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.
If you passed author Rajiv Surendra on the street, you would most likely recognize him from his role as Kevin Gnapoor in Mean Girls. Here, he tells the story of how, for years, he focused incredible amounts of effort on being cast in the leading role in Life of Pi, but was ultimately turned down. This might have been a devastating professional blow, but Surendra experienced a real transformation during that time, and his story is sure to inspire readers. There’s a saying that life is about the journey, not the destination, and Surendra’s life and words embody that sentiment beautifully.
Stephenie Meyer (of Twilight fame) is back, but this time she’s not writing about vampires. The heroine of Meyer’s new novel has many names: She works as a secret agent. Her specialty, you ask? Torture. A new mission takes her to Washington, D.C. where she meets (under somewhat strained circumstances) an alluring pair of identical male twins. Kirkus sums things up nicely: “A tale of skulduggery, bodice rippery, and shoot-’em-up action unfolds, complete with help from a luscious mistress of disguise who could have stepped right out of a James Bond novel.”
Dive into the field of astrobiology with this exciting new book from Louisa Preston. If you’ve ever gazed up at the stars and wondered who or what else might be living out there, then Preston’s debut will leave you totally enthralled. This is an accessible and thrilling introduction to a fascinating field, and will take readers through an examination of the conditions necessary for life, on earth and elsewhere. For lovers of pop science and readers who are curious about the universe, there’s no better book to pick up this week.
Marcia Clark is back with a second installment in her Samantha Brinkman series, and in it, Cassie Sonnenberg is being accused of a horrific crime. Her adoptive parents and brother were brutally stabbed, and only her mother survived. Samantha Brinkman is in charge of Cassie’s defense, and the case is sure to be a difficult one. But once Sam begins to dig into Cassie’s family life before the crime, shocking secrets emerge that will hit close to home for Sam. If your heart has been racing since turning the final page of Blood Defense, then this book has your name written all over it.
Step into the lives of three related polar bears in this unique novel from Yoko Tawada. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, Coca Cola commercial polar bears. Tawada’s bears have rich inner lives and work as performers and artists. They also form incredibly deep emotional attachments to one another, and nurture complicated relationships. These bears grapple with the realities of a changing world and travel in search of personal and professional fulfillment. Kirkus calls Tawada’s novel “an absorbing work from a fascinating mind,” and we think you’ll agree.
Twenty years have passed since the war ended and the powerful Augurs were overthrown and killed. Those blessed with the Gift were spared, their magic less threatening than the Augurs’, but they were branded. Davian has the Gift, and hates that he pays the price for a war fought before he was born. His kind are still treated like prisoners, even in the school where they practice their talents. What Davian doesn’t know is that he is unique, even among the Gifted. In fact, he possesses the powers of the Augurs. James Islington’s novel is ideal for readers looking to dive into an epic fantasy.
Julia London’s second Lake Haven novel introduces readers to Lola Dunne and Harry Westbrook. Lola is in desperate need of some time to focus on what she really wants in life: to write and to fall in love. When her friend offers up her summer home on Lake Haven, Lola accepts immediately. But she isn’t alone in the house. Lola’s friend is in the middle of a divorce and her husband also lent out the lake house for the summer, to his friend Harry. Neither Harry nor Lola are excited at the prospect of having a roommate for the summer, but soon enough the sparks begin to fly.
Young adult readers looking to pick up some historical fiction this season won’t want to miss Dean Hughes’ latest. Hughes tells the story of two Japanese-American men who join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. After being sent to a Japanese internment camp in Utah, Yuki Nakahara and his friend Shig decide to prove their loyalty to their country by joining the army. The novel expertly covers a lot of ground, giving readers insight into the prejudices that led to the internment camps as well as exploring the mental and physical toll combat takes on soldiers.
This is either a book about a dystopian future or a cult. Author Kirsten Hubbard allows middle grade readers to piece together clues for themselves as they read and learn more about the world that Eider lives in. Twelve-year-old Eider lives on a desert ranch. In her daily lessons, she’s told by Teacher that she’s one of the few children who were saved when the world ended. Teacher doesn’t talk much about what happened before the apocalypse, but Eider wants to know more. She wants to know about the world beyond the fence around their compound. But will she be able to handle the truth once she discovers it? Read to find out.
Gary is a little pigeon with a big dream: He wants to see the world. Unlike other pigeons, Gary can’t fly and thus believes that he won’t be able to travel like his friends. When he accidentally falls into a basket and winds up far from home, Gary learns that there is more than one way to have an adventure. He doesn’t need to fly; he can chart his own unique course. Author and illustrator Leila Rudge shows young readers that being different isn’t a bad thing in this charming picture book.