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.
Thriller aficionados, you probably already know who Donna Leon is, as well as her beloved detective Commissario Guido Brunetti, who appears here for the 25th time. This book takes place in Venice, of course, and it’s hard to imagine a more glamorous or exciting setting for a thriller. In this particular tale, Brunetti is tasked with digging up an old case: He must find out what happened when a young girl almost died in a Venice canal. The girl survived, but she sustained irreversible damage to her brain, and was never the same afterwards. Readers will delight in rejoining Brunetti and his family in this installment of a beloved series.
Female friendship and the trials and tribulations of being an artist come to a head in this novel from Dana Spiotta. Protagonist Meadow is an artist, and her medium of choice is film. Her work is controversial (taking on subjects like shootings), and she likes it that way. Her friends are Jelly and Carrie (also artists), and together, these three women will navigate their careers and the tradeoffs they must make each time they decide to create something. Dive into this novel, which Kirkus calls “A superb, spiky exploration of artistic motivation.” We think you’ll be totally spellbound, and—for the artists out there—you might think a little differently about your own art.
For some of you, Little House on the Prairie was doubtless one of the formative books of your childhood. If you’re all grown up now and still can’t get enough, then you’re in luck–there’s even more Laura Ingalls Wilder to love. In this volume, William Anderson (who has made a career studying Wilder) has collected many of her letters to the people in her life: her daughter, her husband, fans, and her publishing connections. This book probably isn’t for the casual fan, as it is rich in small details rather than huge revelations, but for those who get nostalgic just thinking about the prairie are in for a treat.
Author Arlene Heyman is no stranger to human psychology: Her work in psychiatry and psychology gives her an awful lot of insight into the human mind, and trust us when we say it shows on the page. In her first collection of short stories, she takes on the subject of sex, and the people of all ages who are having it. As the title indicates, Heyman lingers on the subject of older people having sex. If you blush easily, this might not be the right book to read on the subway. But for those of you who are fascinated by how relationships can change over time and with age, this collection is sure to entertain and enlighten.
What happens when the past resurfaces and sucks you right back into your grief and confusion? This is precisely the situation in which Duluth Police Department Lt. Jonathan Stride finds himself when new information comes to light about the murder of a prominent surgeon’s third husband. Stride’s late wife was friends with the surgeon, and the case hit close to home for many in the community. Will the new revelations about the case change anything? Will Stride finally be able to move on? Rest assured, the plot thickens considerably.
Eileen Chang’s novel tells the heartbreaking tale of two lovers fighting against the odds to be together. Set in Shanghai in the 1930s, the novel begins with Shen Shijun and Gu Manzhen falling deeply in love. They’re determined to do whatever it takes to be together, but their families are not supportive of their newfound happiness. Shijun is his parents’ only son and they’re pressuring him to marry a woman of means. Meanwhile, Manzhen does everything she can to help her family rise out of poverty. As the years pass, the two begin to wonder if they’ll ever be together again.
Mary Robinette Kowal sets this novella in a future where technology records every moment, making human memory pointless. But there are areas of the world that this technology cannot touch, which Katya Gould discovers when she wanders into a forest in the Pacific Northwest and realizes that she’s completely off the grid. After she survives and returns to the world she knows, Katya must do something she has never done before: rely on her own memory to tell the story of the man who found her in the forest and held her hostage for three days. A perfect one-sitting read, this is an engrossing and gorgeous novella about storytelling and memory.
Debut author Alwyn Hamilton whisks readers away to a world of magic and murder in Rebel of the Sands. Amani Al’Hiza knows that there is no future for her in the town of Dustwalk, and she refuses to wait around until her uncle decides to marry her off. So when she has the chance to escape with a handsome adventurer, she takes it. Amani knew this choice would change her life forever, but she never could’ve imagined that it would lead her into a den of rebels determined to dethrone the sultan. With a mix of Arabian and Western mythology, readers are in for one hell of a ride.
Lindsay Eagar’s debut is a middle grade tale of magical realism and learning about where you come from. Twelve-year-old Carol isn’t happy about having to spend her summer helping her parents move her grandfather into a nursing home. Carol is originally wary of her grandfather, Serge, a man she had never met before. But then he begins to tell her stories about a magical life-giving tree that brought him together with her grandmother, and what the bees have to do with the drought in New Mexico. Serge’s stories sound impossible, but Carol begins to believe that some might just be true.
Whether your young readers are MTA veterans or subway newbies, they’re sure to be fascinated by this stunning book about one man’s dream of an underground train system. Author Shana Corey tells the story of Alfred Ely Beach and his successful attempt at creating a fan-powered train that traveled under bustling New York City streets. Rather than illustrations, the pages are covered photos of with Chris Sickels’ clay figures. Children who enjoy films such as The Boxtrolls and Wallace and Gromit will especially appreciate the creative and intricate imagery.