Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits! I do believe I am now in my eighth year of writing the New Books newsletter and I must say, it’s just as fun as when I started. Thank you for joining me on this weekly book journey! ❤️ Now, for books: we’ve hit a mid-summer publishing lull this week, which means there are only hundreds of great books out today, instead of thousands. Whatever shall we do??? At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy, Blackwater by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham, and Lumberjackula by Mat Heagerty and Sam Owen.

And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including The Force of Such Beauty, Just Like Home, and The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Acne: A Memoir by Laura Chinn; pink with red spots on it

Acne: A Memoir by Laura Chinn

I will admit to never having seen any of writer/actor Chinn’s work, but I heard such great things about this book that I picked it up. And it is indeed excellent, not the story of how she found fame so much as an examination of her life before that. Chinn recounts her experiences as the mixed race child of a broken home as she deals with hardships and a severe acne condition. Despite a lot of obstacles and trauma, Chinn still finds a way to make her memoir funny and enlightening. It’s perfect for fans of Jenny Lawson and Sara Benincasa, and anyone who had an awkward, difficult upbringing. (CW for racism, sexual assault, chemical use and abuse, and suicidal ideation.)

Backlist bump: Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa

cover of Crumbs by Danie Stirling; illustrations of a young Black woman leaning in to kiss a person with short dark hair

Crumbs by Danie Stirling

When Tirzah mentioned this on All the Books! this week, it reminded me I had a copy, so I went spelunking and found it. And I am glad I did! It’s a love story in the Mooncakes vein, collected from the webcomic, about a young witch trying to figure out her life. Ray eats at a bakery where the baked goods are handcrafted to help your dreams come true. And then Ray meets Laurie, an aspiring musician. Sparks fly, but is their romance in the stars? This is a beautifully illustrated and colored YA graphic novel that will give you warm feelings like a good cup of hot tea. (CW for loss of a loved one.)

Backlist bump: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

cover of Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons and Dragons by Ben Riggs; illustration of a red dragon head, half in shadow

Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons and Dragons by Ben Riggs

Okay, this last book is extremely nerdy insider baseball. But if you love D&D, or Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, or any fantasy game or novel, You’ll probably find it fascinating, like I did. This is a look at the creation — and almost ruination — of the most popular role-playing game of all time. Desite being an enormous mega hit, the company behind D&D had to contend with poor management, poor budgeting, and all kinds of other pitfalls. And of course, there was the Satanic Panic of the 1980s… This is an extremely detailed look at. the business side of the game. I learned a lot and also thought, “Why would they do that??!” on many occasions as I read it. (CW for sexism and sexual harassment.)

Backlist bump: Looking For Group by Alexis Hall

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

the back half of an orange cat sticking out of the drawer of a card catalog; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading Patricia Wants To Cuddle by Samantha Allen and Bloodmarked (The Legendborn Cycle) by Tracy Deonn. Outside of books, my fervent need to watch Palm Springs repeatedly flared up, so that’s how I have spent quite a bit of time lately when I am not adding titles to my card catalog. The song stuck in my head is “Hot Blur” by How Sad. And here is your weekly cat picture: Look. at. this. fool. I pulled two drawers out of my card catalog to do some arranging, and Farrokh immediately jumped into the space. Oh, to have the self-confidence of a cat and just explore everything all the time! JK, I would hate that because it would cut in on my reading time. 😝


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it: There are sooooooo many books out today that I want to read. Someone please—PLEASE—make a machine that stops time so I can use it and catch up on my reading. I don’t need it to freeze everyone in place, just to keep time from moving forward. Is that too much to ask? But truly, today is an embarrassment of riches. At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are Brother Alive by Zain Khalid, Harry Sylvester Bird by Chinelo Okparanta, Sirens & Muses by Antonia Angress, and How Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra.

And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I were very silly and still managed to discuss the best books we read for this week and more, including Our Wives Under the Sea (my favorite book of the year!), Crying in the Bathroom, and What Moves the Dead. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays by CJ Hauser; illustration of a person standing in the middle of the cover with their blue turtleneck pulled up over their face

The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays by CJ Hauser

This is a smart, fabulous collection of essays that was born out of the title essay. Several years ago, Hauser wrote an essay that went viral about how she called off her wedding and instead went to Texas to study whooping cranes. She published a novel shortly after that, which I really enjoyed, and now she’s written several more essays about her life after the events of that essay. She details all the things she does for herself, as she works to figure out what it is that she wants, and what it’s like to look for love in the age of the internet. It’s a funny, honest book, and is great for fans of Mary Laura Philpott and Jami Attenberg.

