How are you, my friends? Happy Tuesday and welcome to another week of great releases. One of my favorite books of 2023 is out today: The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff. IT’S SO GOOD. I talked about it on the show this week and I’m not even sure that I made actual coherent sentences, because I was babbling so much about it. I can’t wait for you all to read it! And speaking of reading, for you today, I have a magical middle-grade horror novel, a fascinating book about birds, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir out in paperback. Yay, books!
At the top of my list of today’s books I want to pick up are The Second Chance Hotel by Sierra Godfrey, Landscapes by Christine Lai, and Monstrous by Jessica Lewis. You can hear about more of the fabulous books coming out today on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I talked about some of the books we’re excited about this week, including The Vaster Wilds, Witch of Wild Things, and Roaming.
Book Riot’s editorial team is writing for casual and power readers alike over at The Deep Dive! During the month of September, all new free subscribers will be entered to win Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler plus five mystery books from The Deep Dive. To enter, simply start a free subscription to The Deep Dive. No payment method required!
And now it’s time for everyone’s favorite game, “Ahhhhhhh, My TBR!” Here are today’s contestants!
The Otherwoods by Justine Pucella Winans
You would think that the ability to see monsters and travel to other worlds would be cool. But for River Rydell, it makes it difficult to have these abilities when no one else believes monsters are real. So they just pretend like monsters don’t exist too. But when River’s friend is kidnapped and spirited away to another realm — the Otherwoods — they will have to face their fears and follow after the monsters to get Avery back. This excellent novel about believing in yourself is also a great spooky supernatural read just in time for scary book season!
Backlist bump: Bianca Torre Is Afraid of Everything by Justine Pucella Winans (Not actually backlist, but worthy of another mention.)
Ten Birds That Changed the World by Stephen Moss
Well, the title really tells you everything you need to know about the book. But I will wave my arms a little bit more! (Or should I say flap my arms?) Like many people, I became fascinated with bird watching during the beginning of the pandemic, and now love reading about them. Moss examines ten of the most famous (and infamous) birds that have impacted the planet from all around the world, including the bald eagle, which is no longer in danger of going extinct (for now), and the dodo, which we couldn’t save. Even if you don’t fancy yourself a fan of birds, you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn.
Backlist bump: The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht
Stay True: A Memoir by Hua Hsu
And last but not least: This is a gorgeous, slim memoir of a friendship, and it won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Memoir or Autobiography! Hsu lets readers in on his teenage years; how he didn’t feel like he fit in as the son of Taiwanese immigrants. And then he met Ken, another young Asian American, who was Hsu’s complete opposite, and who seemed to love everything Hsu didn’t. And yet, they became great friends, until Ken’s tragic murder a few years later. This is a love letter to friendship and a gorgeous example of the power of memoir.
Backlist bump: Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
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This week, I am reading The Book of Love by Kelly Link and Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology edited by Shane Hawk and Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. In non-book things, I just finished rewatching Parks and Rec again, and am now trying to decide if I should start rewatching Will & Grace or New Girl. (I seem to only have patience lately for shows I am familiar with.) The song stuck in my head this week is “Sleeping with the Television On” by Billy Joel. And here is your weekly cat picture: That’s Zevon stretching upside down on the couch.
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