Categories
New Books

New Books for the First Tuesday of May!

Greetings and salutations, Tuesday friends! I hope you were able to enjoy your weekend and get some reading done. I don’t know what switch has flipped in my brain, maybe it’s the warmer weather, but I am extra-excited to read these days. I spent almost the whole weekend with my nose in a book, and I was able to read a couple wonderful things that you’ll be hearing me talk about a whole bunch in the future!

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 Book of NightI Kissed Shara WheelerTrust, and more. And thank you to everyone who has sent us all the adorable pet pictures. 😘

Bookish Goods

Librarian Mug by JFWCreations

Show them how a Librarian rolls with this Librarian coffee mug! The perfect gift for any librarian.

New Releases

The Donut Trap by Juliet Tieu

After graduating college and having no job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work in her family’s donut shop. When a rent increase threatens the future of her family business, she turns to Alex, her old college crush, for help. Sparks fly and there seems to be hope of a future romance until a disastrous dinner date shatters preconceptions and puts both sets of parents against the match. Will Julie be able to pull it all together to save her family business and the hope of a future with Alex?

Cover of The Singles Table

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

After a terrible break-up, Zara makes a new rule to only be the matchmaker and not the matched. One wedding, she is sat at the same table as Jay, and they strike up a bargain; if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, she will find him his perfect match. However, as the spend the wedding season together, they begin to wonder if they’re avoiding the happily ever after staring them in the face.

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, my little book dragons. I hope you enjoyed your weekends. I kept myself busy by rereading Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth in preparation for Nona the Ninth, because I hear that galleys are going to be available in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed! I also made a new Instagram post of upcoming titles to blow up your TBR.

As always, there are a gazillion books out today that I want. At the top of my list, I hope to pick up Theatre Of Marvels by Lianne Dillsworth, Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson, Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen, and Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

For today’s newsletter, I somehow ended up with three very emotional reads that will kick you in the feels. It’s fine, it’s good for you. And for this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed Unlikely Animals (my favorite book of the year!), The Devil’s Half Acre, The Caretakers, and more. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover image of Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott; pink cover with photo of a turtle

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott

From the delightful Philpott (you should really follow her on Twitter) comes a new humorous and heart-squeezing collection of essays about life and anxiety, family and love. She discusses how no matter how you worry or prepare, you never know what is going to happen. It’s based around an incident involving her teenage son that woke her in the middle of the night. In these relatable essays Philpott talks about how despite all the frightening unknowns in the world, we still have love and joy to keep us anchored. And we get to hear about her nature friend, Frank the Turtle. (That’s him on the cover!) Philpott is very funny, very wise, and a joy to spend time with. (CW for illness, child peril, health issues, pandemic talk, anxiety, death.)

Backlist bump: I Miss You When I Blink: Essays by Mary Laura Philpott

cover of An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan; illustration of a white arrow flying to the moon in front of a dark blue night sky

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan

This compelling drama about two young people meeting in high school is inspired by Chinese mythology and Romeo and Juliet. (Which, tbh, is not a Shakespeare play I enjoy but I did love Pan’s last novel, so I had to read it anyway.) Hunter Yee and Luna Yang are two teens caught up in the lies and mistakes made by their families. They both feel misunderstood and despite the problems between their families, they are drawn to one another like moths to a flame, leading to a slightly magical and angsty romance, and an ending that will punch you in the heart. I will say that this is definitely a slow-burn of a book, but I think Pan is a wonderful writer. (CW for infidelity, illness, physical and emotional abuse, torture, violence.)

Backlist bump: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

cover of Hello, Molly!: A Memoir by Molly Shannon; photo of the author in a red dress with her arms held out

Hello, Molly!: A Memoir by Molly Shannon and Sean Wilsey 

This is a candid and heartbreaking memoir by actress Shannon, a Saturday Night Live alum. She opens up about the car accident that claimed the lives of family members when she was young, and how her grieving father, who was severely injured in the accident, was left to raise his children alone. Shannon explores how she was bitten by the acting bug at a young age and her journey to the most famous sketch comedy show in the world, with lots of great anecdotes about people she has worked with along the way. It’s a really honest and sweet story of her love for her father and for life, and the unexpected moments, good and bad, that make us who we are. (CW for car accident, injury and loss of a loved one, chemical dependency, trauma, grief, sexual harassment.)