Backlist bump: Family of Origin by CJ Hauser

cover of Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter; illustration of a Black woman and a blonde white man holding a large bongo card with hearts across the center

Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter

This is a fun romance about two twenty-somethings who try to make a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement, based on a bingo card. Walker is back in Georgia to help his grandmother until she gets better, which includes filling in for her at bingo. Aja is surprised to learn her new bingo partner is the man of her dreams she saw in Piggly Wiggly earlier. But it doesn’t take long for them to complicate their relationship by actually speaking to one another. And then there’s the bingo card sex arrangement. Can they keep it just friends, or will their emotions get the best of them? (CW for chemical use and abuse, anxiety disorders, mental illness, and child abuse.)

Backlist bump: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

cover of A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot Book 2) by Becky Chambers; illustration of a pastel colored forest

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot Book 2) by Becky Chambers

This is a self-care recommendation: If you want to read something lovely, something that is gentle on your brain and soul, then pick up this series. It’s about a tea monk and a robot who travel together, wondering about life. The robots of the world had left the humans centuries ago, making a new life for themselves in the woods. And then one day a robot ventured back out to see how the humans were doing, and met a tea monk. And from there, a friendship and road trip were born! Seriously, this series will lower your blood pressure, it’s so nice.

Backlist bump: A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot Book 1) by Becky Chambers

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

two orange cats, one on top of a dresser and one in an open dresser drawer; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones and Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin, Aneesa Abbas Higgins (translator). Outside of books, I have been working on adding titles from my library into my card catalog. I am already on my third pen and have used about 800 index cards so far. And still a lonnnnnng way to go! The song stuck in my head is “Whiskey in the Jar” by Metallica. And here is your weekly cat picture: Farrokh is taking full advantage of the fact that a drawer was left open. Zevon is like, “What is happening down there?” Also, if you want to see something funny, visit my Instagram to witness Zevon punch Baby Yoda’s lights out.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

New Books for the First Tuesday of July!

Happy Tuesday, book friends! It’s time for your weekly dose of new releases. I’m actually surprised, I have read more books being released later in the month of July than today, the first Tuesday, which is when there are a ton coming out at once. But that just means there will be lots more for me to tell you about in the coming weeks! Which makes me happy. You might be surprised to learn that I love books. (JK, everyone knows it. People who haven’t even been born yet know it, lol.)

Now, today’s books: I do these first Tuesday megalists because the first Tuesday of each month has so many new releases, and it’s fun to round some of them up. Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, Florida Woman, Night of the Living Rez, and more.

Biography and Memoir

cover of Original Sins: A Memoir by Matt Rowland Hill; image of an apple missing a bite taped over the front of a bible

Original Sins: A Memoir by Matt Rowland Hill 

Growing Up Getty: The Story of America’s Most Unconventional Dynasty by James Reginato

Fiction

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin ❤️

Florida Woman by Deb Rogers

Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith

1,000 Coils of Fear by Olivia Wenzel, Priscilla Layne (translator)

Keya Das’s Second Act by Sopan Deb 

In Her Boots by KJ Dell’Antonia

cover of Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty; pastel letters over image of a star-filled night sky

Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty ❤️

Life Ceremony: Stories by Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (translator)

Voices in the Dead House (The American Novels) by Norman Lock 

Five-Part Invention by Andrea J. Buchanan 

NSFW by Isabel Kaplan

Human Blues by Elisa Albert 

The Displacements by Bruce Holsinger 

Joan: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Katherine J. Chen

Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore 

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark

Self-Portrait with Ghost: Short Stories by Meng Jin 

cover of The Earthspinner by Anuradha Roy; illustration of a horse's head

The Earthspinner by Anuradha Roy

The Burning Season by Alison Wisdom

Middle Grade

Apprentice Lord of Darkness by CED, Jean-Phillipe Morin ❤️

Mystery and Thriller

Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow

Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare

The Ruins by Phoebe Wynne

Look Closer by David Ellis 

First Born by Will Dean

Take No Names by Daniel Nieh 

Nonfiction

cover of 100 Animals That Can F*cking End You by Mamadou Ndiaye; large font with cartoon of a Black man in a baseball cap in the corner

