Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, my little star bits. I am fairly certain I wished you a happy Monday in last week’s newsletter. OOPS. Who even knows what day it is anymore? I just keep my head down and the pages turning. Speaking of pages, there are some wonderful books out today, and leading the charge to the top of my TBR is Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez! I have heard wonderful things about it.

Unrelated: I have a weird need to read Peanuts comics for some reason? Maybe it’s all the news online recently about the airing of the Peanuts‘ holidays specials, I don’t know. I also spent a lot of time watching holiday movies this weekend. I’m not talking about Die Hard or The Long Kiss Goodnight (which totally count, in my book), I mean actual holiday movies, with good intentions and warm fuzzy feelings. I must be getting soft in my old age. But Prep & Landing was adorable, and I could watch Anna Kendrick say ‘yogurt pants‘ for days.

Moving on, I have a few of today’s awesome titles to tell you about, plus on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed our favorite books of December 2020, such as Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder, A Certain Hunger, Red Hands, and more.

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

A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology by Dhonielle Clayton 

As much as I love short story collections, it’s almost more exciting for me to get to read anthologies, because you can find a bunch of amazing authors inside! This is the fourth collection released by We Need Diverse Books. This fun book features 15 young adult fantasy stories with monsters, magic, and memories by some of the best children’s authors working today, including Samira Ahmed, Libba Bray, Zoraida Córdova, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Rebecca Roanhorse.

Backlist bump: The Hero Next Door by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Editor)

A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers

I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, it’s almost the holidays, and I really wish I had a witty satire about foodies and cannibals to help me celebrate.” Well, your wish has been granted! Dorothy Daniels is a food critic with an esteemed career. But she has always thought there was something special about herself, something better that set her apart from other people. So she decides to combine her supposed superiority with her interest in food…which means the finger sandwiches are now finger sandwiches, if you catch my drift. (This is a fantastic novel, but keep in mind it’s about eating people, so it’s not for the squeamish.)

Backlist bump: Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue

Mozart: The Reign of Love by Jan Swafford

And finally, an enormous biography that would make a great gift for lovers of history, music, and biographies. I have only read the first third so far, but since this one is almost 900 pages long, that’s almost a whole book on its own! Swafford is an acclaimed composer and biographer, and this is a compelling look at the musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the immortal legends of classical music. From his gift for music at a young age, to his passionate and playful career as one of the most talented and unusual composers, to his tragic end, this is a wildly fascinating book.

Backlist bump: Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph by Jan Swafford


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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

RABBIT RABBIT! It’s the first day of December and I am excited about books! (Spoiler: I am always excited about books.) I have read so many great 2021 releases that I have been waiting to share with you, and now we’re nearing the finish line. I could not be more excited if I swallowed a cat and broke out in kittens.

December has a lot of great releases to offer us this year, more so than usual because of all the rescheduled dates from earlier in the year. At the top of my list to buy is Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo. I have a few of today’s awesome titles to tell you about, plus on this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed great books that would make great gifts, such as The Art of Ramona Quimby, Black Futures, All Boys Aren’t Blue, and Reclaimed Rust! I love giving—and getting—books as gifts!

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

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole

In my opinion, Alyssa Cole IS the queen. I love her romance novels so much! This is the start of the Runaway Royals series (the second will be out in May.) Shanti Mohapi weds the Sanyu, king of Njaza, in an arranged marriage. And while it’s obvious they are attracted to one another, she doesn’t harbor any illusions that this is anything but an arrangement, until their passions boil over in the bedroom, leading to hot and heavy nights. But when political turmoil upends the kingdom, Shanti flees, and Sanyu must decide if he has what it takes to get her back.

Backlist bump: A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole

Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir

Hey, all you fans of feminist fairytales and Gideon the Ninth! This is the story of a princess trapped in a tower by a witch—because that’s what witches do—who must figure out how to rescue herself when all the princes who come to rescue her become dragon lunchmeat. Floralinda expected to be rescued right away, but when it doesn’t happen, she must figure out how to get past 39 flights of scary monsters make it to the bottom of the tower. Helping her, begrudgingly, is a fairy named Cobweb, who blows into her room during a storm and cannot fly away because her wing is broken. Together they will take on the Night-Boar and the Devil-Bear, and all the other Big Bads, to prove princesses don’t need rescuing.

