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.
Lt. Jack Porter wants to leave Iraq feeling that he did the best he could for his men and for the civilians he’s encountered. Perhaps that’s why he struggles to work with his platoon’s new sergeant, Daniel Chambers. Porter follows the rules, while Chambers is more of a renegade, willing to plant a drop weapon near a killed Iraqi civilian. As the two struggle for control over the platoon, Porter begins doing a bit of digging and uncovers surprising details about the last sergeant to work with Chambers. Sgt. Edgar Rios was killed in combat, but the circumstances are murky. Porter follows the trail to Rana, a sheik’s daughter that Rios was supposedly in love with. Helping her find the truth could mean defying his own army, a criminal act, and Porter has to decide what he’s truly willing to fight for. Author Matt Gallagher is an Iraq War veteran and his novel is, in part, inspired by his own experiences in Iraq.
Suzanne Joinson’s second novel transports readers to 1920s Jerusalem and then to England in 1937. Prue Ashton guides both narratives, first as an 11-year-old girl, and then as a woman, artist, and mother. In 1937, Prue’s memories of her lonely childhood are buried, but a visitor from her past brings the recollection of the horrific events that she witnessed while living in the Middle East. A love affair, betrayal, and political intrigue make this an impossible to put down read.
Evelyn Gallagher isn’t a whistle blower. Focused on affording private school for her deaf son, she keeps her head down and works on managing NSA’s facial recognition program. But then she stumbles across a program called God’s Eye that is focused on complete and unlimited surveillance of American citizens. Worse, the program seems to be connected to the deaths of several journalists. Evelyn’s discovery makes her a target, and soon NSA director Theodore Anders has send his deadliest assassin after her. Barry Eisler’s thriller is creepy and will certainly make readers wonder just how private their lives truly are.
Former investment banker Maureen Sherry gives readers a hilarious novel that also breaks down the stock market crash of 2008. Belle Cassidy makes bank. Her end-of-year bonus came in at just under $3 million. But her work life certainly could be better, which is why she’s a member of the Glass Ceiling Club. There, she gets to talk with other women about the rampant sexism in their industry (everything from ass grabbing to excluding women from the company’s risk management committee). Sadly, things aren’t much better at home with her husband, who prefers to remain unemployed and live off of her paychecks. Maybe that’s why she finds herself so drawn to Henry, her former fiancé who has made a sudden reappearance in her life. In this novel, Sherry achieves the perfect balance of delivering both humor and information. Readers who are curious about what happened during the financial crisis, but don’t want to pick up a nonfiction account, will find this engaging and educational.
The Jazz Age gets a magical twist in Lee Kelly’s urban fantasy. When Prohibition outlaws magic, the sorcerers move their craft to the black market and begin working underground. Mobsters and gangsters suddenly have magic on their side, and the police need to gain the upper hand. They send first-year trainee Alex Danfrey undercover to infiltrate the Shaw Gang, Washington D.C.’s most notorious group. It’s there that Alex meets Joan Kendrick, a sorcerer working for the Shaw Gang in order to save her family. And, well, we’ll just say that sparks fly. Told in alternating perspectives, this magical tale has all of the drama, intrigue, and glamour of the Roaring Twenties.
Nearly 200 years after her death, readers remain fascinated by Jane Austen, an author we imagine to be just as witty, clever, and disarming as her unforgettable heroines. Those looking for Austen style with a hint of mystery will be delighted to pick up the 13th installment in Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen Mysteries series. In Jane and the Waterloo Map, Jane Austen is finishing writing Emma when her brother’s health sharply declines. She rushes to London to be by his side, and while she’s in the bustling city, she stumbles across a dying cavalry hero with a message: “Waterloo map.” With the man’s last words still ringing in her ears, Jane sets out to find the map and the killer.
If the world of fashion mystifies you, we’d highly recommend Grace & Style. We don’t say that because it’ll give you any real insight into the industry, and you certainly won’t find helpful tips about beauty and style. Instead, you’ll commiserate with comedian Grace Helbig and spend the afternoon laughing at her spoofs of fashion guides. Now, there is some practical advice to be found here in Helbig’s “Mom’s words of wisdom” sections, and in the introduction she describes her own eating disorder and struggle with body image. Overall, though, it’s a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is ideal for fans of Helbig’s E! television show and YouTube channel.
In this nonfiction book for young adults, seventeen women share candid details about their first times having sex. The stories are wonderfully diverse: straight, gay, and trans narratives all find a place and ensure that readers of all backgrounds can pick up this collection and find someone they relate to. There are complex emotions connected with having sex for the first time, especially for women. The guilt, shame, joy, passion, and disappointment all find a place here and give readers a lot to consider, whether that experience is in their past or in their future.
Riley’s congressman father is running for reelection in Orange County. It’s a conservative area, and Riley believes that coming out as gender fluid would not be understood, let alone tolerated. Gender fluidity can mean different things to different people, and to Riley it means waking up some days feeling more like a boy, more like a girl, or somewhere smack in the middle. Unable to express that to friends or family, Riley instead focuses on dressing androgynously and ignoring bullies who think it’s appropriate to refer to a human being as “it.” Looking for an outlet and a supportive community, Riley starts a blog at the suggestion of a therapist. Turns out, a lot of people are interested in Riley’s experiences with gender identification. Riley even begins communicating with a trans girl also in need of a friend. But not everyone is understanding. One commenter does some digging and discovers Riley’s true identity and threatens to reveal it. Riley’s faced with a choice: come out or shut down the blog. Jeff Garvin’s young adult novel is told in the first person, successfully avoiding pronouns that are not true to Riley’s character. This book is part of a growing subgenre that hopefully can help readers to feel less alone.
In this delightful sequel to Finding Serendipity, it is once again up to the plucky Tuesday McGillycuddy to save the day. Writers around the world are disappearing and then reappearing far from where they live. Tuesday has to leave her normal world behind and travel once again to the land of story. It’s here that writers’ tales become actual worlds floating out in space. It’s up to the Gardener to keep these worlds separate, but he’s begun to lose control of them. The worlds are colliding and Tuesday will need the help of her fictional friend Vivienne Small and her trusty dog Baxterr if she hopes to save the land of story and protect the worlds that readers love. Angelica Banks’ middle grade series is a true treat for those who love the written word.