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

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of Summer's Edge by Dana Mele; illustration of young woman swimming in a red lake, with large yellow font

Summer’s Edge by Dana Mele (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, May 31)

This book was compared to I Know What You Did Last Summer, and I’ve been missing a good Lois Duncan-esque read, so I picked it up. And it is indeed a fun YA thriller, about a group of friends who may be being haunted by their best friend. Last year, Chelsea and her friends spent a week at a lake house for summer vacation. At the end of that week, Emily was dead.

Now it’s a year later and the friends have all been sent anonymous invitations back to the lake house, by someone claiming that one of them is a murderer. No one is particularly excited to go back and stir up the pain and grief of losing Emily, but they feel like they have no choice. As the story unfolds, we get more and more info about just what happened last summer. And as suspicions among the remaining friends grow, someone continues to toy with the friends. And as far as they can tell, it’s Emily herself. But…how? This is a fun, super-fast read with all the thrills of a horror movie and a resolution I didn’t see coming! (CW for infidelity, stalking, violence, murder, drowning, house fires, and animal death.)

orange cat peeking in the door; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris and Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake. Outside of books, this weekend the Celtics ended their regular season in second place in the East, so it’s time to get my brain in playoff mode. I also started watching Fresh Off the Boat (the little brothers are the cutest), and rewatching Gravity Falls for the zillionth time. And the song stuck in my head is The Kill (Bury Me) by Thirty Seconds to Mars. And as promised, here is a cat picture: “Is there room in there for me?” —Farrokh


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 April!

Hello, Tuesday friends! Did you get a lot of rest over the weekend? Because today is the biggest new release day of the first half of 2022 and you are going to need to use all your energy making Muppet arms when you see all the books! I hope you find tons of amazing things here to read and they bring you joy. Today’s new books include the latest from Emily St. John Mandel, Ocean Vuong, Charlie Jane Anders, Jennifer Egan, and more! It’s just how I like it: Books all day, every day.

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 Memphis, At Least You Have Your Health, Lessons in Chemistry, and more. And thank you to everyone who has sent us lovely messages about the new show format. 😘

Biography and Memoir

cover of Burning Butch by R/B Mertz; illustration of person on a matchbook cover

Burning Butch by R/B Mertz 

Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath

Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones ❤️

Fiction

Memphis by Tara Stringfellow ❤️

At Least You Have Your Health by Madi Sinha

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus ❤️

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang ❤️

True Biz by Sara Nović ❤️

Song for Almeyda and Song for Anninho by Gayl Jones 

cover of Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li; photo of Asian man wearing sunglasses

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart 

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Delphine Jones Takes a Chance by Beth Morrey 

Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum 

Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder

Post-traumatic by Chantal V. Johnson

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Little Foxes Took Up Matches by Katya Kazbek

The Return of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad

Heartbroke: Stories by Chelsea Bieker ❤️

The Wise Women by Gina Sorell

cover of Heartbroke by Chelsea Bieker; picture of piles of candy necklaces

I Was the President’s Mistress!! by Miguel Syjuco 

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti 

Middle Grade

Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée and KC Oster (illustrator)

Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat

Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega 

Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi 

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser ❤️

It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds

cover of a duet for home by karina yan glaser

Swan Lake: Quest for the Kingdoms by Rey Terciero, Megan Kearney ❤️

Mystery and Thriller

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments (Edinburgh Nights Book 2) by T. L. Huchu 

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

Nonfiction

Fine: A Comic About Gender by Rhea Ewing

When Women Kill by Alia Trabucco Zerán, Sophie Hughes (translator)

Learning America: One Woman’s Fight for Educational Justice for Refugee Children by Luma Mufleh 

In Praise of Good Bookstores by Jeff Deutsch 

cover of The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander; photo of a young Black boy

The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander

Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth by Clyde W. Ford 

Wired for Love: A Neuroscientist’s Journey Through Romance, Loss, and the Essence of Human Connection by Stephanie Cacioppo 

The Unwritten Book: An Investigation by Samantha Hunt 

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain 

Poetry

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong ❤️

Against Heaven: Poems by Kemi Alabi

Romance

cover of The Wedding Crasher

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

The Date from Hell (Match Made in Hell Book 2) by Gwenda Bond

Reputation by Lex Croucher

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

Braking Day by Adam Oyebanji 

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel ❤️

The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

Young Adult

cover of Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders; illustration of white girl with pink hair and Black girl with purple braids

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak (Unstoppable Book 2) by Charlie Jane Anders

She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick 

Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk

Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas and Marie Marquardt 

Sense and Second-Degree Murder (Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, 2) by Tirzah Price ❤️

In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

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


orange cat in silver bowl; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Outside of books, I’m enjoying the last week of the regular NBA season and the song stuck in my head is People Ain’t No Good by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. And here’s a cat picture: Zevon leans far over the side, but somehow manages to stay upright.


