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 Spring Previews for the best books coming out this season.
Colonialism and magical realism come together in this utterly engrossing novel from Patrice Nganang of Cameroon. At the center of this story is a young girl named Sara, who has lived her life as a girl until she meets a woman named Bertha who is positive that Sara is actually a boy—and has the spirit of her dead son within her. From then on, Bertha decides that Sara is male. The reader gradually learns about Bertha’s deceased son, Nebu, and the tragedy that took him from her. Questions of gender and identity fill this engrossing volume.
Chefs are more than just cooks—they are artists, and this is the notion that lies at the core of this new book from Questlove and Ben Greenman. You might know Questlove best for his music as a member of the Roots, but his work has dealt with creativity and artistry in a variety of forms. Greenman is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and together, these two bring readers interviews with some of the most fascinating chefs working today. Foodies will relish the insight from big-name chefs such as Daniel Humm and Dave Beran, and delight in this book’s thoughtful and insightful investigation of creativity in the culinary world.
Maybe you’ve been squinting at the cover of this book with its scrambled light-pink letters, trying to figure out what its title is. We’re here to help: It’s The Bed Moved, and you’ll want to make note of this one. The Bed Moved might be Rebecca Schiff’s first collection of short stories, but you’d never know it. Schiff’s prose has wit and charm to spare, and both are expertly deployed in this volume to tell stories about two subjects that might seem contradictory, but are also inextricably linked: sex and death. Family dynamics are sharply observed in these 23 stories, and Schiff can invoke a lot of emotion without wasting any words. For lovers of short stories, this book is not to be missed.
If you haven’t heard about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the Broadway musical, then you have probably been living under a rock. Whether you’ve seen the show, or you’ve just been rocking out to the soundtrack, this book is sure to satisfy. Miranda and critic Jeremy McCarter take readers on a journey back to the beginnings of Hamilton, when the show was performed at the White House, and trace Alexander Hamilton’s path from bastard orphan to Broadway star. We predict that fans will gain an even deeper appreciation of the production by learning about its backstory. Don’t miss your shot to own this; it may just be the best thing to tide you over until you can snag tickets to see the show.
If there’s one thing we love here at Bookish, it’s a cozy with recipes in it. They’re not as rare as you might think, but they also don’t come across your desk every day. In Dying for a Taste, Sally Solari is a lawyer, but she isn’t as excited about the job as she’d like to be. When her mother passes away, however, she takes the opportunity to change industries to go work in her family’s restaurant, Solari’s. But not all is well at this Italian restaurant on the waterfront. The ensuing story mingles both murder and mayhem, while also providing readers with tasty recipes to whip up at home.
Raise your hand if you’ve dreamed of owning an Oscar de la Renta dress. You aren’t alone. Mrs. Brown is a 66-year-old woman who has spent the majority of her life in a small, quiet Rhode Island town. But everything changes when she sets her eyes on a stunning and sophisticated black sheath and jacket. The desire to own the dress overpowers her and sends her on an adventure to New York City to purchase it. What occasion does she plan on wearing this gorgeous dress to? That is her little secret. Author William Norwich is a fashion writer, and he imbues the story with his extensive sartorial knowledge, making this a perfect novel for readers whose wardrobes are as well-stocked as their bookshelves.
Fans of fantasy anthologies are in for a treat this week. Joan Aiken is often remembered for her gothic tale The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, but she was also a prolific short story writer. This book collects some of her sharpest and darkest works of fantasy. New readers will easily be enchanted by her literary and sophisticated take on fairy tales, and long-time fans will delight in returning to her magical worlds. There’s something for everyone here: ghosts, dead kings, fairy doctors, and fairy princesses.
Seventeen-year-old Mira Banul is alone in her family’s cottage when a superstorm hits the New Jersey coast. The wind and rain destroy the bridge connecting the island she lives on to the mainland, where her mother and brother are now stranded. In a sense, Mira is grateful. Her brother has Hunter syndrome and will be safer on the mainland than in their small cottage. On the other hand, Mira is completely on her own and must figured out how to survive until help arrives. Coping without power through the night is harrowing, but Mira loses all sense of safety when she realizes that someone is sneaking around outside of her home. Beth Kephart’s young adult novel is poetic and absorbing.
Liesl Shurtliff reimagines the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” in this thrilling middle grade book. Readers familiar with Shurtliff’s Rump have met Red and Granny before, but this is a companion book that’s easily accessible to newbies as well. Granny is a witch, but when she falls ill she needs a magic more powerful than her own to save her. Red, who nearly killed Granny years ago with a curse gone awry, is fearful of magic. To save her beloved grandmother, she has to find the courage to face her fear. Thankfully, she isn’t alone: Goldie, a wolf, and a huntsman are all willing to help Red on her journey.
Time flies when you’re having fun, but when you’re bored and stuck in a car, it can feel as though time isn’t moving at all. In this delightful picture book from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, a young boy on his way to his grandmother’s birthday party looks out the window to find that time isn’t just moving slowly, it’s moving backwards! As the dinosaur on the cover indicates, things get prehistoric before party time.