to her by God, but Elena doesn’t have the time to uncover the truth behind her gift. There’s trouble on the horizon: An apocalypse seems imminent and it just might be up to her to save the world.
Cynthia Kadohata’s honest and thoughtful middle grade book, Checked, explores themes of compassion and identity. Life is seems pretty sweet for 11-year-old Conor MacRae, who is eager to try out for the AAA hockey team, the Grizzlies. Unfortunately, Conor’s life changes course when his dog Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer. Because his father can’t pay for both, Conor has to decide between hockey lessons and Sinbad’s chemotherapy. He chooses to take care of Sinbad and gives up the sport he loves. Long defined by his hockey obsession, Conor begins to wonder who he is without it.
In Petra, writer and illustrator Marianna Coppo tells the story of a charming rock. At first Petra believes she is a mountain but then a dog comes along and disproves the theory by picking her up and bringing her home. The dog’s owner is unimpressed by Petra and tosses her away. She then ends up in a nest and believes she’s an egg. She’s not an egg for long, though, as circumstances keep moving her through the world and changing her perceptions of herself. This delightful picture book examines self-belief in a way that is both humorous and sweet.