100 Animals That Can F*cking End You by Mamadou Ndiaye ❤️

Romance

The Light Always Breaks by Angela Jackson-Brown

Dream On by Angie Hockman

The Charmed List by Julie Abe

Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola 

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

Hawk Mountain by Conner Habib 

The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay 

Young Adult

cover of What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri; photo of Indian couple in 19th-century dress standing in a moor

What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri

Who We Were in the Dark by Jessica Taylor

A Disaster in Three Acts by Kelsey Rodkey

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


orange cat on a tan blanket with a rainbow prism reflection over the image; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen and A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome by Emma Southon. Outside of books, I have been watching the garden grow and the critters run around, and reading the back posts of Bird and Moon. And the song stuck in my head is Heavy Metal Drummer by Wilco. (Which is 20 years old now!) And here’s a cat picture: Zevon likes to get in my reading nest while I’m working and flaunt the fact that he doesn’t have to do anything all day long.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Heyyyy it’s Tuesday! Which means it is time to spend a few moments with other book nerds. And I am SO excited this week, because I know all of you will appreciate this: I got a card catalog! It is a book nerd dream come true. You all understand why it is so exciting, which makes me happy. I have found my people!

Now, on to books for today! At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule, The Clackity by Lora Senf, The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat, and Locklands (The Founders Trilogy Book 3) by Robert Jackson Bennett.

And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including The Measure, American Royalty, and Our Crooked Hearts. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Invisible Things by Mat Johnson; illustration of a faraway city skyline in a blue dome

Invisible Things by Mat Johnson

Two things: One—I love Mat Johnson. Two—I am so glad when they label allegoric novels as such, because I am not smart enough to pick up on it on my own, lol. This is an allegorical novel (it says so on the jacket!) about a city on Jupiter encased in a dome, a sociologist, aliens, and an election. It’s really funny and very smart, and the less you know going into it, the better. But what you do need to know is that Johnson is one of the most under-appreciated writers of the 21st century and I hope everyone catches on to him really soon!

Backlist bump: Pym by Mat Johnson

cover of This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede; illustration of a young woman in a white dress picking a lemon off a tree

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

This is a great dark fantasy debut, the first in a duology. I was really into it, because made-up worlds are so much more interesting to me right now than reality. This one follows a young woman named Alessa who is a deity who needs a partner to face the coming evil. The problem is that her powers kill them. If she can’t get her powers under control, she won’t be able to face the demons scheduled to return to her island home and destroy it. THE PRESSURE. But just in the nick of time, she finds Dante, who may be the one who can help her. This book is exciting, dark, romantic, and has an ending that will ruin you. Just for a minute. 😉 (CW for suicide, death, violence, murder, and child abuse.)

Backlist bump: Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

cover of In the Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo; illustration of a young Chinese girl standing in front of a building

In the Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo

And last, but not least, this beautiful middle grade novel in verse, based on the author’s own experiences. Anna thought moving to America from Taiwan would be a wonderful experience, based on the stories she has been told. But instead it has been very hard for her and her family. Anna finds learning English difficult, she is bullied in school, and the restaurant her parents dreamed of opening is not doing very well. Will they ever be able to see the beautiful side of America they were told about? (CW for racism, xenophobia, bullying.)

Backlist bump: Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

orange cat sitting up on a bed like a human

This week: I am reading The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar and Jackal by Erin E. Adams. Outside of books, I have been spending lots of time with the birds and flowers in our backyard. How many bird feeders is too many? (Er, asking for a friend.) The song stuck in my head is “I Gotcha” by Joe Tex. And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon likes to sit like a human, and the expression on his face in this photo is so human too. Silly Zevon, you’re a cat!


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
Book Radar

8-Bit Emily Dickinson and More Book Radar!

Hello, kittens!

It’s me, Liberty! I am stepping in for Emily today and am very excited about it. I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I passed the Book Radar torch to her. Mostly because I still panic that I am forgetting something on the days that I used to write the newsletter, lol. I wonder if it will ever go away. But now here I am, getting ready to rock your Monday with a bunch of bookish goodness. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Book Deals & Reveals

cover of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin; rainbow font over an illustration of a wave

Gabrielle Zevin’s fantastic new novel Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow hits shelves on July 5th. But you can play a computer game based on the poems of Emily Dickinson now, just like the one created by one of her characters in the novel!

