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.
Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Most parents agree that there is nothing more rewarding than being a parent. There is also nothing more terrifying, especially when one is left to do it alone. This is certainly true for Karl Ove Knausgaard as he narrates the next installment of his Seasons Quartet, a novella entitled Spring. The story takes place over the course of a single spring day with Knausgaard’s infant daughter at the center of the goings-on. On the surface, the day might seem mundane, but the reader learns that Knausgaard is now alone with his children. Their mother is gone and it’s up to him to explain why. As he slowly unravels the sad and scary explanation, Knausgaard also ruminates on mortality.
A Shimmer of Hummingbirds by Steve Burrows
Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune is back on the case in the fourth installment of the Birder Murder Mystery series. Under the guise of attending a birding tour in Colombia, Domenic leaves England to help clear the name of his fugitive brother Damian. While Domenic’s away, his rival DI Marvin Laraby takes over his open cases. Will Domenic have a job to return to once he’s done saving his brother? We’re so excited at the return of Domenic Jejeune that we included A Shimmer of Hummingbirds in our list of must-read spring books.
As the title states, Michelle Tea’s latest is not a memoir. Instead, it is a collection of her writings. Part journalistic reportage, part personal essay, Against Memoir pushes past prescribed boundaries and contains a range of writing styles. Tea examines both her queerness and her feminism as well as queer counterculture and misogyny as a whole. In doing so, she illuminates not just the lives of those she writes about but her own life as well.
Lost Empress by Sergio de la Pava
Sergio de la Pava’s latest novel introduces readers to a failing football team and a philosophical convict. Public defender Nina Gill loves football and football strategy. When her father dies and Nina inherits the indoor football team the Paterson Pork instead of the Dallas Cowboys (which her father also owns), she finds a way to turn her lemons into lemonade. Nina is determined to make the Pork a competitor in the NFL. As Nina builds up her team, Nuno DeAngeles plots his next crime from his jail cell on Rikers Island. De la Pava weaves their two stories together in surprising and inventive ways. In a starred review, Kirkus hails Lost Empress as, “A whirling vortex of a novel, confusing, misdirecting, and surprising—and a lot of fun.”
In this latest Westmoreland Legacy novel, jewelry designer Swan Jamison is suspected of espionage. She’s the goddaughter of two Navy SEAL commanding officers who decide to send David Holloway on a covert mission to uncover the truth. In Key West, things heat up when David and Swan meet. David is soon torn between his duty and his growing affection for Swan, who he believes is innocent. As the two grow closer, it becomes harder for David to keep secrets from the woman he’s falling in love with. Ultimately, David must decide if duty and desire can exist in the same universe.
Luke and Toby, who have been best friends for as long as they can remember, once shared the same dream of leaving their sleepy North Carolina town behind. Luke’s on death row now and the two communicate via letters, remembering their senior year and all the promise it held. The shortcomings of their parents (Luke’s neglectful mother and Toby’s abusive father) did not stop them from continuing their friendship, but the cycles of poverty and abuse proved difficult to break. The story slowly reveals the layers of the boys’ lives up until Luke’s arrest. This is a hard-hitting, realistic, and poignant young adult novel that will remind readers about the power of loyalty and friendship.
A young Pakistani girl faces injustice in Aisha Saeed’s middle grade novel. Twelve-year-old Amal dreams of becoming a teacher, but as her family’s eldest daughter she’s expected to stay home from school instead to run the household while her mother is on bedrest after giving birth to another daughter. Amal’s troubles don’t end there. After she accidentally insults her landlord’s son, she’s forced to work as an indentured servant in their home. Through it all, Amal remains brave, hopeful, and driven. She’s a girl unafraid of reaching for her dreams, and readers will root for her every step of the way.
Aaron Becker, the author and illustrator of the stunning Journey trilogy, is back with a new wordless picture book that readers won’t soon forget. The story follows a young girl who is mourning the loss of her beloved dog Sascha. She places flowers on Sascha’s grave before her family leaves for a camping trip. Once in the wilderness, the girl makes her way to the lake where she uncovers a smooth golden stone, with a captivating history of its own. This tale of grief, purpose, and life’s cyclical nature is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.