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 Summer Previews for the best books coming out this season.
The lull of repetitive administrative work, the click-click-click of keyboard keys, the windowless and bland office space—we’re betting more than one of you can easily visualize Josephine’s new workspace. And, we’re just as sure, you’ve often felt as though something is slightly… off about the entire operation. Josephine spends her days inputting numbers into “The Database.” It’s a fine job at first (hey, it pays), but she finds herself growing more paranoid with each passing day about what it is that this mysterious organization does. Sinister at times, and wonderfully imaginative, this is a novel ideal for anyone who has been a cog in corporate America and felt that there was something more out there.
If your heart swells when reading stories of missed connections, then you’ll fall hard for Jennifer Weiner’s latest. Rachel and Andy are both eight years old when they meet for the first time, though fate ensures it isn’t the last. That first night in the hospital, Rachel shares details of her heart defect, a condition that causes everyone to treat her as though she’s made of glass. Andy opens up about being biracial and his struggle to fit in. Throughout their lives, the two meet over and over again. Rachel eventually enters the field of social work, while Andy pursues his dream of running in the Olympics. With each milestone they pass and goal they accomplish, the nagging question at the back of their minds is: Will we ever end up together? Before they answer that, though, they must decide if love is strong enough to overcome everything standing in their way.
Cixin Liu is China’s most popular science fiction writer and if you aren’t reading his Three Body trilogy then you’re missing out. In the first book aliens were essentially invited to Earth by a young engineer who thought humans didn’t deserve to keep screwing up civilization. This next installment picks up with the invading Trisolarans on their way to Earth—which has 400 years to prepare before the warships arrive. Hopefully that’s enough time to plan a defensive strategy, something made more difficult by the fact that the Trisolarans are monitoring all of the Earth’s communications. Liu is rapidly gaining popularity here in America, so there’s no better time to dive into his series.
The Al-Menshawys family is ostracized from their New Jersey community after their son kills himself and his ex-girlfriend, a neighbor. Accusations that range from poor parenting to terrorism are thrown around, with few outsiders acknowledging that at the heart of this tragedy is a family in shock and coping with their grief. The novel explores the family’s various reactions to what has happened as they prepare to attend a neighborhood memorial service for their son’s ex-girlfriend a year after the killings. It’s an emotionally-charged story, and author Rajia Hassib weaves in Arabic culture, Muslim faith, and the challenges that immigrants face when attempting to enter a new culture without neglecting their own.
Let’s talk about sex. While the act itself has gone relatively unchanged for years, the laws around it are continuing to change and be redefined every day. Using stories from real people, Eric Berkowitz takes readers on a journey from the days of legal marital rape to the sexual revolution and beyond. Putting human faces on legal cases helps to drive home the point that sex is never going to be a cut-and-dry issue and that the laws around it need to reflect that, as well as our changing times.
Are the wealthy profiting every time a natural disaster strikes? John C. Mutter thinks so and by the end of this book, you might just agree with him. Mutter looks at the line that divides natural and social sciences, and he specifically explores the aftermath of disaster relief. It’s often after the volunteers and aid have left that those most affected are faced with the fact that they cannot afford to rebuild. This is when those with means step in and decide what to build and where. Kirkus calls it “hackle-raising” and we think you’ll agree.
If you’re thinking that this cover looks familiar, that’s probably because we featured it as one of our top reads for summer 2015. And once you crack the cover, you’ll see just why it was featured. Tessa Cartwright was the sole survivor of serial killer Terrell Darcy Goodwin, whose signature was leaving black-eyed susans covering the ground where his victims were found. Twenty years later, Tessa can’t forget what happened to her that night when she was kidnapped at 16—but is she certain who was behind her attempted murder? There’s a chance Terrell was wrongly convicted and she’s the only one who can come forward with the truth. The novel flips between the past and present, exploring Tessa’s mounting guilt and confusion as Terrell’s execution date moves closer.
With hints of Romeo & Juliet, this illustrated novel about fighting for first love has an important, timely, and thought-provoking connection. Things are complicated enough when Walter falls for his friend’s sister Naomi, let alone the fact that some people take issue with a white boy and a black girl dating. But no one else matters when they’re together—both buzzing with the fear and excitement that accompanies falling in love for the first time. Nothing could have prepared them, however, for when Walter’s cop father is accused of assaulting a black teenager. Suddenly it feels like everyone in the community has something to say about Walter and Naomi, and the two are left to tackle the large and multifaceted issues of white privilege, racism, and police brutality.
Fans of Egyptian mythology, rejoice, this is the ideal summer read for you. Every 1,000 years Amon, a pre-Pharaonic Egyptian king, rises from his mummified state to protect the world from the Dark One. But this year, he needs a bit of help in the form of 17-year-old Lily—or, more specifically, her life force. Romance, adventure, zombies, and more await the reader who cracks these pages.
There’s a lot to be afraid of when you’re little: the scary noise the radiator makes at night, the never-ending darkness under the bed, and broccoli. But one little boy has two special things to help him be brave—his pug and bull terrier. While the pug is a bit of a fraidy-cat, his bull terrier is nothing but brave as the boy lists the things that scare him the most in the world. It seems as though this dog isn’t afraid of anything… until the lights go out. It turns out that everyone is afraid of something, but having good friends helps everyone get through it.