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, Tuesday friends! I hope you all had lovely weekends. I had a terrible headache, but I got to relax and spend a lot of time looking out the window. There were so many birds in my backyard! A dozen different types came to visit, including a gorgeous broad-winged hawk, and it was amazing. Er, unless you don’t like birds, lol.

Back to books: We get an extra Tuesday this month, and we are being rewarded with a lot of great new releases. I want to get so many of them, including How Strange a Season by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto, Conversations with People Who Hate Me by Dylan Marron, and So This Is Ever After by F.T. Lukens.

For this week’s episode of All the Books! all the hosts of ATB had a special chat about burnout and self-care, and then Patricia and I discussed A House Between the Earth and Moon, Ten Steps to Nanette, A Magic Steeped in Poison, and more. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of Ancestor Trouble by Maud Newton; images of family members over different colored shapes

Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation by Maud Newton

I have been a big fan of Maud Newton since the first week I started using the internet. She had the first literary blog I had ever heard of (and she was also the first person I knew who had their blog hacked.) She has been pouring her heart and soul into this memoir for many years and it shows. It’s a fascinating investigation into her Southern family, beginning with the wild story she was told about a relative who murdered someone in Texas. It’s a remarkable look at family and the lasting powers of stories, whether true or not. (CW for illness and death, loss of a loved one.)

Backlist bump: Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

Cover of Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson; image of young Black man surrounded by a white circle

Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson

This is an excellent YA sci-fi thriller! After another police killing of a young Black man, residents of Baltimore lead a city-wide protest. Jamal Lawson is a young Black aspiring journalist who hopes to cover the story, but then the government uses a new total militarized tactic: the Dome. It covers the city, trapping people inside and keeping information from getting out. Suddenly, Jacob is now a part of the story, and he joins up with two other people trapped alongside him who may be able to find a way out if they work together.

Backlist bump: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

cover of The Temps by Andrew DeYoung, fluorescent green with fluorescent yellow and pink stencil images of people in suits wearing gas masks

The Temps by Andrew DeYoung

And last, but not least, a fun dystopian satire about office work and a hazardous outbreak in a tech company building. On Jacob’s first day as a temp at Delphi Enterprises, a Google-like tech company, a deadly contaminant is released into the world and only the temps manage to survive. As they search around for supplies and answers, they uncover a much darker conspiracy that may go all the way to the top. It’s kind of a locked room mystery with a high body count and some serious swipes at Silicon Valley. (CW for mentions of mass illness and death, chemical use, violence, assault, and murder.)

Backlist bump: Severance Package by Duane Swierczynski

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

orange cat standing on a book; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Now Is Not the Time To Panic by Kevin Wilson (I know, right?!!) and The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri. Outside of books, I have been making collages, and the song stuck in my head is Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby by Counting Crows. And as promised, here is a cat picture: Zevon is learning to read by paws-mosis. (Sorry not sorry.)


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!

Welcome to the first Tuesday of spring! It was a beautiful Sunday in Maine this weekend, and it made things feel better. I love the spring, especially how it stays light later. I am not quite the creature of darkness I used to be when I was younger, lol.

I have a bit of a different newsletter for you today, in that I haven’t read any of the books I am going to talk about. I did read several books for this week, but for various reasons, they didn’t work for me. And I know that you know how hard I work to find things I want to recommend, so you can understand how disappointed I feel. But it happens! So instead, I am going to tell you about three that I can’t wait to read.

Of course I also want to get so many of today’s new releases, including Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou, JERKS by Sara Lippmann, and The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller. For this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed Disorientation, Swan Lake: Quest for the Kingdoms, Comeuppance Served Cold, and more.

cover of Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy; illustration of a plus-sized Black woman in a yellow dress and sunglasses in front of a Black man in jeans and a white t-shirt walking a small brown dog

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy

One thing I am excited about this week is that I am going to be a guest on the When in Romance podcast! Romance is a genre I do not read nearly enough of, so I am trying to change that. I have read a couple monster romances this week—monster as in featuring creatures, not monster as in page count—and I hope to add this one soon. It’s about a woman named—you guessed it—Savvy Sheldon, who decides to renovate her life from top to bottom after a break-up. But along the way she realizes, it’s not about changing herself but changing how she sees herself. Plus there are kissing parts!

cover of Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver; featuring photo of a stamped library card in the back of a book

Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver

And as many of you know, I am a library brat, meaning I grew up in the library. I spent most of my time there when I was young, because 1) my mom was a librarian 2) that’s where the books were, and 3) I loved whistle seats. So I will always read everything I can about libraries. In this book, Oliver takes a much-needed look at the way libraries and librarians in contemporary society are expected to do so much more that check out books, and how they are often at the center of so many of today’s issues.