I am so excited for this “off-kilter fairy tale set in a funeral parlor”: here’s the cover reveal for House of Cotton by Monica Brashears.

Al Pacino thinks Timothée Chalamet should star in the Heat prequel based on the new upcoming novel, Heat 2 by Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner.

Zoe Kazan, whose grandfather Elia Kazan directed a film version of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, will directed a limited series starring Florence Pugh.

Here’s the cover reveal for Mermaid and Pirate by Tracey Baptiste and Leisl Adams. (Related: have you read The Jumbies yet? That’s a great series!)

*Trumpet sound* Presenting the the 2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners.

Here’s the teaser trailer for the adaptation of My Policeman by Bethan Roberts, starring a new talent named Harry Styles. 😉

Newbery winner Linda Sue Park has launched an imprint with Clarion Books, part of HarperCollins Children’s Books.

And just look at this cover reveal for Bianca Torre Is Afraid of Everything by Justine Pucella Winans!

Schitt’s Creek writer Monica Heisey has a debut novel coming in January 2023. It’s Really Good, Actually. No, really, that’s the title.

Blumhouse Television will adapt the new novella by Paula Hawkins. And they will also team up with Jamie Lee Curtis for an adaptation of Lizzie Johnson’s recent book Paradise: One Town’s Struggle To Survive an American Wildfire.

Book Riot Recommends:

At Book Riot, I work on the New Books! email, the All the Books! podcast about new releases, and the Book Riot Insiders New Release Index. I am very fortunate to get to read a lot of upcoming titles, and learn about a lot of upcoming titles, and I’m delighted to share a few with you today that I am excited to read! GIMME GIMME GIMME.

the cover of The Curator; a galaxy silhouette of a cat with a red door in front of it

The Curator by Owen King (March 7, 2023): This book has magic cats in it. That’s all I need to know.

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff (January 17, 2023): And all I need to know about this one is that Alexander Chee keeps raving about it!

I Keep My Exoskeletons To Myself by Marisa Crane (January 17, 2023): I know it’s only June of 2022, but I am already declaring this the best title of 2023.

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson (January 17, 2023): This one is being compared to Knives Out, which always makes me excited to read a book. I want a kooky family murder mystery!

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto (March 14, 2023): From the author of the Dial A for Aunties series comes a mystery about an elderly shopkeeper who decides to solve a murder.

What I’m reading this week.

cover of Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid; yellow-tinted photo of woman with wet hair with head tipped back

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (From the author of Daisy Jones & the Six, Malibu Rising, etc.)

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older (So excited for a new book from her!)

A Day of Fallen Night: A Roots of Chaos Novel by Samantha Shannon (A standalone prequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree!)

My Darkest Prayer by S. A. Cosby (His first novel is being re-released in paperback!)

The Crane Husband Kelly Barnhill (This will be her THIRD release in a year when it comes out.)

Song stuck in my head:

Sweet City Woman” by Stampeders. I had an Adam Sandler movie marathon several weeks ago while I was sick and this has been stuck in my head on and off since I watched Little Nicky. (I know, I know. But Rhys Ifans is so beautiful in that movie.)

And this is funny:

I love this Instagram account called Natural Habitat Shorts, in which they make funny little animated movies about animal facts. Related: Watch for 100 Animals That Can F*cking End You by Mamadou Ndiaye, coming July 5th. It’s full of wild facts.

And here’s a cat picture:

orange cat sitting on a stack of cardboard soda flats

Look, it’s Farrokh! You probably see him every week in the New Books! newsletter, but here is some bonus content. We get these cardboard flats to carry groceries, and started playing a game to see how many we could stack up before he wouldn’t climb inside. Turns out, it’s never too many. In fact, the ones on the bottom have started to rip under the weight, lol.

That’s it for me today! It was fun sitting in for Emily today. It has been a while since I went hunting for book news. I will see you around the internet!

🥰 Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s Tuesday! Happy new release day to all who celebrate. We’re past the halfway point of the year now, but the amazing releases show no signs of slowing down. (Claps loudly.) At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are a couple sequels —This Wicked Fate (This Poison Heart) by Kalynn Bayron, and Speaking Bones (The Dandelion Dynasty Book 4) by Ken Liu — and a few other things that interest me, including The Catch by Alison Fairbrother and Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley.

