Hello, my friends, and happy new release day! I hope your summer has been going swimmingly, and that you’ve read some books that you love. Recently I have been having a hard time finding horror novels that scare me. WELP. I decided to read a nonfiction book about something that scares me instead, and that did the trick. This weekend I read The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey, because I am terrified of the ocean. It’s a fascinating, fantastic read, and you can pick it up next week! For you this week, I have less scary stuff. There’s a book of adorable cartoons to hug your brain, a debut work of historical fiction about a misunderstood disease, and a fun middle grade graphic novel about monsters.
At the top of my list of today’s books I want to pick up are Abeni’s Song by P. Djèlí Clark, Their Vicious Games by Joelle Wellington, and Speech Team by Tim Murphy. You can hear about more of the fabulous books coming out today on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I talked about some of the books we’re excited about this week, including The Weaver and the Witch Queen, Abeni’s Song, and Glaciers.
What do S.A. Cosby, Khaled Hosseini, Sarah Bakewell, and Yahdon Israel have in common? They’ve been guests on Book Riot’s newest podcast, First Edition, where BookRiot.com co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. (I was a guest last week!) Subscribe to hear them and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month
And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.
Milk & Mocha Comics Collection: Our Little Happiness by Melani Sie
This is a collection based on the web cartoon, with new comics. Milk and Mocha are adorable bears who like to snuggle, and nap, and care for each other when they’re feeling down. I look forward to getting a physical copy of this because it comes with stickers! I wanted to open today’s recommendations with this delightful, comforting book of cute bear cartoons because I want to take a moment to say that I see you. I feel like, recently, everywhere I look, and with everyone I talk to, people are struggling like never before. You are not alone, friends, and I love you.
Backlist bump: Cat’s Café by Maxx Tarpley
King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner
And now for something completely different: This is a debut novel set in the 1950s about a young man with Hansen’s disease sent to live in a state facility. When Victor is diagnosed with Hansen’s disease, known then as leprosy, he is told he will have to leave his family’s home in NYC and quarantine with other patients at Carville in Louisana (which is a real facility.) It is Victor’s first time away from home, a place he had lived since he immigrated with his father and brother from China years earlier. Hansen’s disease is a painful disease made worse by the treatment of the people who contract it. Very little was known about it in the 1950s, and the patients suffered greatly. This is a coming-of-age novel about a young man in difficult circumstances, fighting for understanding and compassion alongside a cast of characters. This book is moving and heartbreaking, and Victor’s story is all the more powerful when you know that Chin-Tanner’s father was a patient at Carville himself.
Backlist bump: The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett
Misfit Mansion by Kay Davault
And last but not least, is this fun graphic novel about belonging. Iris lives in a foster home with other unusual creatures, run by Mr. Halloway, a former paranormal investigator. He brought them all to live here to keep them safe from humans, who consider them monsters. There is a spell on the house to keep humans from getting in and Iris and her housemates from leaving. But one day, while Mr. Halloway is away, the protection spell is inadvertently broken by a young man named Mathias. Iris and the others take the opportunity to leave the home and venture into the human town, where the village Halloween celebration helps them blend in, and even make friends and have fun. But what will happen when the holiday is over? Or when Iris and her friends discover Mathias has been raised to hunt monsters? This is a cute story with an important lesson about fear and understanding. It’s a bit like the monster storyline of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and should appeal to misfits of all ages.
Backlist bump: Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick
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This week, I am reading Bad Foundations by Brian Allen Carr and Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez. In non-book things, I have done some scrape painting, which I mentioned last week, and it really is as fun as it looks! And very relaxing. I am definitely interested in doing it more. (It was something I first saw on this Instagram account.) The song stuck in my head this week is “Pa Pa Power” by Dead Man’s Bones, which I have been loving for years but didn’t know was Ryan Gosling’s band until a couple of months ago. The song is SO catchy. And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon looks really surprised by how many Nick Harkaway books I own.
Thank you, as always, for joining me each Tuesday as I rave about books! I am wishing you all a wonderful rest of your week, whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! See you next week. – XO, Liberty