Note: This is being published by a boutique press, which means it’s a limited edition item. If you’re a collector, and/or love Tamsyn Muir, you can get a signed and numbered copy from the Subterranean Press site while supplies last, or there’s also a digital version available!

Backlist bump: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko

Finding My Voice by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

And last, but not least: Soho Press is releasing this groundbreaking Own Voices YA classic for its 30th anniversary. Seventeen-year-old Ellen Sung is part of the only Korean American family in her Minnesota town, and her classmates at her all-white school continuously point it out. When she begins an unexpected romance with the star quarterback, Ellen must stand up to racism at school and disapproval from her parents, and along the way discovers she has a voice of her own. This new edition includes an introduction from Kat Cho.

Backlist bump: Somebody’s Daughter by Marie Myung-Ok Lee


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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s that time of year again! Yep, the time when I apologize repeatedly because publishing slows to a crawl the last six weeks of the year, so there aren’t nearly as many books to talk about. Like I’m somehow responsible, lol. We all know if I was in charge of publishing, every book would have cat protagonists.

But it’s true about the book world: Because of the holidays, publishing puts out very few new releases at the end of the year. That’s not to say there aren’t any good books still to come in 2020. For instance, the sequel to Ready Player One is being released today, if that’s something you’re excited about, as well as my friend Julia’s book about Dawson’s Creek (tbh, I have never seen Dawson’s Creek—shhhh, don’t tell her). There’s also a hilarious book of comics called Barely Functional Adult.

What it means for you is that I have to get a little more creative with my newsletters. I read a couple of today’s new releases, but I talked about them on the podcast, so I think for today’s newsletter I will highlight a few more upcoming titles that I have enjoyed. 2021 may seem like a long way away to some, but it’s already practically the end of November, so just hang tight! (TL;DR: do not despair, there are still good books coming this year.)

Before I start, I want to remind you that you can hear about a few of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed Ruinsong, Barely Functional Adult, Escape Pod, and more great new books.

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

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg (December 29)

Set in a mildly steampunk-y alternative London in the 1950s, Marion Lane follows Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries, a secret organization of anonymous detectives who work in the old hidden tunnels under the city. No one knows who the detectives are, just that if you have a problem or a tip about a crime, you write it on a piece of paper and slip it into one of the many pneumatic tube drop-off slots around the city, and it gets taken care of somehow.

Marion Lane is a young woman who has been working for Miss Brickett’s for four months when something dreadful happens: an employee is found murdered. And since strangers from aboveground can’t come down into the agency’s tunnels, the killer must be someone at Miss Brickett’s. When Marion’s friend and colleague is accused of the crime, Marion takes it upon herself to solve it—even if it means breaking rules and losing her job and possibly her life. With the help of a couple other agents—who she may or may not be able to trust—she attempts to escape detection as she detects around the detective agency. (Detect, detect, detect!)

(Content warning for mentions of murder, violence, chemical use, description of suicide on page, and gore.)

Backlist bump: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi (March 2, 2021)

And this one just gutted me! It’s listed as YA, but it is very adult in themes, so it’s recommended for older teens. Jayne and June Baek are two Korean-American sisters with nothing in common. While June is the perfect daughter with the prestigious career and enviable bank account, younger Jayne is untethered and caught in a downward spiral professionally and personally. The sisters haven’t spoken in some time, but then June reaches out to Jayne to tell her she has cancer, and suddenly everything changes for both sisters. Together, they will work to help Jayne get the treatment she needs and in the process, begin to both heal. This book was so sharp and frighteningly realistic, it felt at times like I knew these characters. It broke my heart so many times, but at the end, I felt healed.

(Content warning for mentions of racism, eating disorders, chemical abuse, cancer, mental illness, and child death.)

Backlist bump: Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe (January 26, 2021)

And last, but not least: I am sure you have a already heard a few other Rioters raving about this book, and I would like to throw my hat in the ring. This book is a non-stop thrill ride about a bank robbery in California. Three of the people taken hostage in the robbery are Nora; her girlfriend, Iris; and her best friend/ex-boyfriend, Wes. But what seems like a bungled bank heist with volatile criminals is going to turn out to be a multi-layered game of cat-and-mouse with a young woman who has already been several girls in her short lifetime, and has experienced enough to help her turn the tables.