As You Look (A Yolanda Avila Mystery, 1) by Veronica Gutierrez; photo of a sunset setting a large city in the distance

As You Look (A Yolanda Ávila Mystery, 1) by Verónica Gutiérrez

And last, but not least, I am looking forward to this queer mystery from an indie press! Yolanda Ávila is a former LAPD cop-turned private investigator with a lot of guilt and premonitions. And they might be coming true when her godson is kidnapped and his parents are charged with murder. She will have to rely on facts and feelings to solve the case. I am so ready for a badass middle-aged lady detective! (Speaking of which, I am also excited to read another of today’s new releases, Comeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds. Patricia talked about it on this week’s episode and it sounds delightful!)

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

upside down orange cat; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton and 100 Animals That Can F*cking End You by Mamadou Ndiaye. Outside of books, I have been working on puzzles and latch hook pieces while I watch regular NBA season come to the end. And in music, the song stuck in my head is Everybody Wants You by Billy Squier. (Who I called Billy Squirrel when I was little, because it made me laugh.) And as promised, here is a cat picture: Zevon is doing his best snake impression. Look at that little fang!


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! I hope your week has been off to a good start, despite the loss of an hour for many of us. After a brief false spring, it was super cold and gross in Maine this weekend, so I spent it curled up with lots of great upcoming books, one of which I will tell you about below! (SPOILER: I loved it!)

But first, today’s books! Of course I want to get so many of today’s new releases, including Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde, Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu, In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing by Elena Ferrante and Ann Goldstein (translator), and The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi.

For this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed The Cartographers, The Last Laugh, Secret Identity, and more. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo; dark blue with pink and green flowers forming the outlines of a man and a woman

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

If you love books with magical writing, then this should go to the top of your TBR! It’s a hauntingly beautiful story of a young woman who has a supernatural ability surrounding the souls of the dead and a gravedigger. Their fates are intertwined when they meet in the cemetery. I would say this has more atmosphere and gorgeous prose than action, but it’s also a powerfully compelling story of loss and fate. (CW for illness and death of a loved one, violence and murder, child abuse.)

Backlist bump: How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

cover of Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation by Erika Krouse; illustration of woman's face made of torn newspaper

Tell Me Everything: The Story of a Private Investigation by Erika Krouse 

And this is a remarkable memoir-slash-true crime book. Krause worked as an investigator, looking into cases for lawyers. When she was assigned the case of a sexual assault of a college student, she took the job despite her personal experience with sexual violence. Over the next five years, her life was consumed with the investigation and trying to keep it from overwhelming her. This is a fascinating and honest account of Krouse’s world and the horrifyingly few cases involving sexual assault that end with justice. (CW for sexual assault, trauma, and violence.)

Backlist bump: Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice by Ellen McGarrahan

cover of Mecca by Susan Straight; outline of light blue desert tree against a setting sun

Mecca by Susan Straight

And last, but not least, this incredible new novel from one of today’s most amazing writers. Straight is a National Book Award-nominated author, but I feel like she still gets very little recognition. This novel is set to make her a household name: it’s a devastatingly amazing story of a crime and the aftermath, and how it affects the characters for decades to come. It’s set against the background of race, family, and history in California. It’s a brutally honest read, but Straight’s storytelling is a marvel. (CW for racism, violence, sexual assault, police violence, and death.)

Backlist bump: In the Country of Women: A Memoir by Susan Straight

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

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

placeholder for the cover of Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley, September 6)

This book is an action-packed delight, from beginning to end! Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie are the Sphinxes, the first-ever all-women team of elite assassins trained by the Museum. The Museum is a secret organization working outside the law, tracking down criminals and killing them. They started out as Nazi hunters, but have branched out to drug lords, sex traffickers, etc. They recruited the women when they were just out of school and turned them into deadly human weapons.