And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including The Ballad of Perilous Graves, Vera Kelly: Lost and Found, and The Tree Thieves. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of An Immense World by Ed Yong; photo of a monkey looking up at a butterfly

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong

It seems almost impossible to me that it has already been six years since Yong’s wonderful book I Contain Multitudes was released. (Or that All the Books! is old enough for us to have discussed it on the show!) This time, instead of a book about living things inside of us, it’s a great book about living things besides us. Which is great because it’s always humans, humans, humans these days. This is a fascinating look at amazing things the natural world can do, whether it’s plants sensing bugs nearby, the sensitivity of crocodiles, or what dogs are smelling around them. It’s a great book for people who love to learn things. (CW for animal harm and death.)

Backlist bump: I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

cover of Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid; illustration of a young woman surrounded by vines

Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid

And hold onto your butts, because this is a fantastic dark fantasy by the author of The Wolf and the Woodsman. NGL, when I received a copy, I assumed it was YA because of the illustrated cover. HOLY CATS WAS I WRONG. It’s really dark and not for everyone. But if you like grim (ha) fairy tales, keep reading! This is a dark retelling of The Juniper Tree, about a witch and her sisters seeking to get away from their abusive wizard father. Marlinchen, her two sisters, and their father, are the last vestiges of magic in a growing city. But as the business of magic dries up, their father starts to spin out of control. Can they escape the confines of the prison he has built for them for good? (This one comes with a LOT of content warnings, pretty much every warning I normally take into account, so read with caution if you are sensitive to certain content.)

Backlist bump: The Juniper Tree by Barbara Comyns

cover of On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi; illustration of a Black woman from the mouth down in medical scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck

On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi

And now for something completely different! If you listen to All the Books! this week, you will hear me mention how I want to read this. Well, ta-da! We recorded on Friday, and then I read it over the weekend, and it’s a delight. It’s about a Ghanaian American medical school student, Angela Appiah, who think she is following the path of the “perfect immigrant daughter” to please her parents. But when everything in her life feels like it’s falling apart at the same time, she realizes she needs to examine her priorities — and maybe take up with a handsome man who is everything she thinks she doesn’t want. (CW for infidelity, illness, loss of a loved one, chemical use and abuse, sexism and racism.)

Backlist bump: Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

orange cat with its mouth open mid-yawn; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading The Force of Such Beauty by Barbara Bourland and The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern by Rita Zoey Chin. Outside of books, I watched Hustle a couple of times, because I already miss the NBA. The song stuck in my head is Jupiter and Teardrop by Grant Lee Buffalo, because my brain starts singing it every time I look at the Juniper & Thorn book. And here is your weekly cat picture: This one is of Farrokh laughing at the birds outside. Or he’s in mid-yawn. One of these things is true.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, my Tuesday friends! It’s me, the book-loving human Muppet, back to wave my arms about books again. First, I want to tell you that if you have listened, or are going to listen, to this week’s episode of All the Books, I finished Flying Solo by Linda Holmes. So yes, I know what happens to the duck. 🦆 Phew! I know you were all very worried, lol. Also, it is a freaking delight and you should read it. Second, I am continuing to get better! Thank you again for all your lovely wishes and messages and emails. I hope to be at 100% by the time we “see” each other next week. 🤞🏻❤️

Now, let’s talk books! At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are The Girls in Queens by Christine Kandic Torres, Maker Of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell, Seven Aunts by Staci Lola Drouillard, and Belle Greene by Alexandra Lapierre, translated by Tina Kover. And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including One’s Company, Skye Falling, and A Mirror Mended. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky; sideways image of a person walking through a city holding an umbrella

January Fifteenth by Rachel Swirsky

I cannot get enough of Tor novellas. I love pretty much every freaking one. This is no exception. It’s a futuristic look at class and privilege in the United States. On January 15th each year, Americans receive their annual Universal Basic Income payment. But this money means different things to different people. It’s very different for someone who desperately needs it to receive it compared to someone who already has so much. This is a sharp story following four people and their payment. (CW for deadnaming, racism, suicide, loss of a loved one, sexual assault, and domestic abuse.)

