It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a new batch of book releases! Here are a few of the books out today you should add to your TBR. This is a very small percentage of the new releases this week, though, so stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for keeping up with new books, including our YouTube channel, where I talk about each of these! The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis
Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made more money. Clients pay her to talk to their deceased loved ones, but it isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and Mom’s deadbeat boyfriends. Things get worse when a ghost warns her to stop the summonings or she’ll “burn everything down.” Katrell is willing to call them on their bluff, though. She has no choice as she tires of eating peanut butter for dinner.
However, when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go.
But magic doesn’t come for free, and soon dark forces are closing in on Katrell. The further she goes, the more she risks the lives of not only herself, but those she loves. Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it’s too late.
Reasons to read it: This has been compared to Practical Magic, and is for people interested in exploring dysfunctional families, as well as race, class, and gender. This is a scary but exciting emotional read sure to fright while tugging at heartstrings.
The Women of Troy by Pat Barker
In this follow up to The Silence of the Girls, Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war. The spoils here include the women of Troy themselves. They only need a fair wind for the Aegean.
It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester.
Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, who was formerly Achilles’s slave, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam’s aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while cleverly seeking her path to revenge.
Reasons to read it: If you like retellings of Greek mythology that look at things from a different and realistic perspective. This is a story showing the brutality of war, and what it takes for women to survive.
The Paris Connection by Lorraine Brown
When Hannah and her boyfriend, Simon, board their train with only a few seconds to spare, they’re confident that they’ll make it to Amsterdam in time for his sister’s wedding. But unbeknownst to them, the train is scheduled to divide in the middle of the night. The half with Simon continues on route to Amsterdam. The other with Hannah in it heads 300 miles away, to Paris.
Left without her luggage, ticket, cell phone, or hope of reuniting with Simon, Hannah has no choice but to spend the day in Paris before the next train out. Worse than being stuck in a foreign city alone, though, is being stuck with Leo, the handsome but infuriating Frenchman who blames Hannah for his own unwanted detour. The series of mishaps that sends them traipsing through the City of Light seems like only further proof that Hannah’s day has gone from bad to worse. So why is it that the more Hannah takes in the glorious sights and sounds of Paris — and the more time she spends with the increasingly intriguing Leo — the more she finds herself beginning to question the safe, tidy life she’s built for herself back home in London?
Reasons to read it: This book asks, “Can an accidental detour change your life?” It’s for fans of Josie Silver’s One Day in December and for people seeking a romance that promises warmth, wittiness, and nostalgia.
Seeing Ghosts: A Memoir by Kat Chow
Kat Chow has always been unusually fixated on death. She worried constantly about her parents dying — especially her mother. A vivacious and mischievous woman, Kat’s mother made a morbid joke that would haunt her for years to come: when she died, she’d like to be stuffed and displayed in Kat’s future apartment in order to always watch over her.
After her mother dies unexpectedly from cancer, Kat, her sisters, and their father are plunged into a debilitating, lonely grief. With a distinct voice that is wry and heartfelt, Kat weaves together a story of the fallout of grief that follows her extended family as they emigrate from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America. Seeing Ghosts asks what it means to reclaim and tell your family’s story: Is writing an exorcism or is it its own form of preservation? The result is an extraordinary new contribution to the literature of the American family, and a provocative and transformative meditation on who we become facing loss.
Reasons to read it: Fans of Helen Macdonald and Elizabeth Alexander will find an intimate and haunting portrait of grief and the search for meaning from this debut as told through the eyes of three generations of a Chinese American family.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
The 2020 National Book Award–nominated poet makes her fiction debut with this magisterial epic that chronicles the journey of one American family, from the centuries of the colonial slave trade through the Civil War to our own tumultuous era.
The great scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois, once wrote about the Problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” which he defined as a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois’s words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl — Ailey carries Du Bois’s Problem on her shoulders.
Ailey is reared in the north in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. From an early age, Ailey fights a battle for belonging that’s made all the more difficult by a hovering trauma, as well as the whispers of women—her mother, her sister, and a maternal line reaching back two centuries—that urge Ailey to succeed in their stead.
To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors — Indigenous, Black, and white — in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story — and the song — of America itself.
Reasons to read it: This is an intimate yet sweeping novel with all the luminescence and force of Homegoing; Sing, Unburied, Sing; and The Water Dancer. It is a historical tale filled with family drama and racial reckoning.
A Million Things by Emily Spurr
For as long as Rae can remember, it’s been her and Mum, and their dog, Splinter; a small, deliberately unremarkable, family. They have their walks, their cooking routines, their home. Sometimes Mum disappears for a while to clear her head but Rae is okay with this, because Mum always comes back.
So, when Rae wakes to Splinter’s nose in her face, the back door open, and no Mum, she does as she’s always done and carries on. She takes care of the house, goes to school, walks Splinter, and minds her own business — all the while pushing down the truth she isn’t ready to face.
That is, until her grumpy, lonely neighbor Lettie — with her own secrets and sadness — falls one night and needs Rae’s help. As the two begin to rely on each other, Rae’s anxiety intensifies as she wonders what will happen to her when her mother’s absence is finally noticed and her fragile world bursts open.
Reasons to read it: A bursting, heartfelt, debut following 55 days in the life of 10-year-old Rae, who must look after herself and her dog when her mother disappears. This book transforms a gutwrenching story of abandonment and what it’s like to grow up in a house that doesn’t feel safe into an astonishing portrait of resilience, mental health, and the families we make and how they make us in return.
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!