When the book starts, the four women, who are now all in their sixties, are supposed to be celebrating their retirement. After four decades, they’re hanging up their weapons. They’re even been given a trip aboard a luxury cruise liner by the Museum’s directors. That’s where it all starts to go wrong, when one of them discovers an assassin on board who has been sent to kill them. But who would want them dead now that they’re done killing and why? It’s up to the women to use their various talents and pull one last job to figure it out.

Think Killing Eve set in Eve’s twilight years. This book has tons of action, snappy dialogue, and lots of flashbacks to older assignments. And it is never patronizing to its main characters. Do they have hot flashes? Yes. Can they still kill someone twice their size with a necklace or a knitting needle in a matter of seconds? You bet. The reason the women are so good at their jobs is because society underestimates women, and now that they’re old, they’re also practically invisible. They use it to their advantage, which makes for a lot of great capers, and a heck of an ending. (CW for sexism, sexual assault, mention of an off-page dog death, and lots and lots of violence and murder.)

Red blanket, orange kitty; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading The Impossible Us by Sarah Lotz and Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson. Outside of books, I finished all twelve seasons of The Big Bang Theory and am deciding what I want to watch next. I think I’m going to check out Somebody Somewhere. And in music: the song stuck in my head is Give a Little Love by Noah and the Whale. And as promised, here is a cat picture: I like to imagine that Farrokh is making the letter ‘F’. But not for his name, probably for the curse word, because he’s a naughty monkey.


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 again, my Tuesday friends! Get ready: If you’re wearing socks, prepare to have them knocked off by the amazing new releases out today. (If you’re not wearing socks, you’ll just feel a slight tingling in your feet.) I cannot stress enough how much I loved Booth by Karen Joy Fowler. It is a masterpiece of historical fiction and I hope you will all consider it when you go looking for your next read. You can bet I’m getting a copy!

I also want to get so many of today’s other new releases, including Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American by Laura Gao, Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore, Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha LaPointe, Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo, and The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang.

For this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed Booth, Like a Sister, The Old Woman with the Knife, and more. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American by Laura Gao; illustration of author standing between bridges in two countries

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American by Laura Gao

This is a humorous and heartfelt coming of age memoir about Gao’s life as a Chinese immigrant in Texas. She and her family moved when she was a toddler, and she spent her youth trying to fit in, including changing her name to Laura, and trying to figure out her feelings towards girls. Gao is from Wuhan, which she says most people in America had never heard of until the Covid-19 pandemic. The end of the book covers the rise in anti-Asian violence, which has Gao wondering about her place in America. It’s a sweet and powerful look at trying to discover who she is when so many people are ready to label her. (CW for racism, homophobia.)

Backlist bump: Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

cover of One for All by Lillie Lainoff; illustration of a white woman with brown hair wearing a pink dress and holding a fencing sword

One for All by Lillie Lainoff

En garde! This is a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers (which I admit to never having read, but I know they had big floppy hats and poked things with swords). In Lainoff’s exciting version, Tania de Batz is the daughter of a famous former Musketeer. She has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which makes her dizzy quite often. All she wants is to stop being treated as ‘weak’ and learn to fight like her father. When he’s mysteriously murdered, Tania carries out his dying wish: to attend L’Académie des Mariées, a finishing school. Finally, she’s taught the art of sword fighting and she’s trained to be a dangerous assassin. When she meets a charming young man who may have the answers to her father’s death, she’ll have to decide how far she’ll go to get them—and who she can trust. (CW for violence, death of a loved one.)

Backlist bump: Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

cover of Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays by Jill Gutowitz; purple with pink font and cartoon illustrations of many women in the background

Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays by Jill Gutowitz 

And last, but not least, Gutowitz puts her immense knowledge of lesbian pop culture down on the page for this commanding collection of essays. It includes a look at how it took a lot longer for lesbians to be represented in mainstream culture than gay men, what it was like for her growing up with hardly any lesbian role models, and a lot of funny experiences she’s had because of her writing and the internet. (Including a visit from the FBI!) It also includes serious events from Gutowitz’s experiences growing up, including her search for her identity and an abusive relationship with a partner. (CW for mentions of bullying, sexism, outing, homophobia, sexual assault, drug abuse, mental illness.)

Backlist bump: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays by Samantha Irby

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

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris; illustration of gray cat in a space suit floating under a giant pizza

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris Katherine Tegen Books (May 10, 2022)

I have been having some recurring health issues and was feeling pretty down this weekend. And then I discovered a galley of this book in my TBR and it brightened my whole day! I am not saying this is the best book of the year, but I am not *not* saying it. It is a freaking delight!