Backlist bump: Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett

cover of The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison; image of swirling purple design with an amber stone cradled at the end of it

The Grief of Stones (The Cemeteries of Amalo Book 2): Part of The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Okay, so I haven’t read this yet, but I absolutely had to include it. Because this is the second part of The Cemeteries of Amalo series, The Witness for the Dead being the first. And these are set in the same world as The Goblin Emperor, which is one of my favorite fantasy books! And you don’t have to just take my word for it: The Goblin Emperor is one of the best-reviewed fantasy novels of the century. If you like fantasy, comedy, royal intrigue, backstabbing, and fish out of water stories, do yourself a favor and pick up The Goblin Emperor. And for those of you who are already fans, ta-da! Congratulations, the wait is over and the new book is out today. 😊

Backlist bump: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

cover of Lupe Wong Won't Dance by Donna Barba Higuera; illustration of a young Latine girl in a baseball uniform

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera

And last, but not least, a new paperback release! Last year I had the pleasure of talking to Donna Barba Higuera about her second novel, The Last Cuentista, which received the John Newbery Medal and the Pura Belpré Award. That book is SO GOOD. So I went back and read this one, her first novel, which won like a trillion awards, give or take, and it is also SO GOOD. It’s about a middle grader who wants to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues. She has an opportunity to meet her pitching hero, but only if she gets straight As. So imagine Lupe’s horror when she discovers that square dancing is going to be part of her gym requirement. (She doesn’t want to dance.) This is a fantastic story of dreams and sacrifices. (CW for bullying, racism, loss of a loved one.)

Backlist bump: The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

an orange cat who appears to be smiling sitting on a tan pillow; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis Baldree and All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien. Outside of books, I have been taking a lot of naps and keeping a new journal about all the wildlife that visits our yard. The song stuck in my head today is Smiley by Smashing Pumpkins, probably because of this photo. Zevon looks like he’s smiling!


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

New Books for the First Tuesday of June!

Hello, my friends, and happy June! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, no matter where you were. Sunday may have been my favorite day in Maine yet. I saw more new birds and critters in our yard, including a cedar waxwing, which I had never seen before. And the weather was perfect. It’s such a joy to be able to read with the windows open, although I have to keep one eye on the cats, because they want to fight the squirrels outside and try to run through the screen like the Kool-Aid Man. And you should hear the terrible language they use!

Now, today’s books: I do these first Tuesday megalists because the first Tuesday of each month has so many new releases, and it’s fun to round some of them up. Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Counterfeit, Home Field Advantage, After the Lights Go Out, and more.

Biography and Memoir

cover of Somewhere We Are Human- Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings; blue with dandelions on the bottom

Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings edited by Reyna Grande and Sonia Guiñansaca

City of Refugees: The Story of Three Newcomers Who Breathed Life into a Dying American Town by Susan Hartman

Raising Raffi: The First Five Years by Keith Gessen 

My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family by Nabil Ayers 

Asylum: A Memoir & Manifesto by Edafe Okporo

Fiction

cover image for Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen; illustration of Asian woman peering over sunglasses

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen ❤️

Nuclear Family by Joseph Han ❤️ 

Greenland by David Santos Donaldson ❤️

Nevada by Imogen Binnie ❤️

The Reservoir by David Duchovny 

Now Lila Knows by Elizabeth Nunez

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley 

So Happy for You by Celia Laskey 

Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley ❤️

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine ❤️

Just by Looking at Him by Ryan O’Connell

cover of Mother Ocean Father Nation by Nishant Batsha; illustration of green island in the shape of two faces back to back floating in a blue body of water

Mother Ocean Father Nation by Nishant Batsha

The Seaplane on Final Approach by Rebecca Rukeyser 

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

The Lifestyle by Taylor Hahn

Exalted by Anna Dorn

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez ❤️

Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta 

Three by Valérie Perrin, Hildegarde Serle (translator)

The Kingdom of Sand by Andrew Holleran

cover of A Trail of Crab Tracks by Patrice Nganang; photo of several Cameroonian people standing in the back of a flatbed truck

A Trail of Crab Tracks by Patrice Nganang, Amy B. Reid (translator)

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan 

The Mutual Friend by Carter Bays 

Sleeping Alone: Stories by Ru Freeman

Middle Grade

Unicorn Selfies: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson ❤️

The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Alice Austen Lived Here by Alex Gino

I Want to Be a Vase by Julio Torres, Julian Glander (Illustrator) ❤️

Mystery and Thriller

cover of After the Lights Go Out by John Vercher; pink photo of back half of a Black man's side profiles

