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.
No, not Wall Street. Sarajevo. In this thriller by Matthew Palmer (who has experience as a diplomat), readers will embark on a gripping adventure in the Balkans. Eric Petrosian lost a lot in the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War, including his friend, Meho Alimerović. He still thinks about the massacre all the time, and has struggled to move forward with his life. Now, with conflict threatening the region again, Petrosian will learn secrets with the power to send shockwaves through the country and its political scene. Fans of thrillers are sure to love this intricate and tense story, and fans of history will appreciate Palmer’s careful plotting.
The unthinkable has already happened to Kelsey’s mother: She was kidnapped years ago, and escaped. Now that she and Kelsey are safe, she’s not going to let anything happen to them ever again. As a result, she has stayed inside for the last 17 years. This situation is unusual, but workable until Kesley slips out one night to see her crush, Ryan, and returns home to find her mother missing. Now, Kelsey must work to find her mother and stay safe herself. Readers who love a little bit of romance with their thrills and chills will love this new young adult novel from Megan Miranda.
Kirkus said it best: “This may be the only book about grief to feel like a vacation.” In This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets, Blanca is facing a personal tragedy: the death of her mother. In the wake of this loss, Blanca decides to travel to Cadaqués on the coast of Spain to spend some time in her family’s old home—now hers. There, she will work on healing and understanding her loss, and also reconnect with exes and old friends. Busquets writes about grief in a way that feels authentic, and Blanca’s inner life is vibrant and alive on the page. We think readers will find this book inviting and moving at the same time.
If you’re a dog person, you might be surprised to learn how excited people get about pet fish like the Asian arowana, or the dragon fish. Unlike that labradoodle you’ve been wanting to dognap, the arowana isn’t particularly cute, and it definitely isn’t cuddly (in fact, they’re known for being aggressive). We also hear it isn’t great at playing fetch. Still, some enthusiasts will pay more than quarter of a million dollars for just one. Emily Voigt delves into this fascinating subculture, and helps readers understand why people are so fascinated by the dragon fish. We are happy to report that this book about the dragon fish is far less expensive than one of the fish themselves.
Vera’s parents go way back—as far as boarding school, in fact, where the two met and decided to procreate before going their separate ways. By the time Vera turns 17, however, both parents—Lucas and Katya—are trying harder to co-parent. Around this time, Vera suffers an episode of psychosis, which prompts Lucas to whisk her away to Lithuania, in order to see if the change of pace and scenery will help Vera to feel better. Meanwhile, Vera grapples with her health, and ponders her changing relationship with her father. Those who enjoy reading about mental health issues and complicated family dynamics won’t want to miss this one.
Dan Vyleta’s fantasy novel transports readers to Victorian England. It’s a world that readers will find unfamiliar, a place where black Smoke emanates from the bodies of sinners, marking them as unclean to the world. Charlie Cooper and Thomas Argyle, students at an elite boarding school, have never questioned the way of the world—only focused on keeping their thoughts clean and their actions kind. When they both meet and fall for Livia, she reveals her laboratory to them and shares the findings of her research: Everything they’re told is true is a lie. Unable to trust anyone with this knowledge, the three set out on a mission to uncover the truth about Smoke.
Mary Burton’s romantic suspense novel will send chills down your spine. Virginia state trooper Riley Tatum was left unconscious on the streets as a teenager after being kidnapped. She has no memories of her time in captivity other than two men playing cards. Clay Bowman, a former FBI agent and Riley’s ex, believes that she was taken by a man known as the Shark—a serial killer who uses girls like chips in a twisted poker game where the loser must commit murder. Riley’s the only girl to escape from the Shark alive, and the recent murder of yet another girl indicates that he hasn’t forgotten about her. Clay and Riley have to work together to catch the Shark before he strikes.
Mercy Wong is a girl with big dreams and enough moxie to chase after them. With the hope of getting herself and her sick brother out of Chinatown, she bribes her way into an elite boarding school and poses as a wealthy Chinese heiress. Mercy sticks out in the mostly white school, but soon starts to find friends and make a place for herself. Readers familiar with San Francisco’s history will know that Mercy’s school days are limited. It’s 1906 and a historic earthquake is about to strike, leaving the city in chaos. Stacey Lee’s second young adult novel is ideal for fans of historical fiction and gutsy heroines.
Fantasy and history mix in this engaging middle grade novel by Rebecca Behrens. When her mom drags her to Roanoke Island for the summer, Nell Dare is certain that she’ll be bored to tears. But once she arrives she connects with Ambrose, a colonial re-enactor, and starts to help him look into the mysterious disappearance of the citizens of Roanoke’s Lost Colony. Readers are sure to leave this novel and head straight for the stacks at their local library in search of more unsolved historical mysteries.
Little conductors-in-training will eagerly look forward to going to sleep with this picture book as their bedtime reading. Author Brianna Caplan Sayres and illustrator Christian Slade team up to create a sweet rhyming tale that explores what different trains (from freights to trolleys) do when the sun goes down and their work is done. Observant readers will particularly love the train engineer mouse who is present on each and every page, taking as much joy in the story as the readers will.