This Week’s Hottest Releases: January 15 — January 21

This Week’s Hottest Releases: January 15 — January 21

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.

Human Acts

If you’ve been clamoring for more of Han Kang’s writing ever since finishing 2016’s mega-buzzy The Vegetarian, then you’re in luck. Human Acts is the story of a young South Korean boy named Dong-ho, and his tragic death during a student uprising in 1980. Dong-ho’s death sends shockwaves of grief through his family and broader community, and touches many more lives than readers might expect. Kirkus raves that Human Acts is “A fiercely written, deeply upsetting, and beautifully human novel.”

Marvellous Thieves

For readers who’ve long been fascinated by the tale of One Thousand and One Nights, this nonfiction book delves into the history of the story and the storytellers and translators who are responsible for molding it into what it is today. Author Paulo Lemos Horta encourages readers to think of One Thousand and One Nights as a patchwork of stories bearing the influences of far-flung individuals, cultures, and ideas that it accumulated over years and years of retellings. This book is sure to delight those who love learning about the history of important stories.

The Believer

This political thriller follows three characters–Yasmine, Fadi, and Klara–whose stories will keep readers turning pages until the end. Yasmine and Fadi are siblings, but only Yasmine got out of the Swedish town of Bergort where they grew up. Fadi stays, and joins a group of jihadists. Klara lives in London, but travels to Stockholm for work when she is drawn into a large, dangerous plot. These three stories entwine in this gripping tale that will delight lovers of international thrillers. Publishers Weekly says, “Impressively complex characters and stark atmospherics make this a thematically profound read.”

The Futures

When Julia and Evan graduate from Yale and move to New York City together, it seems like their lives are just beginning and that the world is their oyster. Then the financial crisis hits. This novel tells the story of Julia and Evan’s increasingly strained relationship, their professional trials and tribulations, and the unique joy and pain of living in New York City as a young person. For readers who love a good post-grad existential crisis novel, or readers yearning for a literary trip to the Big Apple, The Futures is sure to be a hit.

Night of Fire

Late at night, a spark turns into a flame that begins to consume an English home by the sea. Six tenants are inside, and each has a chapter dedicated to exploring their memories. Stephen’s section focuses on his years as a priest and his work in Tanzania. Another focuses on a neurosurgeon as his patient begs him not to erase her memories when he removes her brain tumor. As the flames climb higher, readers recognize that these individuals will share the same fate, but the chapters reveal that the tenants share more than just that. Colin Thubron’s novel, his first in over a decade, is not to be missed.

Undefeated

Steve Sheinkin’s latest is not only a biography of Jim Thorpe (once known as the best athlete on the planet), it’s also a look at football’s relationship with Native American history. Thorpe and his coach, Pop Warner, first met in 1904 at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where they formed an unstoppable team, often referred to as “the team that invented football.” Thorpe rose to be a star, he still faced prejudice due to his Native American background (his father was Irish and Sac and Fox, his mother was French-Canadian and Potawatomi). The team’s on the sport is undeniable, but the school superintendent’s racist attitude towards Native American students contributed to the negative portrayals still seen in football today. And while This is an important book, and a must-read for football fans.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

Seventh-grader Stef Soto’s sworn nemesis is Tía Perla, her family’s taco truck. Being called “Taco Queen” at school is beyond embarrassing, and she desperately wishes her dad would get a normal job, like other kids’ dads. But when her city’s government introduces a new rule that threatens her parents’ business, Stef steps up to the plate and starts advocating for Tía Perla. Jennifer Torres’ middle grade novel reminds readers of the importance of family and hard work.


BUY

The Youngest Marcher

You don’t have to be an adult to change the world—that’s the message of Cynthia Levinson’s picture book, which profiles 9-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks. When she learned of a peaceful march in Birmingham to protest segregation, Audrey decided to join. She was warned of the dangers, but she thought it was more important to stand up for what she believed in than stay at home because she was afraid. Audrey spent seven days in jail for her part in the march, making her the youngest civil rights activist to be arrested. This is an empowering story that will encourage readers to fight for what they think is right.

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