This book is so INTENSE. It jumps back and forth from the robbery in progress to Nora’s earlier life with her mother, a con woman married to a dangerous man. It’s so well done, extremely cinematic. I can’t wait to see the Netflix adaptation with Millie Bobby Brown!

(Content warning for descriptions of chemical use, physical violence, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, child abuse, murder, torture, and gore.)

Backlist bump: Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

Please enjoy the holiday from a safe distance this week, if you’re celebrating. And 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. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, readers! I can’t believe it is already Tuesday again, but this week I have much better news: Millay got an A+ at her follow-up vet appointment yesterday, so she can go back to being an aloof house cat with no worries. Hooray!

In non-cat-related news: BOOKS. There are a lot of them out today, including Barack Obama’s new memoir AND my favorite book of the year, The Orchard by David Hopen. I have been throwing this book at your brain-walls since I read it in May in the hopes it would stick, because it’s my favorite book of the year and I wanted to make sure it was on all your radars. I hope it worked, and you love it as much as I do, because I L-O-V-E it. And the book I most looking forward to getting my hands on this week is Alright, Alright, Alright: An Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused by Melissa Maerz. (Did you know that Matthew McConaughey’s new memoir is currently at the top of the bestseller lists? I had no idea it would be that popular! So of course I got one for myself, and—bonus—it arrived SIGNED.)

And speaking of today’s new releases, you can hear about more of today’s amazing books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed (what else?) The Orchard, These Violent Delights, Nights When Nothing Happened, and more great new books.

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

Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi

Okay, so this is actually the sequel to War Girls, which came out last year, but it’s awesome and I wanted another opportunity to bring the first one to your attention. Because 1) it is also awesome and 2) I think it got lost in all the excitement for Riot Baby, another amazing book from Onyebuchi that was released a few months later. War Girls is set in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria in the year 2172. (Can you imagine the world making it to 2172? Lolsob.) Because of humans being humans, the world is now mostly uninhabitable, and many people have moved to space colonies. The unlucky people left behind are subject to harsh conditions, radiation poisoning, and civil war. Onyii and Ify are two sisters who dream of a better world and are willing to fight to get it. This is an intense, action-packed duology about that fight. It’s great fun and also makes you think at the same time.

Backlist bump: War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Lord The One You Love is Sick by Kasey Thornton

And this is a powerful novel-in-stories about addiction and its effects on people in a small community. Dale, a police officer, is having a hard time since his best friend, Gentry, died from a heroin overdose. Dale’s wife is uncertain how to deal with her husband’s grief, which is also something Gentry’s mother is struggling with—where can she place the blame for his death? As the town’s leaders gather to pray that the Lord will help heal their town, two young sisters deal with the unreported violence in their own home. This is not an easy read and it comes with all the trigger warnings, but it’s also incendiary and moving, and perfect for fans of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock.

Backlist bump: Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock (This one also comes with ALL the trigger warnings.)

A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post–WWII Germany by Monica Black

And if enjoy reading books about times in history that you have never heard about before, have I got a book for you! This is a wildly fascinating look at Germany and its citizens after WWII. Not many history books in English discuss the world from this perspective, but this one delves into how after the war ended, there was a lot of shame and grief among the citizens. Some of it manifested itself—and here’s where it gets strange—in accusations of witchcraft in the 1950s. People began to worry they were cursed, or that someone else was using magic to get things they wanted, so they accused them of witchcraft. There were also people who prayed on the citizens in their weakened state, including dubious preachers and hoaxes. I had no idea what to expect when I picked this up, but I am glad I did. I was so surprised by how interesting I found it!

Backlist bump: Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside (translator)


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. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, readers! I hope you had a great weekend and were able to find something wonderful to read. Sadly, my plans to throw myself a weekend-long readathon were derailed by a cold and a trip to the emergency vet with Millay. But these things happen, and we’re both doing much better now, and I did manage to read most of a book in the vet’s parking lot while I waited. (It makes me laugh whenever I am told there may be a wait. “Oh no, I will be forced to read a book. The horror, lol!”)

