Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the eight 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.
Halloween was quite a while ago, and maybe it’s been too long since you’ve had a good fright. Rachel Ingalls is here to fix that with a downright chilling trio of novellas, chosen and introduced by Daniel Handler. In the first novella, a woman named Flora goes on an eerie vacation with her husband and chauffeur. In the second, two lovers go out to dinner and fall into a treacherous situation from which they cannot escape. The third and final novella tells the story of Beverly meeting a woman whose funeral she is positive she’s already been to. If you’re hankering for some horror, look no further.
In 1939, Rose Zimmer was sent to England on a kindertransport. Years later, she returned to Vienna in the hopes of recovering a beloved painting from her childhood, Chaim Soutine’s The Bellhop. Little did she know the painting had been brought to America and was in possession of the Goldstein family. When teenager Lizzie Goldstein throws a party at her family’s home, the painting is stolen and disappears once again. Years later at her father’s funeral, Lizzie is shocked to meet The Bellhop’s original owner, Rose. In a starred review Kirkus says “[Ellen] Umansky’s richly textured and peopled novel tells an emotionally and historically complicated story with so much skill and confidence it’s hard to believe it’s her first.”
In 2009, Bill Hayes moved to the Big Apple and wasn’t entirely sure what he would find there. He was coming from San Francisco, and trying to leave a profound loss—the death of his partner—in his wake. Once in New York, he realized his deep affinity not just for the city, but for Oliver Sacks. As many Bookish readers likely know, Sacks sadly passed away in August of 2015. Hayes’ love for him, however, will make him feel vibrantly alive on the page to readers. For readers still mourning the loss of Sacks, or those who are moved by a good love story, this is the book to pick up.
Readers, rejoice! Ausma Zehanat Khan is back with the third installment in the Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak series. This mystery finds Esa Khattak taking a break from his role at the Community Policing department. Instead, he travels to Iran to take in the culture and the sights, and to get back in touch with his roots. But when an agent from Canada finds him in Iran and requests his help with a murder case, he soon finds himself back on the job. He calls his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, in hopes that she’ll be able to assist him in cracking the case. Readers interested in reading more about Iran will be particularly enthralled by this mystery.
Travel to Russia during the last years of the Soviet Union in this engrossing novel from Sergei Lebedev that imagines the life of a young boy growing up during this turbulent time. In a starred review, Kirkus raved: “This gorgeously written, unsettling novel—a rare work about the fall of the Soviet Union as told through the eyes of a child—leaves us with a fresh understanding of that towering moment in recent history.” For those who love Russian history, picking this one up is a no-brainer.
Marin was raised by her grandfather, and after his death she fled San Francisco without a word, even to her best friend, Mabel. When December rolls around, Marin decides to spend the holiday break in her deserted college dorm, unwilling to return home to face the life that she left behind. When Mabel decides to fly out for a visit, Marin is forced to confront the emotions she’s been avoiding and the reasons behind her sudden departure start to slip out. Nina LaCour crafts a moving novel of loneliness, sorrow, and healing.
Sixteen-year-old Jade Butler dreams of becoming a world-famous artist. Her hardworking mother tells her that to succeed Jade can’t let a single opportunity slip through her fingers. So Jade accepts a scholarship to a private school where she’s one of only a few black students in a sea of white, and Jade considers a Women to Women mentorship program that makes her feel like a charity case. Renée Watson delivers a powerful young adult novel that explores race, privilege, and community.
Joe Todd-Stanton’s debut novel blends picture books and graphic novels, myths and reality, and images and words. When his Icelandic village is attacked by Fenrir, a giant wolf, a young boy named Arthur sets out to ask the gods for help. Finding the gods turns out to be simple, and the true challenge is the mission they give him. Thor sends Arthur on a quest for supplies to create a golden rope that will bind Fenrir. Though the odds are stacked against him, Arthur has no fear and sets out to find what he needs to stop the beast. Arthur is everything readers will want in a hero: smart, brave, and prepared to do whatever it takes to conquer evil.