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.
Named for the famous book by James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, this collection of 18 shorter works takes on issues of race in a variety of forms. The Fire This Time collects writings by luminaries including Claudia Rankine, Daniel José Older, and Jericho Brown, and is edited by Jesmyn Ward, who won the National Book Award in 2011. Publishers Weekly writes, “Readers in search of conversations about race in American should start here.” We wholeheartedly agree, and expect that this important book will join the ranks of Citizen and Between the World and Me as classic, must-read books on a vitally important subject.
This weekend, muggles everywhere partied like it was 2007. For the first time in years, a new book starring Harry Potter was hitting shelves. No it’s not part of the original series; it isn’t even a novel! This is the script for a play created by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorn, and John Tiffany. The play is being shown in London right now, and if you can’t get over there to see it you can still keep up with the latest adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione by reading along. This tale focuses on Harry and his relationship with his son Albus, but that’s all we’ll say for now, lest we ruin the magic.
Travel to the Nebraska of more than a century ago where the memory of the Battle of Wounded Knee is still fresh in this new novel from Jonis Agee. Kirkus calls this novel “a deceptively leisurely, intensely heart-rending historical Western about greed and love gone wrong.” Two murders with two very different victims occur on the same land, and the fallout will bring together families of ranchers and Native Americans. Readers will get a glimpse of the complicated relationships between family members, and also experience the violent history of disputes between settlers and Native Americans. History buffs and Western enthusiasts will have trouble putting this one down
In this new memoir, author Leigh Stein tells the story of a tumultuous relationship with a man named Jason and the emotional turmoil she experienced when he died. Jason and Leigh met when they were both very young, and even then, she knew that something wasn’t quite right. Jason was a bad boy, and his personality had distinctly different facets: Sometimes he was sweet and alluring, but sometimes he was downright abusive. Here, Stein recalls the relationship and examines the troubled dynamic she and Jason had and the damage that it wrought.
It is hard to imagine a darker subject than the one that Steve Sem-Sandberg takes on in this new novel. The Chosen Ones takes place at a clinic in Austria during the Holocaust, where ailing children are being euthanized with lethal injections. Horrifyingly, the doctors in this clinic are conducting medical experiments on the children just before they die. Readers will meet Adrian Ziegler, a patient in the hospital who watches these atrocities go on around him, as well as a nurse and a doctor who are carrying out these unspeakable acts. Needless to say, this is not a lighthearted book or an easy one to read, but it sheds light on some of the difficult questions surrounding truly evil behavior.
If you’re looking for new adult fiction this week, Colleen Hoover has you covered. Hoover’s latest follows Lily, an aspiring business owner with an unbreakable spirit. She’s escaped from her abusive family and started building a life she can be proud of. When she meets the handsome neurosurgeon Ryle, she thinks the final piece (love!) is falling into place. On his good days, Ryle is intelligent, kind, and dedicated. On bad days, he bears a dangerous resemblance to Lily’s father. When Atlas, Lily’s first love, comes back into her life, Lily’s faced with a life-changing decision: Should she stay with Ryle, reconnect with Atlas, or leave them both behind and take care of herself? This is a sensitive, emotional, and moving novel.
Amanda Bouchet’s debut is the first in a brand new romantic fantasy series. Soothsayer Cat possesses magical powers that people would kill for. Unwilling to be used as a weapon for another person’s cause, she keeps her head down and gets work with a traveling circus. But when her abilities are discovered, she’s abducted by a warlord named Griffin. At first, Griffin wants to use Cat and her powers to help his family keep the throne they fought so hard to win. But as they travel together back to his kingdom, he finds that he’s captivated by this powerful and fierce woman. And while Cat plots her escape, she too can’t deny the growing tension between them. This novel is perfect for readers who want adventure, Greek mythology, and a sizzling romance.
This new thriller from Elaine Viets will keep you up turning pages long into the night. Death investigator Angela Richman may have a morbid job, but it’s a necessary one. In Brain Storm, she arrives on the scene of a deadly car crash that killed one of the children of a wealthy and prominent family. But almost as soon as Richman begins work, she has a stroke, and then another. She is assigned a neurologist, but then, her neurologist is murdered. When the suspect turns out to be another doctor who has been helping her, Angela isn’t totally sure what to think. Will Angela be able to discover who murdered her neurologist, despite the damage the strokes have done to her brain? Only time (and turning pages) will tell.
It’s never too early to start reading Beowulf. In Alexis E. Fajardo’s graphic novel, the first in a series, 12-year-old twins Beowulf and Grendel set out on a grand adventure to uncover how the past ties into their present and their destinies. There’s an ancient prince, a fire-breathing dragon, a magical sword, and surprises galore for readers unfamiliar with the original tale. Kirkus agrees this is book middle grade readers shouldn’t miss: “What Rick Riordan did for the Greek gods, Fajardo has done for ‘Beowulf’: magnificent.”
Okay, kids, put your thinking caps on. This picture book from beloved British author Kevin Crossley-Holland and illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch features three children on a quest to uncover buried treasure on a golden island. The only thing standing in their way is a strange old man who promises them safe passage in his boat if they can answer his seven riddles, and promises to feed them to the ravenous animals on his boat (a beast, a wildcat, a wolf, and a dragon just to name a few) if they fail. Little readers will enjoy trying to solve the riddles themselves, and parents are sure to love a book that pushes their kids to think creatively.