Speaking of books (which is almost all I speak about), there are several books I am excited to get my hands on today, including At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop, The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem, and Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer. Megan Rapinoe’s memoir, One Life, is out now too, and it’s also the release day for my favorite true crime read of the year: We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper. And congratulations to former Rioter Melody Schreiber on the book birthday of What We Didn’t Expect: Personal Stories about Premature Birth! That also reminds me that I want to read Loved and Wanted: A Memoir of Choice, Children, and Womanhood by Christa Parravani.

You can hear about more of today’s amazing books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed The Office of Historical Corrections, Moonflower Murders, Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines, and more great new books.

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

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

I am so excited this book is finally out! Elle Jones is an astrologer with a popular Twitter account. Darcy Lowell is an actuary with a meddlesome brother who is determined to help her find love. When he sets Darcy up with Elle, she agrees to the date—and it’s a disaster. But to keep her brother from trying to find her another match, she gets Elle to agree to pretend they were made for each other. When they obviously are not, nope, no way, no how. And spending more time together will just prove it to everyone and themselves…right? YAY FAKE DATING. This is a frickin delightful #ownvoices queer rom-com, which claims to be a bit like Pride and Prejudice, but I’ll have to take everyone’s word for it, because I still haven’t read P&P. (SHHHHHHHH I KNOW.)

Backlist bump: The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (because they both involve stars!)

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

It seems impossible that Chao’s debut YA novel, American Panda, came out over two years ago already, but here we are. Then there was Our Wayward Fate—which I still need to read—and now it’s time for another new book! I didn’t mean to pick two books today about fake dating on purpose, I swear. Rent a Boyfriend is about Chloe Wang, a college student who hires a fake boyfriend from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company “specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents”, so that her parents will stop bothering her about her love life. Drew Chan is a former college student who took the Rent for Your ‘Rents job after his parents cut him off when he dropped out of school. Chloe hires Drew to pretend to be her significant other to impress her parents, but it’s Drew’s real persona she starts to fall for. Good idea or bad idea? Read it to find out!

Backlist bump: American Panda by Gloria Chao

This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear

This is a lovely memoir whether you are a fan of Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs mysteries or not. This is her personal account of her English childhood, including the harrowing stories and trauma of the second world war on her grandparents and parents, and her young life living on farms around Kent. It’s frank and kind and loving. You can tell she loved her family very much, and readers get a glimpse of how she was struck by the writing bug at a young age.

Backlist bump: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Unsolicited true story: I will never forget where I was when I read this book. I was on a trip to Montreal with some friends, and we were staying at the The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. We had just retired to our beds, and I was maybe forty pages into Maisie Dobbs, when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. It was determined to be a system error and we all returned to our rooms, but it was short-lived—the alarm went off six more times that night. And for safety reasons, we were required to leave the building every time it happened, even though they said from the beginning that it was just bad programming. I carried my book up and down, up and down. I can’t tell you how many people said, “I wish I had brought a book.” It was extremely unfun and none of us slept that night. And that, children, is how we got comped a free night in one of Montreal’s nicest hotels. The end!)

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. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s Election Day! I am simultaneously amazed that it is already here and also feeling like the last election was decades ago. Please, please, please, if you haven’t already, go vote.

Moving on to books, first I want to say how disappointed I was that Black & White & Weird All Over by Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, which I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, was moved to a new release date. So, sorry to everyone who wanted to get it last week. Which may have only been me, lol.

Annnnnnnd because it’s November, and there’s a pandemic, and it’s an election year, the number of astounding new releases are way down the next several weeks. I read many of this week’s books for All the Books and this newsletter, and I am sad to report that I only liked a few of them. That’s not to say that the books aren’t good or even great, but I only want to recommend books to you that I loved, because enthusiasm for a book goes a long way. It’s really important to me to endorse books I love, because books have saved me countless times, and I want you to read books that make you feel the same way. I love all you meeps!

So for today’s newsletter, I’m changing it up a bit and recommending three wonderful novels from this year that I loved that deserve another shout-out. Because that’s what it all boils down to: GOOD BOOKS! You can hear about a few of today’s amazing books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed White Ivy, The Book Collectors, The Best of Me, and more great new books.

