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.
Ian McEwan is back with a short novel with strong parallels to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, narrated by an unborn child. The narrator, despite still being inside his mother’s womb, has overheard his mother and her boyfriend talking about committing murder. The worst part? The murder they’re planning is the narrator’s own father. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raved: “Packed with humor and tinged with suspense, this gem resembles a sonnet the narrator recalls hearing his rather recite: brief, dense, bitter, suggestive of unrequited and unmanageable longing, surprising, and surprisingly affecting.”
When the women known as the “Jeff Davis 8” (named for Jefferson Davis parish, Louisiana, where they were found) were murdered, many speculated that a serial killer was on the loose. But in this gripping and troubling new book from Ethan Brown, readers will learn more about the murders and the extent to which the local drug and sex trade in the town of Jennings could have been to blame. Brown also points to troubling failures of law enforcement to handle the murders appropriately. This is both a feat of reporting and an amazing piece of storytelling that readers won’t soon forget.
Alexandra Kleeman made a splash last year with her debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, and now she is publishing a collection of short stories. These tales, as you might expect, are unusual, and in each case there is more to the story than immediately meets the eye. Kleeman may be young, but her name is already being spoken in the same breath as Thomas Pynchon’s and Don DeLillo’s. For postmodern fun, there’s no need to look any further than this buzzy collection.
Campus novel enthusiasts: This one’s for you. It may be the perfect time of year for a collegiate tale, but don’t say we didn’t warn you—this one comes with a dark twist. David is a freshman at Harvard, and he hasn’t found his place socially just yet. During his first days on campus, he is completely wowed by a glamorous classmate named Veronica, and before long, he can think of nothing else. David will begin a calculated campaign—starting with dating Veronica’s roommate—to insinuate himself into her glittering existence. Kirkus calls Loner “a novel as absorbing as it is devastating.”
Alexander Weinstein takes readers into the future with this collection of short stories. Many tales take place in a near-future where virtual memories can be bought and sold, but actual human connection suffers. Others are set after a devastating disaster, and humans are forced to rebuild the world. If you’re looking for some fascinating stories that imagine the future of technology, this book is a must-have. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly notes that “Weinstein’s collection is full of spot-on prose, wicked humor, and heart.”
This exciting new mystery (which marks the beginning of a new series!) features Ladarat Patalung, a nurse ethicist working at a hospital in Thailand. As far as she is concerned, “detective” isn’t part of her job description. But then, something strange starts happening. It appears that one woman keeps showing up at hospitals in the area with dead husbands. Could this woman be a serial killer at large? Ladarat Patalung will have to work quickly to find out, and her investigation could mean life or death for the next victim. Readers, we think you’ll be as excited about this new series as we are.
After losing his wife, Lord Cayton decided to turn away from his devious past and make an honest life for himself and his daughter. But his friend Lord Rushworth has other plans, and tries to blackmail Cayton into stealing the Fire Eyes (cursed red diamonds) from Lady Ella Myerston and her family. But the more he gets to know Lady Ella, the more Cayton wants to protect her from men like Rushworth, who would do anything to possess the treasures she holds. The final installment in Roseanna M. White’s Ladies of the Manor trilogy can easily be read as a standalone, but is certain to be most appreciated by fans of the series who have followed these characters from the beginning.
Sharon Cameron’s young adult fantasy is set in the city of Canaan, a peaceful place where rules and structure are vital. Citizens keep track of their lives by writing down their memories religiously, because if they didn’t, they would forget. Every 12 years, the Forgetting occurs. It’s a day where every citizen’s mind is wiped clean. They lose all memories of their lives: friends, family, spouses, children. The only guidance they have are the words they wrote down to remind them of who they are. But written memories can be tampered with. Nadia, for reasons she doesn’t understand, never forgets anything. When she starts to pick up on strange happenings in Canaan, her memory may be the difference between uncovering the truth and living in ignorance.
Charles just moved to Echo City, and he does not like it at all. The whole place is overrun by monsters! Trolls, ogres, ghosts—you name it, they’re here. When the monsters aren’t sneaking into his room to steal his things, they’re trying to gobble him up whole. Charles needs help, and he turns to Margo Maloo, monster mediator. The kids on the street claim that the monsters are afraid of her, and Charles hopes that they’re right. Drew Weing’s middle grade graphic novel packs in a ton of fun and is sure to have readers eagerly looking forward to Halloween.
Ashley Bryan’s picture book imagines the lives, hopes, and dreams of 11 slaves who worked on the same plantation. Each slave narrates his or her life through free verse, accompanied by an illustrated portrait. The narrators are all based on real people whose names Bryan found on auction and plantation documents from the 1800s. Kirkus writes in a starred review, “Bryan makes real and palpable what chattel slavery meant and how it affected those who were enslaved; every child who studies American slavery would benefit from experiencing this historically grounded web of narratives.”