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 Spring Previews for the best books coming out this season.
Night Hawks by Charles Johnson
Charles Johnson returns to the page with a short story collection that is peopled with a vengeful hairstylist, a plotting cab driver, and a Muslim American soldier facing racism, among others. In “Kamadhatu,” a black American Buddhist visits a Japanese abbot and relieves the abbot’s loneliness. The collection contains various genres of stories from realism to science fiction with overarching themes of tolerance and gratitude. In a starred review, Kirkus writes, “It’s gratifying to put yourself in the hands of a veteran storyteller who knows what he’s doing—and is quietly secure in what he’s teaching.”
In this memoir of pushing past fear and overcoming loss, Tessa Fontaine takes to the road in search of her own identity. When her ailing mother, whom Tessa has been caring for, takes a long-dreamed about trip to Italy with her husband, Tessa uses the opportunity to travel herself. She ends up with a sideshow called World of Wonders, where she bravely learns how to eat fire, handle snakes, and escape from handcuffs. Her most popular feat is when she becomes “the electric woman,” by illuminating light bulbs with her tongue. Ultimately, this is a book about the loving bond between child and parent and having the courage to face and overcome fears.
It’s 1664 in London and though the employment prospects for skilless 24-year-old Baltasar “Balty” St. Michel seem bleak, he gets by thanks to the generosity of his brother-in-law Samuel Pepys. Things start to look up when Pepys, who is tired of supporting Balty, offers him employment instead. It’s not ordinary job. Balty is to hunt down the missing judges who caused the execution of Charles I. The mission leads Balty to the New World. Christopher Buckley fans and newcomers to his work will delight in this humorous historical novel.
Scientist Rose Franklin returns in this final installment of the Themis Files series, and we are so excited for this finale that we included it on our list of must-read books for spring 2018. Ten years have passed since the events of Sleeping Giants, and Rose is finally ready to leave her life on planet Esat Ekt behind and return home to Earth. But what she finds on Earth is utter turmoil. The United States and Russia are at war over who will be in power in the post-robot invasion world, and the people of Earth are holding out for a hero to save them all. Hold out no more, Earthlings! Rose and the reunited Earth Defense Corps are here to save the day.
This ninth book in the Playful Brides series is filled with betrayal, suspense, and red-hot chemistry. Set in early 19th century, the narrative follows the love affair between Mark and Nicole Grimaldi. The two were only married for three months when a heated argument led to their estrangement. Nicole headed to France as a spy, and Mark threw himself into climbing ranks in the military. Now it’s ten years later and they need each other to fulfill their aspirations: Nicole wants a baby and Mark needs to prove that he’s a family man so that he’ll get a promotion. Sparks fly when they come back together, but their deep wounds still feel fresh.
After her mother dies of cancer, 16-year-old Chicagoan Tiffany Sly is sent to live in California with Anthony Stone, the father she’s never known. Tiffany is sad to leave her old life behind and apprehensive about living with her white stepmother and four half-sisters. Not to mention that Anthony might not be her father after all. Just before she left Chicago, another man came forward claiming to be her biological father and asked her to take a DNA test. Tiffany took the test without telling Anthony. As she waits for the results, Tiffany struggles to fit in with this new family but finds solace in a Marcus McKinney, a friend from her new neighborhood. Marcus has dealt with death and grieving before and their friendship helps Tiffany feel like she is not quite so alone. Ultimately, this is a book about how family is what you make it.
Usually 13-year-old Bina spends the summer with her best friend Austin, but this year he’s off at soccer camp. Bored and lonely, Bina tries to entertain herself by watching TV, but the distraction is not cutting it. As the summer progresses her love of music and playing the guitar begins to fill in the gaps. She even gets to go see her favorite band play. Rock on with Bina as she makes new friends, keeps old ones, and finds her own path in Hope Larson’s new coming-of-age graphic novel All Summer Long.
Prince & Knight written by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
When a prince and his parents travel the kingdom seeking someone for him to marry, none of the princesses seem to suit the prince. The matchmaking is put on hold after a dragon swoops down and threatens the realm. The prince picks up his sword to fight the dragon alongside a brave knight. When the knight takes off his helmet and the two look at each other for the first time, it is love at first sight. Wedding vows soon follow and all of the people of the realm rejoice. Daniel Haack has written a beautifully inclusive fairy tale made all the more special by Stevie Lewis’s magical illustrations.