It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a new batch of book releases! Here are a few of the books out today worth reading. This is a very small percentage of the books out today, though, so stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for new releases, including our YouTube channel, where I talk about each of these! The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up the only Asian American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band–and meeting the man who would become her husband–her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.
Reasons to read it: You might know Michelle Zauner from Japanese Breakfast, or from her viral 2018 New Yorker essay also called “Crying in H Mart.” This is a memoir about grief and identity as the child of immigrants. It’s supposed to have a lyrical style, which makes sense from a songwriter, but also includes frank and vulnerable discussions, including intimate anecdotes and family photos.
She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up, Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, the incredibly beautiful and incredibly mean Irene Abraham. Things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved and the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they spend together. But when an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene into playing along. Hijinks, heartbreak, and gay fake-dating scheme for the ages.
Reasons to read it: This is about high school nemeses falling in love! Fake dating! You might remember Kelly Quindlen’s previous book, Late to the Party, which was another great queer YA read. This is supposed to be a sweet and funny read, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Casey McQuisten. Speaking of Becky Albertalli, she also has a book out today: Kate In Waiting!
Popisho by Leone Ross
Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own.
Somewhere far away– or maybe right nearby– lies an archipelago called Popisho. A place of stunning beauty and incorrigible mischief, destiny and mystery, it is also a place in need of change.
Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation, anointed by the gods to make each resident one perfect meal when the time is right. Anise, his long lost love, is on a march toward reckoning with her healing powers. The governor’s daughter, Sonteine, is getting married, her father demanding a feast out of turn. And graffiti messages from an unknown source are asking hard questions. A storm is brewing. Before it comes, before the end of the day, this narrative will take us across the islands, their history, and into the lives of unforgettable characters.
Reasons to read it: This is a novel inspired by the author’s Jamaican homeland. It’s a world where magic is everywhere and food is fate. It’s also a love story and a portrait of a community, and it tackles addiction, colonialism, and corruption.
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.
To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.
Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.
Reasons to read it: This is a historical YA mystery set in Korea in the 1400s! I’ve never seen a YA book set that far back in time, so I’m fascinating to see what that looks like. This is supposed to have a fascinating blend of historical facts and mystery elements. It’s also about grief, loss, and corruption, and it has a female detective in a time period where women had very little status. This is one of the most intriguing premises I’ve read in a while!
Are You Enjoying?: Stories by Mira Sethi
From the high-stakes worlds of television and politics to the intimate corridors of home–including the bedroom–these wryly observed, deeply revealing stories look at life in Pakistan with humor, compassion, psychological acuity, and emotional immediacy. Childhood best friends agree to marry in order to keep their sexuality a secret. A young woman with an anxiety disorder discovers the numbing pleasures of an illicit love affair. A radicalized student’s preparations for his sister’s wedding involve beating up the groom. An actress is forced to grow up fast on the set of her first major tv show, where the real intrigue takes place off-screen. Every story bears witness to the all-too-universal desire to be loved, and what happens when this longing gets pushed to its limits.
Reasons to read it: This is a debut by a young Pakistani writer. These stories are supposed to be provocative, funny, and disarming. They look into the ugly truth of what happens in homes, and it explores sexuality, desire, and transgressions.
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.
Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.
Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.
Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths they will go to win this game.
Reasons to read it: This is one of the most anticipated book out today! It’s a Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who enter into a deadly alliance. It promises a twisted cat-and-mouse game like Killing Eve with a richly imagined fantasy world like Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes. This is one that is getting a ton of buzz, and I’m looking forward to reading it.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers #4) by Becky Chambers
With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.
At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.
When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes—are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.
Reasons to read it: This is the highly anticipated fourth book in the Wayfarers series. Each book also works on its own, though, because they do follow different characters and are mostly self-contained stories. This one doesn’t have any human main characters! All three of them are aliens that are very different species. You can always count on a Becky Chambers book to be kind-hearted — and usually queer, too. In this one, the child mentioned is nonbinary and uses nonbinary pronouns. There’s also that locked room aspect, which is great if you are interested in character-based stories, because it just forces people to reveal who they are and how they relate to each other.
Other Book Riot New Releases Resources
This is only scratching the surface of the books out this week! If you want to keep up with all the latest new releases, check out:
- Book Riot’s Youtube channel, where I discuss the most exciting books out every Tuesday!
- All the Books, our weekly new releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts (including me!) talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
- The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz
- Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot Insiders’ New Releases Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!