After the Lights Go Out by John Vercher ❤️

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill 

Aurora by David Koepp ❤️

Nonfiction

Brown Neon: Essays by Raquel Gutiérrez

Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial by Corban Addison 

Voice of the Fish: A Lyric Essay by Lars Horn

How You Get Famous: Ten Years of Drag Madness in Brooklyn by Nicole Pasulka

The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon’s Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I by Lindsey Fitzharris

We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power by Caleb Gayle 

Romance

cover of The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes; illustration of woman in breeches and tails jumping into the arms of a man similarly dressed

The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian  

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

The City Inside by Samit Basu

Buffalo is the New Buffalo by Chelsea Vowel

Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous by Ellen Datlow

Ordinary Monsters by J. M. Miro

Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane

Young Adult

cover of Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler; illustration of two girls, one dressed in a football uniform and one in a cheerleader uniform, sitting on a football field

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler ❤️

Slip by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure: A Graphic Novel by Lewis Hancox

What’s the T?: The no-nonsense guide to all things trans and/or non-binary for teens by Juno Dawson

Forging Silver into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer 

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo

Out There: Into the Queer New Yonder by Saundra Mitchell

Batter Royale by Leisl Adams

This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


orange cat sitting on a desk; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, Miho Satake (illustrator), Avery Fischer Udagawa (translator) and The Last Chairlift by John Irving. Outside of books, I started rewatching Steven Universe, since it has already been two years since I watched it all. And the song stuck in my head is Queen of Cans and Jars by Guided by Voices—again! And here’s a cat picture: It’s hard to work when Farrokh hogs the desk.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, book lovers! It’s really starting to get green here in Maine. Everything is so lush and chirpy and beautiful, and it’s been such a balm for my heart and lungs. I am still on the mend, but I am getting better every day, and I thank you all for the well wishes. The hardest part about being sick was not being able to read very much. Thankfully, that is behind me now!

And speaking of reading, let’s talk books! At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are An Olive Grove in Ends by Moses McKenzie, Private Label by Kelly Yang, Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin, and Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith. And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Kelly and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann; illustration of a large wolf face looking down at a very tiny Little Red Riding Hood

How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

THIS BOOK. It is so dark and smart and will make you uncomfortable and you will thank it. It’s a contemporary twist on fairy tales, where several famous fairy tale characters meet in a support group for survivors. Women like Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard’s lover, and Gretel (she of the famous candy house), talk about their modern-day situations and what it is like to exist as a woman in the world and in the public eye. It’s wickedly delicious! I read it last year and still keep thinking about it. (CW for toxic masculinity, disordered eating, body horror, stalking, gaslighting, harassment, emotional abuse, sexual assault, self harm, violence, murder, imprisonment, mental illness.)

Backlist bump: For more unusual support groups pick up We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory and for more feminist fairy tale twists, pick up The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter.

cover of Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit by Jesse Q Sutanto; illustration of a young Chinese American boy in a blue hoodie with a fox on his shoulders reaching for a bright lantern

Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit by Jesse Q Sutanto

Here is a wonderful new start to a middle grade fantasy series for you and/or the young people in your life! Theo Tan isn’t interested in his Chinese heritage; he just wants to be thought of as a “normal” American. But when his brother Jamie dies, and he is visited by his brother’s fox spirit, Kai, it shakes him up. Kai isn’t any happier about the arrangement, but to find a solution to their new partnership and figure out what really happened to his brother, they will have to work together. And Theo will have to embrace his roots if he wants to get the truth. It’s an action-packed, compelling tale of family, grief, and heritage with a clue-filled mystery at its center. (CW for death of a loved one, grief.)

Backlist bump: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan; orange with a yellow jacket pin with an illustration of BC's face on it

This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something–Anything–Like Your Life Depends On It by Tabitha Carvan 

And finally, for my last pick, I chose this book even though I have not finished it, because it has surprised me. Yes, it would have been less of a surprise if I read the description but here we are. I picked it up, thinking it would be something light about the actor Benedict Cumberbatch for my recovering brain, but instead it’s a funny, honest memoir about shame and loving the things we love. Carvan developed a big interest in the Cumberbatch, and her fixation took her by surprise. She explores her thoughts on finding a new passion, why we feel embarrassed about loving some things, and how we need to break out of our shame and grab on to the things we enjoy for dear life. Because baby, this ride isn’t getting any longer. (So far, CW for body shaming, misogny, sexism, illness.)