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

long bright river

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

I loved this book and I feel like it has been overlooked on the end-of-the-year lists popping up everywhere because it came out on the first Tuesday of the year. It’s about two sisters in Philadelphia: Molly is a cop who is searching for her estranged sister, Kacey. They were once very close, but time and Kacey’s substance addiction has come between them.

Last Molly knew, Kacey was living on the streets of their city, but when a string of murders reveals that Kacey has disappeared, Molly will do anything to solve the crimes and find her sister. In between the present-day story is a look at Molly and Kacey’s childhood, making this not just a novel of suspense, but a story of family and love.

Backlist bump: The Unseen World by Liz Moore

Godshot by Chelsea Bieker

And this dynamic debut is set in Peaches, California, in a future where the land is dry. Fourteen-year-old Lacey May and her mother live as best they can without much water, and come to put their faith in a preacher, who promises to restore water to the soil and rivers. But Preacher Jim is really nothing more than a venomous, persuasive cult leader who swindles the residents of Peaches. And when Lacey’s mother runs off with a stranger, Lacey is left behind to fight against Preacher Jim’s insidious grasp. In order to save herself and everyone else in her town, Lacey must uncover the real truth of the preacher and return her mother home. Holy cats, do I love a searing and bleak, but brilliantly written read!

Backlist bump: gods with a little g by Tupelo Hassman (Out in paperback November 17th!)

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

And last, but not least, If I Had Your Face explores beauty standards in society and in different cultures. Four women live in the same apartment building in Seoul, and face different forms of misogyny and sexism. Kyuri is a gorgeous hostess in an underground club; Miho is a talented artist who is willing to deny her wishes for a new boyfriend; Ara is a hairstylist with a serious obsession with a K-pop band; and Wonna is a newlywed who desperately wants a baby. The friendship of these four women will see them through desperate, difficult situations that are all too familiar to women all over the world.

Backlist bump: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, Jamie Chang (Translator) (This is actually another new title from this year that I couldn’t pass up recommending again.)


As always, I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, kittens, and welcome to another week of “OMG I WANT ALL THE BOOKS.” There are a lot of great books out today, but you will not be surprised to learn that the one I am most excited about is Black & White & Weird All Over: The Lost Photographs of “Weird Al” Yankovic ’83 – ’86 by Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz. (I love him.) It’s another coffee table book to add to the enormous pile that will inevitably be responsible for bringing down our living room ceiling one day. (I love coffee table books, but I can’t actually leave them on our coffee table, because of our crack team of destructive cats. Er, and because I own hundreds. But I blame the felines.)

Speaking of today’s books you can also hear about some amazing books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed Memorial, The Sacrifice of Darkness, Dungeon Critters, and more great new books.

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

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor 3) by Jessica Townsend

BOOK 3 IS FINALLY HERE! I think of all the rescheduled release dates this year, this one made me the saddest when it was kicked from early spring to late fall. (I say that having read Harrow the Ninth early, before it was delayed by months. Sorry, not sorry.) This is one of the best middle grade series I have read, and I like to point it out whenever I can! The series starts with a young girl named Morrigan Crow, who has been told her whole life that she is cursed, and that she is fated to die on her eleventh birthday. But when the doomed day rolls around, a stranger named Jupiter appears and takes her to a school for gifted children to hone her extraordinary talent. The problem is that Morrigan doesn’t know that she even has an extraordinary talent, and Jupiter refuses to tell her what it is, so she will have to work it out – with a little help from wonderful new friends. It’s a delightful adventure of magic and whimsy, with spots of intense villainy. I believe it’s to be a seven-book series, but I fully vote that you start reading them now instead of waiting. They’re also really fun to reread!