In this wonderful middle grade graphic novel, the planet is in trouble when something starts eating the moon. The culprits: Rats, who live on the dark side of the moon. The government knows that the destruction of the moon needs to be stopped, so it sends the best secret defense that it has: a domestic short hair. Given the name First Cat in Space, he bravely blasts off, prepared to do battle with the rotten rodents. On his journey, he discovers a stowaway, LOZ 4000, a verbose robot who vows to help him with his mission.

The two of them meet the Moon Queen when they land. She tells them it will be a dangerous trip to the dark side of the moon, fraught with peril. But together, they can do anything! There will be giants, monsters, more robots, whales, and yes, pizza. I liked how the Moon Queen insists everything on the moon is different, but it’s all just the same things, but with the word ‘moon’ in front of them. Like moon sand, moon bread, moon shoes… (Except for fruit. Let’s not get ridiculous.) This is hilarious, and delightfully illustrated. Harris has a very Dav Pilkey-like illustration style and it’s so fun. And it’s 360 pages long, so that’s a lot of fun packed into one book! Related: I also recommend Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires.

orange cat stretching; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming and The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk Wallace Johnson. Outside of books, I’m still latch hooking and I’ve mostly just watched NBA games. But I really want to see Strawberry Mansion and hope I can get to it soon. And in music: the song stuck in my head is Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli (because of a stupid commercial they keep playing during NBA games). And as promised, here is a cat picture: Zevon is showing me just how excited he was to stay in my office and listen to me record the new episode of All the Books!


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 March!

Hello, Tuesday friends! I hope you were able to enjoy your weekend, and have been able to find some time to read. I know that I have been throwing myself into books harder than ever these days. I am so grateful to have them. And I am grateful for you, too!

Now, for today: it’s time for a first Tuesday megalist! I do these because the first Tuesday of each month has so many new releases, 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 Gallant, A Thousand Steps Into Night, Loveless, and more.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

Biography and Memoir

Another Appalachia cover

Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia ❤️

Aurelia, Aurélia: A Memoir by Kathryn Davis ❤️

Let Me Count the Ways: A Memoir by Tomás Q. Morín

Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory by Sarah Polley

I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir by Harvey Fierstein 

Never Simple: A Memoir by Liz Scheier

Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones ❤️

Fiction

cover of Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett; abstract painting in whites and oranges

Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett

Jane of Hearts and Other Stories by Katharine Weber ❤️

The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers 

Run and Hide by Pankaj Mishra

The Doloriad by Missouri Williams

Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck ❤️

Chorus by Rebecca Kauffman ❤️

Middle Grade

Squad Goals (Hearts & Crafts #1) by Lisa Papademetriou

New from Here by Kelly Yang ❤️

Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu, Teny Issakhanian

Mystery and Thriller

cover of Girl In Ice by Erica Ferencik; photo of girl encased in ice

Girl In Ice by Erica Ferencik

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

The Heights by Louise Candlish

Nonfiction

Black Market: An Insider’s Journey into the High-Stakes World of College Basketball by Merl Code

The Republic of Violence: The Tormented Rise of Abolition in Andrew Jackson’s America by J.D. Dickey

The Believer: Encounters with the Beginning, the End, and our Place in the Middle by Sarah Krasnostein ❤️

Hell’s Half-Acre: The Untold Story of the Benders, a Serial Killer Family on the American Frontier by Susan Jonusas ❤️

The Greatest Invention: A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts by Silvia Ferrara, Todd Portnowitz (translator)

cover of Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now by Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, Philip Wang; dozens of illustrations of famous Asian Americans

Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now by Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, Philip Wang

Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021 by Margaret Atwood

Poetry

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems by Warsan Shire

Customs: Poems by Solmaz Sharif 

Romance

Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine (Illustrator), Hank Jones (Colorist), Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Letterer) ❤️

A Brush with Love by Mazey Eddings

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada; pink and yellow with a green circle in the middle with an orange hand in it

Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani (translator)

Tell Me an Ending by Jo Harkin

All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie 

Sundial by Catriona Ward 

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Young Adult

Gallant by V.E. Schwab ❤️

A Thousand Steps into Night by Traci Chee ❤️

Ready When You Are by Gary Lonesborough 

Loveless by Alice Oseman

This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg ❤️

cover of All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir; cream colored with red and purple font

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir  ❤️

The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta

Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix by Aminah Mae Safi

The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra

The One True Me and You by Remi K. England 

Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys, Brittney Williams, Andrew Weiner

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


orange cat in a cardboard box; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black and The Last Suspicious Holdout: Stories by Ladee Hubbard. Outside of books, I’m halfway through watching The Big Bang Theory. (Very few things have made me laugh as much as the ball pit scene.) And the song stuck in my head is Mr. Rabbit by Paul Westerberg. And here’s a cat picture: My Uber driver could barely see over the dashboard, but he was really cute.


