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.
You haven’t read Shakespeare quite like this before. In this memoir, Jillian Keenan writes about her own fetish (spanking) as an entry point through which to examine the works of William Shakespeare. Along the way, she vividly recounts the tales of her own experiences with kink and love, and explains what the Bard’s plays have meant to her personally. You’ll laugh, you’ll blush, and you’ll never see Shakespeare quite the same way again—and we’re pretty sure you’ll also fall in love with Keenan’s candor and wit. We also think this is the perfect way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.
If the sight of presidential candidates on the news yet again is starting to make you a little nuts, then John Sandford’s latest thriller might be a welcome escape. This is the 26th novel featuring fan favorite Lucas Davenport, and this time, he is joining a presidential campaign. Davenport is pleased to be working on a campaign, particularly since the candidate running is a friend with a lot of political power. But something is not quite right on the campaign trail, and before long, a full-blown political conspiracy is whirling around them. They are being followed by someone with a treacherous plan: assassination.
What do you do when a high school sophomore decides to try to ruin your marriage? This might sound like an odd scenario, but it is exactly the situation Liz and Phil McGinnis find themselves in once they move to a fancy gated community called The Palms at Altamont Ridge. Their daughter’s friend, Kelsey, becomes obsessed with Phil, and will do anything in her power to ruin his relationship with his wife. How can a family deal with this kind of discord? You’ll have to read The Drowning Girls to find out.
This collection of short stories by Luke Mogelson takes on a difficult subject: wartime itself, and what happens when veterans return home and must deal with their new, changed lives. The author himself has an inkling of what this kind of situation entails, as he lived in Afghanistan as a reporter for nearly three years. In these tales, soldiers and veterans find themselves in impossible situations physically, socially, and psychologically. Marriages crumble, limbs are just phantom pains instead of flesh-and-blood reality, and PTSD’s devastating effects lurk behind every corner. Mogelson paints a grim picture of life after war.
If you like robots, you won’t want to miss out on this novel that Kirkus has compared to work by Ray Bradbury. What happens when you build robots that are self-aware and able to coexist with humans? Weird stuff, it turns out. This retelling of Wuthering Heights is set in the future, where robots and humans live in close proximity and take care of one another. But their relationship is more complicated than that: The human and not-so-human characters in this tale have bonds that will fascinate readers for their complex undertones of insecurity and discontent. This book might just make you thankful that your Roomba can’t talk… yet.
If Sylvain Neuvel’s sci-fi novel looks familiar to you, it might be because you first noticed it on our Science Fiction & Fantasy Spring Preview. This debut kicks off with a young girl named Rose Franklin falling into a hole in the ground in South Dakota. When she’s finally rescued, it’s discovered that the object she landed on was a giant robotic hand. Years later, Rose is a scientist who has dedicated her life to uncovering where the hand came from and how it ended up buried beneath her town in South Dakota. Told through interviews, the book explores Rose’s discoveries and the impact they have on the planet.
Bachelor and Bachelorette fans, you’ll love this one. Lenora Bell’s Regency romance features a duke, the handsome and scandalous James, hosting four different women as his country home in the hopes of making one of them his bride. One of the women is Charlene. A marriage of convenience to a wealthy man could help change her family’s life. To secure a financially stable future, Charlene poses as her half sister Lady Dorothea, the woman James’ invitation was addressed to. What could go wrong? Well, Charlene’s subterfuge could be discovered, or (worse) she could fall in love with a man who believes she’s someone else. Intrigue, drama, and deception await the reader who dives into this romance.
Renée Ahdieh’s Arabian Nights retelling concludes with this thrilling and romantic volume. Shahrzad’s world has been turned upside down. She fell in love with Khalid, a man she once despised, and now is being held prisoner by Tariq, her childhood sweetheart. Only she knows of the curse that plagues Khalid and the kind heart that beats within his chest. But nothing she can say will sway Tariq from his mission to wage war on Khalid’s empire. With no allies at her side, Shahrzad must once again rely on her own wit and cunning to survive. Readers who finish this series wanting more are advised to pick up The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, a young adult fantasy novel inspired by Indian folklore.
Sarah Alexander’s debut young adult novel explores the depths of grief and loss. Elsie Main feels stuck, forever trapped in the past when her twin brother Eddie drowned. Her family fell apart soon after (her father seething with anger, her mother searching for solace at the bottom of a bottle of gin, and her older brother depriving himself of food altogether). Each member struggles to manage their grief, and Elsie is no different. In her mind she tries to relive that fateful day when Scottish waves swept her twin away from her and out to sea. But black holes live in her memory and keep her from the truth of what happened. When she meets the handsome and dangerous Tay, she throws her whole self into every new experience he shares with her from pot to sex to free diving. It’s the latter that resonates with her, and soon she’s diving deep beneath the ocean’s surface without oxygen in the hopes of finding answers about her brother’s death in those dark, murky depths.
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are members of their school’s Detective Society, but they never expected to need their exceptional sleuthing skills while on holiday. The girls are celebrating Daisy’s 14th birthday with a tea party when a guest falls ill. All signs point to poison and Daisy is forced to realize that one of her friends or family members may be the culprit. With a storm raging outside, the guests are trapped in Daisy’s home. The girls have to act fast and catch the guilty party before anyone else becomes a victim. This is a sequel to Robin Stevens’ Murder Is Bad Manners, but it could easily be read as a stand-alone middle grade novel. We’d recommend it as perfect reading for investigators-in-training and future Agatha Christie fans.