Backlist bump: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler, Sonia Paoloni, Thibault Balahy

Redbone is a Mexican-American /Native American rock band that originated in the 1970s. Their song “Come and Get Your Love” was a huge hit (which you also might recognize from Guardians of the Galaxy.) This is a graphic biography of the band, following its founding in California by Pat and Lolly Vegas, the struggles the band faced, and the triumphs they achieved. Maybe new interest in the band will help the long-overlooked Redbone snag a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Not that I will pay attention to anything that organization does, as long as Warren Zevon remains unsung. *Pout*)

Backlist bump: Come and Get Your Love: A Celebratory Ode to Redbone (1939-Present) by Pat Vegas

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

And last, but not least: just in time for Halloween, here’s the creepy and exciting story of twin streghe sisters who keep their witchy ways hidden from the humans around them. But when one of the sisters is horribly murdered, all bets are off. Emilia is devastated by the loss of her beloved Vittoria, and resorts to seeking help from Wrath, a Prince of Hell, to seek vengeance on her killer. The problem is, once you let the monkey out of the bottle, it’s hard to get him to go back in. If you’re looking for something fun and spooky to escape into this Halloween weekend, this is it!

Backlist bump: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco


As always, I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s time for another Tuesday full of books! There are several amazing new books out today. I am so madly in love with Plain Bad Heroines and Shit, Actually, and I can’t wait for everyone to read them! And at the top of my list of today’s titles that I want to read are Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda and Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos.

You can also hear about some amazing books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed Plain Bad Heroines, Foreshadow, Ex Libris, and more great new books.

Because I have not read many of the books coming out this week (that I enjoy enough to recommend), I have decided to do something a little different and recommend three AMAZING books coming next year that you should mark down on your TBR right now. (Don’t fret: 2021 may seem far away, but just think, we’re already halfway through October!) These are books that I can’t stop thinking about, and I hope everyone will love as much as I do!

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

In the Quick by Kate Hope Day (March 2)

You may have heard me mention this on All the Books! a few weeks ago. It won’t be the last time by a mile – this might already be my favorite book of 2021! It’s set in a future where space travel is no biggie anymore, and teens go off to space boarding school to ready themselves for a career among the stars. June is a brilliant girl who is accepted early because of her famous uncle. While at school, a space shuttle goes missing, and everyone gives it up for lost, except for June, who is convinced the crew is still out there. But no one is interested in listening to a 12-year-old. Six years later, June embarks on her own first mission in space. But the crew of that lost shuttle still haunts her.

I loooooooooooooved this book. It’s so smart and beautiful. (also, I highly recommend skipping the publisher’s description, because it does not do the book justice.)

Backlist bump: If, Then by Kate Hope Day

The Rib King by Ladee Hubbard (January 19)

This book melted my brain in the best way. It’s freaking genius! It is set in the early 20th century and takes place in two parts. The first section follows the African American staff of a white family whose fortune is slipping away, and the racism and danger the staff faces every day, both at work and outside the home. And the second part is set ten years later, after a horrific crime at the home. It details the life of one of the former maids as she attempts to grow her own business, but keeps finding her dealings overshadowed by the her time at the home. It’s such a powerful novel that I immediately read it again because I didn’t want to lose that feeling it gave my brain. And you heard it here first: This is my guess for the National Book Award for Fiction in 2021!

Backlist bump: The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard

Two Truths and a Lie: Murder, Obsession, and Justice in the Sunshine State by Ellen McGarrahan (February 2)

(Just a heads up that there will be discussion of violence and death in this description.)

And this is one of the best true crime books I have read in a long time! When McGarrahan was a young reporter in Miami, they sent her to witness the execution of a man accused of killing two police officers. What she saw is too distressing to write down here, so I’ll just say that it caused her to quit her job shortly after and take off looking for answers that would make sense of the world. But many years later, hearing whispers that the man she saw executed was innocent of the crime, McGarrahan – now a private detective – decided to investigate the case herself. This is an excellent examination of trauma, the death penalty, corruption, celebrity, and the people left behind. (Related: the other amazing true crime book I have read recently is We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper, out November 10!)

Backlist bump: The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alex Marzano-Lesnevich


As always, I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s time for another Tuesday full of books! There are several amazing new books out today. At the top of my list of today’s titles that I want to read are How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy and This is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi. (I am told this one is like Empire Records in book form, but since I have never seen Empire Records (SHHHH PLEASE STILL LOVE ME), I will not have a problem making comparisons.)

You can also hear about some amazing books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed The Once and Future Witches, The Midnight Bargain, Ring Shout, and more great new books.

As always, I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe.

