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.
From Little Women to Little House on the Prairie and beyond, the bond between sisters has made for some excellent fiction. In Everything Here is Beautiful Mira T. Lee explores the bond between the protective big sister Miranda and her impetuous little sister Lucia. After their mother dies, Lucia becomes increasingly agitated until it is obvious to everyone but her that she is suffering from a mental illness called schizoaffective disorder. When Lucia moves to Ecuador with her new love and their baby in tow, Miranda struggles with the desire to fix and save, as is her role in the family dynamic. Ultimately, though, the question becomes whether Lucia wants to be saved at all, or would she rather just be loved and accepted for who she is?
Imagine this: It’s 1928 and you’re a first-generation New York teenager looking for an adventure and a way out of your destiny in the family business. What do you do? Why, find a way to stow away on a ship headed to the South Pole, of course! That’s what Billy Gawronski did anyway. In fact, he tried several times to stow away on the Eleanor Bolling until he was finally allowed to join the crew and make the voyage. In The Stowaway, Laurie Gwen Shapiro documents the true story of Gawronski’s time aboard the Antarctica-bound ship and his later life as a ship commander during WWII. This book is a thrilling read for all ages.
C.J. Cooke’s debut psychological thriller I Know My Name follows the story of Eloise and her husband, Lochlan, as they both try to unravel the mystery of how she went missing. Far from her home and family in London, Eloise is rescued by four writers on retreat on an island near Crete. She has no idea how she ended up there. In fact, the only thing she can remember is her name. Meanwhile back home, her husband tries to find out what happened to his missing wife, who left her passport, her wallet, and their two young children behind. As Lochlan searches for Eloise, he begins to learn the secrets of her youth that shaped her into the adult trauma survivor she has become, making him wonder if he ever really knew her at all.
We are so excited about Senlin Ascends that we already included it in our Sci-Fi & Fantasy Winter Preview. Senlin Ascends, the first in Josiah Bancroft’s Books of Babel series, follows newlywed Thomas Senlin in his search for his missing wife, Marya. At Babel on their honeymoon, the two are separated almost as soon as they arrive and Thomas’ search for Marya leads him through the twists, turns, and surprises which comprise the sky-high tower. Trained as a scholar, Thomas must use new survival instincts to find his way and his wife.
Santino Hassell’s latest romance and the second in his Barons series, Down by Contact, has the perfect recipe for smoldering tension. That Simeon Boudreaux and Adrián Bravo are on opposing football teams is enough to create a rivalry between them, but when their mutual dislike of each other boils over onto the field, punches are thrown. As punishment, they are benched and forced to perform community service together, running a camp for Brooklyn teens, where their simmering hatred soon turns to flying sparks.
Truly Devious, the first novel in Maureen Johnson’s new YA series, is set in an exclusive boarding school, Ellingham Academy, where first-year student Stevie Bell sets out to solve the decades-old cold case that has plagued the school since its inception in 1936. In order to solve the crime, Stevie must identify the presumed original killer, Truly Devious. The problem is that once she begins her quest, Truly Devious returns and murder seems sure to follow. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly says that the novel is “deliciously atmospheric, with a sprawling cast of complex suspects/potential victims, surprising twists, and a dash of romance.” We couldn’t agree more.
Stella Díaz Has Something to Say is a charming middle grade novel from award-winning author and illustrator, Angela Dominguez. Based on Dominguez’s own experiences growing up Mexican-American, the book follows the story of Stella Díaz, who loves her pet fish, her family, and her best friend. Everything is just great except that sometimes Stella doesn’t quite know how to say exactly what she wants to say because she mixes English and Spanish, trying to find the right words. Through the support of friends and family, she is able to find her voice, speak her truth, and give her classroom presentation on Jacques Cousteau. Anyone who has been shy or struggled to find their voice will relate to the lovable Stella.
Blues and folk singer, Elizabeth Cotten was a gift to the music world. In the new children’s book Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten, singer-songwriter Laura Veirs tells the tale of Cotten’s childhood in North Carolina, where the left-handed girl taught herself to play her brother’s right-handed guitar by turning it upside down. It’s not until much later in her life when she is a grandmother and working for a family of musicians that her unique talent is discovered by the outside world and she begins her life as a musician. This is a beautiful book for late bloomers.