This Week’s Hottest Releases: 1/10 – 1/16

This Week’s Hottest Releases: 1/10 – 1/16

Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the 10 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.

Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

Does this cover look familiar? That’s probably because a number of outlets have named it one of the must-read books of 2016. The novel takes place during a single day in November of 1999 during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, Washington. Author Sunil Yapa explores the protests, which begin peacefully but turn violent, through the eyes of seven characters including protesters, police officers, a young boy  trying to make a buck, and the financial minister from Sri Lanka. The novel is sure to spark readers’ interest in the real events that inspired the novel, as well as provoking thoughts about patience, compassion, and humanity.

When Breath Becomes Air

This memoir is receiving major praise from authors like Cheryl Strayed, Atul Gawande, and Henry Marsh. Whether you are a reader interested in memoir, medicine, or mortality, this is unmissable. It’s written by a young neurosurgeon who, at the age of 36, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Doctors confront life and death situations at work every day, but for Paul Kalanithi, looking at his own mortality was challenging, frustrating, and humbling. Kalanithi died in 2015 while working on this moving memoir. His wife, Lucy, finished the book at his request.

The Bitter Season

Detective Nikki Liska moved to the cold case squad in order to spend more time with her sons, but she finds herself longing for the pressure and demands of her old job in homicide. Her ex-partner Sam isn’t faring well without her either. He isn’t taking well the young lieutenant who has taken Nikki’s place. But when a Minneapolis woman’s life is threatened, the two have the chance to work together once more to catch a killer and save the day.


Fans of historical fiction, we know you’ve been eagerly awaiting this final volume in Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero trilogy—inspired by the life of the Roman philosopher and politician Cicero. This final installment heightens the tension and drama with the fall of the Roman republic and the assassination of Julius Caesar. You likely know how this story ends, but Harris makes the journey one worth taking.

This Census-Taker

Many people think back on their childhood with fond memories, but that is not the case for the unnamed narrator of this novel. Now a man, our narrator looks back on his childhood and attempts to make sense of what happened to him in the hilltop village that he once lived in. In flashbacks he recalls a vicious murder when he was nine, but the details are far from clear. Readers familiar with China Miéville know that his style is far from straightforward, so expect another tale that reads like a symbolic dream.

The Confidence Game

We’re frequently entertained by con men in books (Catch Me If You Can, The Great Gatsby), but no one likes to be tricked themselves. Journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova explores what makes a con artist and why we so easily fall for their tricks. If you’ve ever wondered how these swindlers manage to walk into a room and manipulate anyone in it, Konnikova has the answers for you.

The Expatriates

Janice Y.K. Lee wowed readers with her debut novel The Piano Teacher, and now she’s back with a follow-up story that transports fans to an expat community in Hong Kong. Here, the lives of three women come together in surprising and dramatic ways. First, there’s Mercy, a 20-something Korean-American who is unlucky in every way that a person can be. Then there’s Hilary, who is struggling to repair a crumbling marriage. And finally there’s Margaret, a married mother of three who feels a loss of identity. Lee weaves together their lives and creates a novel that explores the ways that grief can isolate us and how to begin rebuilding a shattered life.

American Ace

We briefly called out this verse novel by Marilyn Nelson in our Winter Young Adult Preview, and now that it is officially on shelves we have to talk about it again. Connor Bianchini’s world is shaken when his grandmother passes away. Not only is he losing someone he loves deeply, but she leaves behind a letter that reveals a passionate affair she had with an airman named Ace that resulted in the birth of Tony, Connor’s father. Together, Connor and his father begin searching for the truth and learn a surprising secret about their heritage along the way. The character of Ace is based on a real pilot, adding a nice dose of history to this fictional account.


The Terrible Two Get Worse

Here comes trouble… again. Middle grade readers cracked up over the first volume in this series about a pair of pranksters, and they’ll love the new tricks Niles and Miles have devised in the sequel. Principal Barkin is the boys’ favorite target for pranks, and when he’s replaced by his father (the no-nonsense former Principal Barkin), they assume they can continue joking around as normal. The problem is that former Principal Barkin doesn’t react… ever! It’s no fun pranking when the person being pranked doesn’t care. Miles and Niles realize that they miss their old principal. To get him back, they boys have to take their pranks to the next level to drive former Principal Barkin from the school forever.

Bear is Not Tired

Bear has a problem that most kids will understand. Contrary to the title of this picture book, he is tired, but he’s trying to convince himself otherwise. You see, winter lasts for a long time, and Bear worries that if he sleeps through the whole season, he’ll miss out on making great memories with the duck family that he lives with. Thankfully, Mama Duck thinks of a perfect solution that lets Bear catch up on his sleep and ensures he won’t miss a thing.


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