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

The Redshirt by Corey Sobel

While I am not personally a fan of watching football – too many starts and stops! – I love reading novels about football. And this is just about the best one involving the sport that I have read. It’s about a young man, Miles Furling, whose childhood dreams of playing professional football get one step closer to reality when he gets a scholarship to the prestigious King College. Coming from a modest background, the scholarship is everything, even if the school’s team isn’t very good. At school, Miles becomes roommates with the school’s top player, Reshawn, who doesn’t want to explain how someone with his talent wound up on a terrible college team. Eventually Miles and Reshawn become close, and the novel blossoms into a thoughtful, heart-punching look at privilege, sexuality, and the toxic environment surrounding football. It’s a really great debut, and it was recently longlisted for 2020 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. (CW for homophobia, violence, and death.)

Backlist bump: The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

This is a beautifully illustrated YA graphic novel about belonging and being true to yourself. Tiến’s family came to America from Vietnam, which sometimes makes it difficult for him to feel like he fits in, but his realization that he’s gay makes him feel even more alone in the world. To comfort himself, he immerses himself in books (something we all can identify with), reading story after story from his culture. But he knows one day, no matter how much he avoids it, he’ll have to face the real world. (CW for homophobia, racism, and death.)

Backlist bump: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh

I must admit that my knowledge of Dolly Parton songs is very limited. (Like 9 to 5 and maybe one other. Oh! Islands in the Stream!) But I am a huge fan of her simply for the sheer amount of books she has shared with campaign for children’s literacy. I also enjoyed reading Heartland, Smarsh’s last book, so I was happy to pick this one up. It’s a combination memoir about experiences in Smarsh’s life and a look at some of Parton’s songs and women whose lives were touched and validated by the stories in her songs. (And if you’re interested in hearing from Dolly herself, get ready for November 17, when you can pick up Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.) (CW for discussions of misogyny and abuse.)

Backlist bump: Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

Thanks for subscribing! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

First Tuesday of October Megalist!

Welcome to the first Tuesday of October! It’s extra-special because this week marks my return after a three-month sabbatical from BR newsletters. I spent a lot of quality time relaxing, hanging with my cats, and enjoying the magic that is Star vs. the Forces of Evil, but mostly I read books. (Shocking, I know.) And while I greatly appreciated the rest, OMG I MISSED YOU. Reading books is my life, and I am so thankful to be able to do what I do each week. So thanks, from the bottom of my fuzzy little heart.

You can also hear about several of today’s great books on this week’s episode of the All the Books! Danika and I discussed The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Leave the World Behind, White Tears/Brown Scars, and more.

I can’t wait to get back to telling you about amazing upcoming titles – starting with today! I spent a long time making sure the pub dates were correct, but some may have already changed by the time this goes out, because of the state of the book world right now. And like each megalist, I’m putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved. I did get to a few of today’s books, but there are still soooo many more on this list that I can’t wait to read!

Lastly, I hope that the last three months have been kind to you. (How has it already been three months??!) Please reach out to your friends and family if you need someone to talk to, and be sure to keep social distancing and washing your hands to keep yourself and others safe. Now, on the books! – XO, Liberty

P.S. Thank you to Tirzah for filling in while I was out!

Spoiler Alert: A Novel by Olivia Dade ❤️

Class Act by Jerry Craft

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

The Hole by Hiroko Oyamada

Wall Disease: The Psychological Toll of Living Up Against a Border by Jessica Wapner

Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

The Turncoat: A Novel by Siegfried Lenz, John Cullen (translator)

Mrs. Murakami’s Garden by Mario Bellatin, Heather Cleary (translator)

The Piano Student by Lea Singer and Elisabeth Lauffer (translator)

I Hope This Helps: Comics and Cures for 21st Century Panic by Tommy Siegel

The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab ❤️

Blackthorn’s Botanical Brews: Herbal Potions, Magical Teas, and Spirited Libations by Amy Blackthorn

Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson, Kwame Alexander

The Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, and Art at the Edges of Literature by Peter Mendelsund and David J. Alworth