Backlist bump: Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

orange cat sitting on a stack of cardboard; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor and The Chinese Groove by Kathryn Ma. (Titles for 2023 whaaaaaaat.🤪) Outside of books, I have been taking a lot of naps and doing jigsaw puzzles. The song stuck in my head today is Government Center by The Modern Lovers. And as promised, here is a cat picture: One game I like to play is add empty soda flats to the stack and see if Farrokh will still sit on them. Spoiler: He will. He’s like a fuzzy Princess and the Pea.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, book lovers! Welp, what turned into being sick on vacation became an extended illness, so I am sorry to report I did not get any reading done this past week. 😭 Thank you to everyone who reached out to check on me. I am finally on the mend, and hope to be back to eating a couple books a day very soon! Luckily, I read titles in advance, so I have a few to tell you about today. YAY, BOOKS!

I want SO MANY of this week’s new releases! At the very top of my list of books to buy are City of Orange by David Yoon, The Shore by Katie Runde, Either/Or by Elif Batuman, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi, and Avalon by Nell Zink. And I’d like to thank Danika for sitting in for me for this week’s episode of All the Books! I will be back next week! And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee; illustration of tree branches growing down from the top of the cover into several pastel-colored shapes

The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

I’m so excited for everyone to read this, because Marie Myung-Ok Lee has been an important voice in the literary community for decades, and I think this book will finally get her the audience she deserves. It’s a powerful novel of immigration, belonging, and secrets about an aging doctor in a small town in Minnesota whose life is upended near his retirement. It starts when a letter arrives from Korea that might expose how his whole life, the “American Dream” he worked for, has been built on a lie. Faced with the truth, he must decide whether to own up to his past or hide his true self away for the remainder of his years. (CW for racism, xenophobia, violence, and war.)

Backlist bump: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

cover of The Measure by Nikki Erlick; painting of a bundle of blue and black flowers tied with white string against a mustard yellow background

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

This is a compelling, heart-punch of a debut. One day, the boxes arrive. No one knows where they come from, but inside is a piece of string, and that string correctly predicts the remaining length of a person’s life. And it sends the world into upheaval. Some people don’t want to know, so they don’t open the boxes, some people are denied access to health care and treatment when it is discovered they have a short string. The world rages, and in the middle of it, the characters in this book find solace and comfort. This book is REALLY sad at times, and there’s a certain part that I think is going to infuriate readers. (I admit I was like “!!!” about it.) But it’s also an incredibly interesting and powerful take on the world we live in. (CW for chemical use and abuse, illness and death of loved ones including children, violence, suicide and suicidal ideation, grief and prolonged discussions of mortality.)

Backlist bump: Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling

cover of Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon; black with large font in blue and orange print with a black fingerprint pattern going through them

Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

And last, but not least, this bananapants novel! I am Team Chaon, I’ve read all his books, so believe me when I say this is his wildest, most ambitious novel yet. It’s about a mercenary named Will Bear, a fifty-year-old man who has never lived on the grid. He has no social security number, no internet history, no government documents. The only people aware of his existence are his bosses…and the people he kills for them. But then he gets a weird message: a woman calls him, claiming to be his daughter, and wants his help. Unfortunately the people she needs saving from are Will’s employers. After several decades, Will is feeling emotions for the first time, and they’re interfering with the job. His indecision will bring him face-to-face with the people who have run his life as he tries to decide what to believe. This book is very funny and very dark. (CW for murder, death, child endangerment, violence, animal harm and death, chemical use and abuse, mental illness.)

Backlist bump: Ill Will by Dan Chaon

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

orange tabby cat surrounded by stacks of books; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading The Wild Hunt by Emma Seckel and Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Outside of books, I am tired of television, so I have been spending a lot of time looking out my window at our backyard, which is coming alive right now! The gladiolus are already almost ready to open, and I’ve been able to observe a fox and a raccoon for long amounts of time, and the feeders are buzzing with hummingbirds and goldfinches. It’s all so beautiful! The song stuck in my head today is Hope I Never Lose My Wallet by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. And as promised, here is a cat picture: This is Farrokh’s impression of Snoopy’s brother, Spike.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️