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.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business — “Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!” — and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love — and biggest heartbreak — makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
Reasons to read it: This claims to be equal parts mystery/thriller and romcom! It’s about family, particularly the relationship between mothers and daughters, and it’s also a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture. This is supposed to be a charming, quirky read that will be a good match for Crazy Rich Asians fans, since it takes place at an over-the-top wedding.
Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.
When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people ― who knew?)
Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!
Reasons to read it: This is the highly anticipated sixth Murderbot book! It’s a novella that takes place after the events of the fourth book and before the fifth. Fugitive Telemetry is part sci fi, part murder mystery, with a snarky, TV-loving robot protagonist as our detective protagonist.
In an era in which “I have many black friends” is often a medal of Wokeness, Ben hilariously chronicles the experience of being on the receiving end of those fist bumps. He takes us through his immigrant childhood, from wanting nothing more than friends to sit with at lunch, to his awkward teenage years, to college in the age of Obama, and adulthood in the Trump administration — two sides of the same American coin.
Ben takes his role as your new black friend seriously, providing original and borrowed wisdom on stereotypes, slurs, the whole “swimming thing,” how much Beyoncé is too much Beyoncé, Black Girl Magic, the rise of the Karens, affirmative action, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other conversations you might want to have with your new BBFF.
Oscillating between the impulse to be “one of the good ones” and the occasional need to excuse himself to the restrooms, stuff his mouth with toilet paper, and scream, Ben navigates his own Blackness as an “Oreo” with too many opinions for his father’s liking, an encyclopedic knowledge of CW teen dramas, and a mouth he can’t always control.
From cheating his way out of swim tests to discovering stray family members in unlikely places, he finds the punchline in the serious while acknowledging the blunt truths of existing as a Black man in today’s world.
Reasons to read it: This tackles both light and heavy subjects around being Black in the U.S. It’s humorous and readable, but also discusses police violence against unarmed Black people and other serious elements. Ben Philippe doesn’t claim to be an expert, saying “That is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s lane.” Instead, he talks about his personal experiences and included further reading suggestions to get a broader perspective.
Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
The woman at the center of Whereabouts wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home, an engaging backdrop to her days, acts as a confidant: the sidewalks around her house, parks, bridges, piazzas, streets, stores, coffee bars. We follow her to the pool she frequents and to the train station that sometimes leads her to her mother, mired in a desperate solitude after her father’s untimely death. In addition to colleagues at work, where she never quite feels at ease, she has girl friends, guy friends, and “him,” a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun’s vital heat, her perspective will change.
Reasons to read it: This is the first novel from Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri in nearly a decade. It’s also the first novel she has written in Italian and translated into English, which gives a different tone to the story. It follows the narrator’s experience with loneliness and melancholy, and it’s just as much about language and atmosphere as it is about the nameless main character.
Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey
Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.
Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit — someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.
But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and prodigy student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and a believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. But as blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation: they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.
Reasons to read it: This is supposed to be the perfect read-alike for The Time Traveler’s Wife! Thora and Santi continue to meet each other in different lives, with different iterations of their relationship to each other. It asks whether we can ever truly know each other. This also has a mystery element in that you’ll be solving the puzzle along with the characters: Why do they keep getting drawn to each other, and what happens next?
The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French
When Bonnie Graham arrives at her boyfriend’s apartment in London, she is horrified to discover a dead body in a pool of blood on the floor. But she doesn’t call the police. Bonnie hides the corpse and then carefully wipes away any evidence she was ever there.
Bonnie is a music teacher who spent a long, hot summer in London rehearsing with a band to play at a friend’s wedding. It was supposed to be fun, but the band members find the complicated knots of their friendships — some old, some new — unraveling as the days themselves unwind. What was meant to be a summer of happiness, love, and music turns deadly as lovers betray one another, passions turn murderous, and friendship itself becomes a crime.
Everyone tells lies. But is anyone prepared to tell the truth to uncover a murderer?
Reasons to read it: This is a psychological thriller that switches back and forth between after the body is found and what happened leading up to the murder. Not only are readers guessing at the murderer, but even the identity of the body is unclear at first. It’s also partly a drama about this friend group, including quirky and memorable side characters. This is a bestselling, beloved author, so I’m sure sure we’ll be hearing a lot of buzz about this one.
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!