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, star bits! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. It was an exceptionally good one for me. I had the honor of interviewing one of my very favorite authors, Sara Gran, who is just the best! Her new novel The Book of the Most Precious Substance is excellent. And I was interviewed by an online book club full of wonderful well-read people. It was such a treat! I never get tired of books. And speaking of books, there are more great ones out today! There are so many books I want, but the top of my list to pick up are Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin, Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Falade, and Tripping Arcadia: A Gothic Novel by Kit Mayquist.

For this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed The Verifiers, I’m So Not Over You, The Swimmers, and more. P.S. Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry; watercolor image of rolling green hills under a bright blue sky

When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry

I am so delighted that We Ride Upon Sticks put Barry on everyone’s radar, because now people will sit up and take notice when she has a new book out. This is her fantastic new novel about a young monk and his most definitely not-a-monk twin brother, who set out on a journey to find the reincarnation of a great lama somewhere in Mongolia. It’s a story of faith and family, and finding one’s purpose. It is such a beautiful, wildly inventive book, and I hope you all love it like I do!

Backlist bump: We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

Cover of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh, an illustration in Asian-style art of a young woman surrounded by the ocean

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

And this is a fantastic YA historical fantasy novel from the author of Rebel Seoul! It’s a feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale “The Tale of Shim Cheong.” It’s about a land ravaged by storms that have wiped away villages. To appease the Sea God, the villagers plan to throw the Sea God a bride. But the intended bride is Mina’s brother’s beloved, and when he tries to interfere, Mina offers herself up instead. Under the water, Mina discovers the Sea God is enchanted and joins up with a motley crew of underwater beings to break the spell and save her village. It’s delightful and full of adventure!

Backlist bump: XOXO by Axie Oh

cover of Scorpica by G.R. Macallister; illustration of a curved knife with a scorpion for a handle against a yellow background

Scorpica by G.R. Macallister

Warriors, and healers, and sorcerers, oh my! Macallister, known for her fun historical fiction, is making her first foray into adult fantasy, and it’s great! This is the first book in what will be the Five Queendoms series. For centuries, peace has existed between the queendoms of the land. But when a decade passes without a girl being born, it throws the world into chaos. Magic and secrets will come to light as the queens struggle to make sense of the Drought of Girls, and fight to hold onto alliances and fend off new threats. It’s an immersive, queer, epic adventure! Plus, people hitting things with swords!!! (CW for violence, murder, childbirth, and death of a loved one.)

Backlist bump: A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

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

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

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 (St. Martin’s Press, July 19)

Okay, as a World of Warcraft fan, this is definitely in my wheelhouse. This is a super inside baseball look at how the company behind the biggest role-playing game of all time ended up almost shuttering its doors before being rescued by its nemesis.

When Dungeons and Dragons was released it was a huge hit. People bought the books and the kits by the armful, having never experienced anything like it before. But from the very start, TSR, the company behind the game, could seem to make no wise decisions. Through bad deals, mismanagement, and poor use of talent, it slowly, slowly sunk into mountains of debt. And then the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering came out, and D&D sales dropped even more. And just when it looked like TSR would have to shut down, it was purchased by Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic: The Gathering.

Riggs has written an extremely thorough examination of all the trials and tribulations of TSR, since its inception in 1974 by co-creators Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It charts everything from the dozens of failed new products and ventures, to the ousting of its creators, to the wild ‘Satanic panic’ years of the game in the early 1980s, and its final death throes in the mid-1990s that strangely involved Buck Rogers.

As I said, it’s quite inside baseball, and isn’t so much about the people involved (Gygax disappears not even a quarter of the way in) as the company and its decisions. And there are some things I wished we learned more about, involving the creators and employers. But of the three controversial figures involved, two have died and the other refuses to talk about it. But I was fascinated by all the ways in which the company seemed to get in its own way, and the hubris of management, who seemed to know nothing about games or even nerds. And I loved learning about the many now-famous writers and artists who got their start working on Dungeons and Dragons. If you love role-playing games, or any kind of games, or even just want an epic nerdpurr, then pick this up!

