New Books

Hooray, It’s Time to Give Thanks for New Books!

Hey, guess what day it is? That’s right, it’s Thursday! What’s that? Oh, right! I meant TUESDAY. Things get a little mixed up in publishing the last six weeks of the year. There’s not a whole lot coming out in comparison to the rest of the year, because of the holidays. So I’m doing something a little different today and talking about 25 great 2018 titles that I am thankful to have read.

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For over FORTY YEARS, Troma Studios has blazed its own bloody, slime-covered trail, making movies their own damn way! From The Toxic Avenger to The Class Of Nuke ‘Em High to Poultrygeist to Tromeo And Juliet, Lloyd Kaufman never compromised, waving his independent freak-flag freely, and helped jumpstart the careers of luminaries such as James Gunn, Eli Roth, and countless others! How, you might ask, did a couple of rebels with almost no cash manage to make a library of a THOUSAND films? You’ll have to pick up this incredible collection to find out!

I skipped some of the huge books that we will be sure to discuss on the All the Books! year-end show (Florida! There There! Educated!) to make space for a few more books that perhaps you haven’t heard as much about. And though I could have easily picked 300 titles, I went with the first 25 that popped into my head. (If you’d like to learn about more 2018 titles, I do a wrap-up of my 150 favorites on Twitter at the end of the year. It may have to be 200 this year.)

You can hear about a few new reads on this week’s episode of the All the Books! María Cristina and I talked talked about Watersnakes, My Sister, the Serial Killer, Newcomer, and more great books.

Friday BlackFriday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

These short stories knocked the top of my head off and poured gasoline on my brain.

Pulp by Robin Talley

YA novel about a lesbian pulp fiction writer in the 1950s and a present-day high schooler studying her work.

Little by Edward Carey

Highly inventive historical fiction novel about wax museum icon Madame Tousaud when she was…well…little.

All the Names They Used for God: Stories by Anjali Sachdeva

These short stories are still swimming in my brain like little inky fishes. Possibly my favorite book of 2018. (Shhh, don’t tell the other books.)

terra nulliusTerra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman

A scifi, bendy, settling of Australia story, but not really, but 100% genius debut from Claire G. Coleman.

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

This memoir about Laymon’s relationship with food and childhood abuse will break your heart into a thousand pieces.

Severance by Ling Ma

A razor-sharp satire about dystopias, about attitudes toward millennials, about New York City, about a million things. I loved it with the heat of a thousand suns.

American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts by Chris McGreal

A tremendously important book about the history of America’s worst drug epidemic, and the apathy, greed, and lack of intervention that allowed it to grow.

the parking lot attendantThe Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

A Boston teen befriends the leader of her Ethiopian community, a parking lot attendant, despite her father’s orders to stay away from him. I have read this five times now. I can’t get enough of it.

America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

A beautiful family saga about the so-called American dream, with a heartbreaking narrative that slips back and forth from the Philippines to America.

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee

Fantastic, wicked smart essays from the always-wonderful Chee about being a Korean American, being a gay man, his time as an activist, his father’s death, and more.

Ambiguity Machines: and Other Stories by Vandana Singh

Singh’s scientific background is weaved throughout these thoughtful, charming SFF stories.

The Best Bad Things cover imageThe Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco

I loved this historical novel so much. It’s like queer Deadwood, full of violence, sex, Pinkertons, and ruthlessness.

Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America by Gregory Pardlo

This was an excellent memoir from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Pardlo. It is heartbreakingly honest, genuinely interesting, and beautifully written.

A Lucky Man: Stories by Jamal Brinkley

This was nominated for the National Book Award, but I still feel like more people need to hear about this fantastic story collection.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

I adored this book to bits! Mia is a 10-year-old girl who works the front desk at a motel where she also lives. It’s a charming novel, but also an important one, about immigration and the American dream.

jack of hearts and other partsJack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L. C. Rosen

A sex-positive, queer-positive novel aimed at teens? MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE AND THANK YOU. This book is so great!

Small Country by Gaël Faye

A beautiful, heartbreaking coming-of-age novel about a boy and his family trying to stay together and live their lives at the start of the Rwandan genocide in 1993.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor) by Jessica Townsend

I want to shout about this series from the rooftops! This is the second book of a middle grade fantasy series that I am certain is going to blow up really, really soon. IT’S SO GOOD.

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

An absolutely gorgeous picture book about a young boy who wants to be a mermaid, and his grandmother, who takes him to meet mermaids in their town.

a silhouette of a truck with its headlights on, traveling directly towards the viewer, against a blue and cloudy night skyThe Book of M by Peng Shepherd

A wonderful dystopian novel about a sickness that steals people’s shadows and then their memories, and a husband who must find his missing wife in the middle of the chaos.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Muslim girl must deal with prejudice and stupidity in a new school shortly after 9/11. She and her brother start a breakdancing club to keep busy, and she falls for her lab partner.

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung

As a newborn, Chung was given up for adoption by her Korean parents and adopted by a white family. She discusses what she discovered and how she felt as she began investigating her birth parents.

The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook

Ohhhhhhh, I loved this book so much. It’s a Western set in post-Civil War Texas about a teenage boy and his young sister that leave their home to hunt the panther that killed their mother.

insurrectoInsurrecto by Gina Apostol

I love novels that teach me about real history I hadn’t learned in school. This one deals with a movie being made about the massacre that took place during the Philippine-American war. The novel’s structure is fascinating. I lurved it.

That’s it for me today – time to get back to reading! If you want to learn more about books new and old (and see lots of pictures of my cats, Millay and Steinbeck), or tell me about books you’re reading, or books you think I should read (I HEART RECOMMENDATIONS!), you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’!

Thanks so much for visiting me here each week! Y’all are the best.