Cuyahoga by Pete Beatty

Revolutionary Girl Utena: After the Revolution by Chiho Saito

Apple: (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth

Spell Starter (A Caster Novel) by Elsie Chapman

ESCAPEs by Daniel Tunnard

A Jedi, You Will Be by Preeti Chhibber and Mike Deas

The Martyrdom of Collins Catch the Bear by Gerry Spence

Lon Chaney Speaks by Pat Dorian

Ruby by Nina Allan

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten

The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics by Dylan Jones

Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception by Matt Hart

The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo, Daniel J. Zollinger (Illustrator)

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer  ❤️

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by Sir David Attenborough

The Exphoria Code by Antony Johnston

Zero Zone: A Novel by Scott O’Connor

This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey, On and Off the Record by Neal Karlen

Bland Fanatics: Essays by Pankaj Mishra

Every Breath You Take: Exploring the Science of Our Changing Atmosphere by Mark Broomfield

The Secret Lives of Planets: Order, Chaos, and Uniqueness in the Solar System by Paul Murdin

Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country by Cristina Rivera Garza, Sarah Booker (translator)

Earthlings: A Novel by Sayaka Murata ❤️

An Illustrated History of UFOs by Adam Allsuch Boardman

Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City by Carl Smith

Never Turn Back: A Novel by Christopher Swann

Decoding the World: A Road Map for the Questioner by Po Bronson and Arvind Gupta

The Bladebone: Book Four of the Khorasan Archives by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan: A Novel of a Life in Art by Deborah Reed

The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao

Out!: How to Be Your Authentic Self by Miles McKenna

The Searcher: A Novel by Tana French ❤️

Murder on Cold Street (The Lady Sherlock Series Book 5) by Sherry Thomas

Vagina Problems: Endometriosis, Painful Sex, and Other Taboo Topics by Lara Parker

Eleanor: A Life by David Michaelis

Why Didn’t We Riot? A Black Man in Trumpland by Issac J. Bailey

The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo 5) by Rick Riordan

Trowbridge Road by Marcella Pixley

Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change by Maggie Smith

Hush: A Novel by Dylan Farrow

The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes

Dear Child: A Novel by Romy Hausmann

An Incomplete List of Names: Poems by Michael Torres

The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths by Olivier Barde-Cabucon, Louise Lalaurie Rogers (translator)

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce ❤️

Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell

The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South edited by Cinelle Barnes

Why Birds Sing: A Novel by Nina Berkhout

Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad ❤️

When We Were Young & Brave: A Novel by Hazel Gaynor

That Was Now, This Is Then: Poems by Vijay Seshadri

The Nightworkers: A Novel by Brian Selfon

The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard by John Birdsall

Bright and Dangerous Objects by Anneliese Mackintosh

Snow: A Novel by John Banville

Lincoln’s Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House by Elizabeth Mitchell

The Traveller and Other Stories by Stuart Neville

Jubilee by Jennifer Givhan

Leave the World Behind: A Novel by Rumaan Alam ❤️

High Skies by Tracy Daugherty

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Closer to Nowhere by Ellen Hopkins

The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gikuyu and Mumbi by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

The Voice of Sheila Chandra by Kazim Ali

The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

Deepfake by Sarah Darer Littman

The Wrong Kind of Woman: A Novel by Sarah McCraw Crow

The Blessing and the Curse: The Jewish People and Their Books in the Twentieth Century by Adam Kirsch

Flooded: Requiem for Johnstown by Ann E. Burg

the hollow places by t kingfisher coverThe Hollow Places: A Novel by T. Kingfisher ❤️

Consensual Hex by Amanda Harlowe

The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom by H. W. Brands

One Way or Another by Kara McDowell

Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

Alone in the Woods by Rebecca Behrens

Every Now and Then by Lesley Kagen

The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize) by Ms. Caroline Kim

The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change by David Remnick, Henry Finder

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Archive of the Forgotten (A Novel from Hell’s Library Book 2) by A. J. Hackwith ❤️

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

You Will Love What You Have Killed (Biblioasis International Translation Series) by Kevin Lambert, Donald Winkler (translator)

Eventide by Sarah Goodman

Daughter of Black Lake: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan ❤️

Grabbed: Poets & Writers on Sexual Assault, Empowerment & Healing edited by Richard Blanco, Caridad Moro, Nikki Moustaki, and Elisa Albo

Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India by Maneet Chauhan, Jody Eddy

Missionaries : A Novel by Phil Klay ❤️

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