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.
This Irish import from Belinda McKeon tells the story of two friends living in Dublin in the late ‘90s. When they meet, Catherine sees everything she wants to be in James. He’s a bold artist who knows exactly who he is. She’s a sheltered girl used to following a set path. As their friendship grows, he brings out the best in her and pushes her to take chances in her life. While Catherine flourishes (and falls deeper in love with him), James struggles. Ireland still doesn’t accept homosexuality, and he’s frustrated that his sexuality identity must be kept secret from most of the people in his life. Both heartbreaking and uplifting, this is a story of love, friendship, and healing.
Oslo’s most dangerous drug king is the Fisherman, and those who cross him don’t survive for long. Jon, a hitman who has worked for the Fisherman, makes the deadly mistake of betraying the crime boss and is forced to flee. He decides to hide out in Kåsund, a small religious village so far north that the sun never sets. But the Fisherman is smart and his men are hot on Jon’s trail. Both funny and dark, this suspense novel is another winner from Jo Nesbø.
Paula Vauss grew up on the road with her mom, never staying in one place for too long. During their trips, her mom would tell her stories, mixing Hindu mythology and Southern tales. Her mom even nicknamed her Kali, after the powerful Hindu goddess. As an adult, Paula tries not to think much about her past, especially after that fateful night that sent her mother to prison and landed her in the foster care system. But a cryptic letter from her mother brings all of those memories rushing back. In the letter, her mother talks vaguely about death and karma, and a fearful Paula sets off on a journey to find her mother before it’s too late.
If you find yourself running to WebMD at the slightest provocation, you might want to steer clear of this book. The majority of epidemiologists believe that a deadly disease will spread across the globe within the next two generations. In this book, prizewinning journalist Sonia Shah explores what the next global pandemic might look like by tracing the origins of cholera and exploring how it overtook the world during the 19th century. Shah provides important insight into the science and politics involved in a disease growing into an out-of-control pandemic.
Peter Straub is a master of horror. And if you didn’t know that before, you’re sure to believe it after reading these 16 stories. One unsettling tale explores the cycle of violence within a family, and another focuses on a couple’s terrifying trip down the Amazon River. Straub’s tales cover a wide variety of genres in this collection, keeping readers on their toes and offering surprises at every turn. If you think you can handle it, try reading this entire collection in a single sitting.
Oxford historian Peter Frankopan takes readers on a journey through the silk roads, trading routes that have linked Europe and China for centuries, and explains their vital role in human history. Since their creation, both incredible and dangerous things have traveled those roads. This is the route that the Black Plague traveled west, and the path that spread the peaceful practice of Buddhism. History buffs in particular will find this to be an engaging read, and will love following the various threads that Frankopan explores when looking at the products and world-changing ideas that were spread on these roads.
At what point in the process of growing from girl to woman is the belief in magic lost? Award-winning author Olga Grushin writes about the importance of art and loss of self in this new novel. A young nameless girl narrates the first chapters. She sees a mermaid sorting through her mother’s jewelry and spots an angel while she’s reading. For her, magic is everywhere. As she grows, she becomes disillusioned and her love of poetry and art begin to fade away. The second half of the novel introduces readers to Mrs. Caldwell, an upper-middle-class wife who mulls over the life she left behind and the regrets that haunt her. Lyrical and poignant, this is an ideal read for artists who seek answers to life’s biggest questions.
Sisters Jan, Erika, and Melanie have found themselves drifting farther apart after their parents’ divorce in this touching young adult novel. Away at college, Jan keeps to herself, while at home, Erika and Melanie are butting heads more often than ever. Melanie is upset with her parents and takes out her frustrations on Erika. So when the two sisters end up at the same house party on Halloween, Erika tries to stay out of Melanie’s way. When it comes time to leave, Erika finds Melanie unconscious and half-dressed in one of the rooms. Erika knows that something horrible happened to her sister, but Melanie is afraid of anyone finding out the truth and shuts out Erika when she tries to help. Claire Needell’s debut novel deals with piecing together memories, familial bonds, and the ways that the ones closest to us can help us or hurt us.
Best friends Lauren, Vi, Becca, and Sadie can’t believe how wildly successful their party-planning business, RSVP, became over the summer. As school starts again, they’re offered a wedding and decide that they can’t pass up such a great opportunity. But that was before they knew they were dealing with a bridezilla and her crazy demands. Add in the normal drama of another year in middle school, and you’ve got a fun read about best friends trying to make their dreams happen. Jen Malone’s RSVP series is great for young readers who value friendship and entrepreneurial ventures.
Moving to a new home can be a difficult transition for a child. Jessixa Bagley’s sweet picture book might help make things just a little bit easier. Hedgehog Zelda is dreading saying goodbye to her best friend, an anteater named Aaron. First, Zelda tries packing him with her, but that doesn’t work. Then she tries declaring that she simply isn’t moving, which also doesn’t work. Finally, Zelda and Aaron decide to make the most of the time they have together. Zelda realizes that while some things change, some things (like friendship) remain the same.