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

orange cat in a silver bowl; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Heartbroke by Chelsea Bieker and Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia. Outside of books, I’ve been trying to stay away from television while the Celtics are on the All-Star break and get in a bit more reading. And in music: the song stuck in my head is Queen of the Surface Streets by DeVotchKa. And as promised, here is a cat picture: Zevon in his bowl never, ever gets old.


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!

Welcome to Tuesday, kittens (and a special hello to Melanie!) We had a wild weekend in Maine. It was 59 and sunny on Saturday, and 25 and snowing on Sunday. Mother Nature likes to prank us, I think! Despite the wacky weather, I got lots of reading done and I’m excited for this week’s new books. At the top of my list to buy are Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (translator) and Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James, which also happen to have my favorite covers of February!

And speaking of great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed Bitter, Mickey7, The Chandler Legacies, and more. P.S. Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by Dennis Duncan; yellow with font of different colors from letter to letter

Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by Dennis Duncan

Listen up, book nerds! This is a delightful dive into the section at the back of books where you can find things: the index! From the thirteenth century to present day, Duncan presents way more history about this unsung resource than you ever imagined possible. If you love books about books like I love books about books, then you’re going to love this. It’s an epic nerdpurr!

Backlist bump: The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston

cover of Even When Your Voice Shakes by Ruby Yayra Goka; illsutartion of a young black woman in a blue dress with white flowers

Even When Your Voice Shakes by Ruby Yayra Goka

And this is a powerful YA novel about a young woman in Ghana who steps in to help her family when her mother has a miscarriage. Amerley sacrifices a lot to take a job working for one of her mother’s old school friends, a man whose status is much higher than that of Amerley’s family. When the man’s son rapes her, she must decide if she will speak up. It’s a hard novel to read at times, but it’s important for young people to know that they are not alone and that they have a voice. (CW for miscarriage, physical and sexual assault, and classism.)

Backlist bump: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

cover of A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence Book) by Rebecca Ross; illustration of a harp sinking in wavy blue water

A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence Book) by Rebecca Ross

And last, but not least, the first entry in a new adult fantasy series! This is influenced by Scottish folktales, and is about two childhood enemies who band together to discover why young girls are going missing from their clan. Jack and Adaira are in their twenties now and willing to put their differences aside to solve the mystery. This book has magic, adventure, and some sexy times. I also really enjoyed the side characters Torin and Sidra. (CW for violence, physical harm, kidnapping, miscarriage, loss of child, and loss of parent.)

Backlist bump: The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

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

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

placeholder for Bunnicula graphic novel

Bunnicula: The Graphic Novel by James Howe and Andrew Donkin, Stephen Gilpin (Illustrator) (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, August 30)

Holy cats! Or more like unholy rabbits! This was not something I knew I needed until I found out it existed. I fell in love with the middle grade novel version of this by James and Deborah Howe when I was a kid, and have read it and the sequels a few times since. (If you’ve never read Bunnicula, you should do it right now. I’ll wait here.)

The illustrations in this book are so adorable, and this version adds a more playful feel to the story. It’s about the Monroe family and their pets, Harold the dog and Chester the cat. Harold and Chester are perfectly happy with the way things are, but then the Monroes bring home a toothy bunny and things start to get weird. Someone is draining the vegetables in the fridge, and Harold and Chester suspect Bunnicula, who sleeps all day, just like a vampire. The duo are determined to clue the Monroes in on their new furry fanged friend’s habits and restore order to the home—and the fridge.

It’s really fun to see all the characters as you read the story. I loved Bunnicula’s pointy Bela Lugosi hairstyle. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for anything Bunnicula. I bought the fuzzy 40th anniversary edition, and hope to one day see the television series. And I will forever be sad that Deborah Howe died just before Bunnicula was originally released, so she never got to see just how many millions of us love it to pieces. 💔

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

orange cat with mouth slightly open; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey and Murder in Westminster by Vanessa Riley. Outside of books, I’ve been having so much fun watching as the Celtics continue to climb in the Eastern conference standings, and I’ve been snacking on The Big Bang Theory when my brain gets too loud for sleep. And in music: the song stuck in my head is Head On by Pixies. And as promised, here is a cat picture: This is Farrokh’s funny flehmen face.


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 ❤️