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 Fall Previews for the best books coming out this season.
Fans of the Thomas De Quincey series from David Morrell, you’re in luck! De Quincey is back in this third installment where he tackles a real Victorian murder mystery perfect for readers who loved Agatha Christie’s famous Murder on the Orient Express. The crime is still remembered today as the first murder to take place on an English train. Morrell deftly weaves historical detail with dramatic storytelling in a way that will rivet readers and keep them breathlessly turning pages until the very end. All aboard!
We often see play as optional—a luxury that makes us feel better, but doesn’t really accomplish much. In this new book, bestselling author Steven Johnson makes a strong case for the importance of play and the immense role it has played (ha!) over the course of human history. For Johnson, play is deeply connected to progress. Kirkus raves in a starred review, “There’s an infectious spirit of delight in the prose, which matches the themes in a book that will engage even those not entirely convinced by its thesis to take a look from a different perspective.”
Lose yourself in Szilard Borbély’s novel about what it was like to come of age in rural Hungary in the decades after World War II. The narrator of this story—a young boy whose name we never learn—lives in extreme poverty, and brings readers into his home where misery is commonplace and life sometimes doesn’t feel worth living. Ottilie Mulzet translated this work into English, allowing Bobély’s tales to reach a new audience outside of his native country. Sadly, this novel was both Borbély’s first and last, as he passed away in 2014.
Get ready to travel to Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, and Ottawa in these four linked stories by John Metcalf. You’ll follow the life of a young boy named Robert who, over the course of these stories, grows up and into a celebrated writer. Readers will find themselves enchanted by Metcalf’s prose, which is by turns both humorous and insightful. Kirkus heaped praise on the collection, saying “This is a book that could restore anyone’s faith in the pleasure of reading.” We couldn’t agree more.
You probably know Robbie Robertson as the guitarist from the Band, and now, he’s here to share juicy stories about his impressive career stretching up to the Band’s farewell concert in 1976. Robertson’s anecdotes are star-studded, with appearances from the likes of Bob Dylan, Edie Sedgwick, and many others. For readers who like to rock, it’s hard to imagine a more exciting memoir. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly gushed, “this long-awaited and colorfully told memoir paints a masterpiece of a life in rock and roll.”
Love is a mysterious thing. In her collection of nearly 300 short vignettes, French author Emmanuelle Pagano explores the intricacies of this emotion. Some entries are humorous, others heartbreaking. In a collection this expansive, there is sure to be a moment of pure connection for every single reader. Kirkus says, “Pagano delights and surprises with uncanny observations, each sounding a small point of emotional truth, like a well-aimed pebble pinging off a windowpane… Delicate and poignant, the book abounds with the ups, downs, and stagnations of the subject of focus itself.”
Craving a quirky, hilarious, and empowering romance? We’ve got you covered. Two teens meet at a winter resort and strip away their high school personas until they reach their genuine selves. Pen Lupo is popular; there’s no denying it. But popularity comes at a price. She doesn’t speak her mind or share her opinions about sex in fear of being labeled as a girl who isn’t normal. In her head, she wonders why healthy discussions about sex aren’t normal. Then there’s Benedict Pendleton, a socially awkward nerd who strives to live up to his father’s expectations of perfection. When Pen and Benedict connect, these two characters realize they have a lot more in common than they originally thought. Together they learn to accept the things about themselves and each other that classmates would define as “not normal.” In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said, “[B.T.] Gottfred creates addictive, true-to-life voices for both characters whose thoughts, decisions, and experience help guide the sex-positive relationship that takes shape.”
New York City isn’t safe, not now that 10-year-old Rosa lives there. It sounds crazy, but Che knows that his younger sister is a diagnosable, dangerous psychopath. His parents don’t believe him. They brush off her bad behavior and ignore the signs that things are getting worse. Rosa manipulates everyone around her, tortures bugs for her own entertainment, and isn’t above making very real threats to get what she wants. She has no empathy or mercy. Che is afraid of her, but she’s still his sister and he wants to do what he can to help her. As Rosa grows bolder in her actions, Che is forced to worry less about protecting her and more about protecting the world from her. Starred by both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, young adult readers won’t want to miss Justine Larbalestier’s chilling novel.
No one steals from the New York Public Library, not on Devlin Quick’s watch. When Devlin’s friend Liza, an exchange student from Argentina, thinks she sees a man cutting a page out of a rare collection of maps, Devlin knows she must act. With the help of her mother, New York City’s police commissioner, and her best friend Booker, she sets out to find out who the man was and recover the stolen map. Adults will likely recognize author Linda Fairstein from their own mystery shelves, while middle grade readers will get their first taste of Fairstein’s skills.
This is a picture book about a bear. Except… wait a minute, where is he? The title character has gone missing in LeUyen Pham’s hilarious new tale. The other creatures of the forest haven’t seen Bear, though they do try to help in their own charming way (showing the reader the things they did find: a pear, a boar, and a bare hare). Meanwhile, Duck is determined to get the reader invested in his own story, The Duck Who Showed Up. Lots of giggles are in store for parents and young readers who dive into this story.