The Best New Book Releases Out April 16, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

For my fellow bookish Beyoncé fans, I’ve written a roundup of excellent bookish accessories to add to your collection. And, if you love reading about reading, Rachel Rosenberg has gathered some books that “…that focus on examining the act of reading and how it affects our day-to-day lives.”

In book news, I’m pretty hype about the new color ereaders coming out soon, even though I just bought a new Kindle Paperwhite not too long ago. I don’t know if I will buy a color ereader just yet, but I’m glad progress is being made on that front. Also, the 2024 International Booker Prize Shortlist was announced.

Now for that newness: get your Poetry Month-on with Woke Up No Light by Leila Mottley, the former Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, California, and the author of 2022’s hit Nightcrawling. The poems in this collection wrestle with themes of “reparations, restitution, and desire.”

Horror-wise, there’s Nick Medina’s reservation-based horror/mystery Indian Burial Ground. Romance lovers will be in their feelings with the opposites-attract sapphic romance Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings, and those who want a slice of real life will do well with Committed: On Meaning and Madwomen by Suzanne Scanlon, in which the author explores what it means to go mad as a woman.

Finally, in today’s new releases, there’s a lot of…violence. There’s the familiar and entertaining kind, in the form of fictional mysteries and thrillers — and yes, there is a lot to unpack there — and there’s also the very real kind that takes the form of a memoir about a real-life attempt on an author’s life.

a graphic of the cover of Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie

Here, Salman Rushdie opens up about how he was stabbed while on stage in August 2022 — 30 years after having survived the fatwa placed on him. He looks at life immediately following the attack, and how things have changed since. I have to say, I admire the F-you energy this emanates.

cover image for One of Us Knows

One of Us Knows by Alyssa Cole

In this contemporary gothic thriller, Kenetria Nash is trying to bring fresh life into her career as a historical preservationist after a mental health breakdown because her dissociative identity disorder threatened it years ago. She’s determined to excel in her new position as caretaker to a historic home, but realizes something strange once she arrives at the castle: she’s been there before. What’s more, a person from her past — who had a big hand in her breakdown — shows up, and when he ends up dead, Kenetria is the main suspect.

cover of Butter: A Novel of Food and Murder  Asako Yuzuki ,  Polly Barton

Butter: A Novel of Food and Murder by Asako Yuzuki, translated by Polly Barton

I feel like this cult Japanese bestseller is bound to be popular now that it’s been translated and is available stateside. In it, gourmet cook Manako Kajii is in a Tokyo detention center, having been convicted of killing several lonely businessmen, whom she is said to have tempted with her cooking. She’s refused to speak to the press, except for journalist Rika Machida, who writes to her asking about a beef stew recipe. Now, Machida is more of a ramen-every-night kinda gal, but thinks the visits that she starts having with Kaiji will get the woman to open up. She finds she’s the one who starts to be changed, instead.

cover of You Know What You Did by K.T. Nguyen

You Know What You Did by K. T. Nguyen

This is a hot tamale of a release — all the mystery/thriller girlies are excited about it. It follows Annie “Anh Le” Shaw, who grew up poor but now seems to have it all — a great career, a nice house, and a loving husband and daughter. But, when her Vietnam War refugee mother dies, Annie’s world begins to unravel, and the OCD she’d thought she had rid herself of years ago is back in full force. Thing is, things might not just be imagined this time. When a well-known art patron vanishes, Annie is a suspect, and, doubting her own innocence, puts distance between herself and her loved ones. Well, that distance culminates in her waking up one day, naked and in a hotel room next to a dead body. The police obviously have questions, but it’s not clear if Annie can give them real answers.

The author is recovering from OCD herself, which I think is important to add because mental health issues aren’t always handled well, but Nguyen’s experiences add a fortifying layer of realness to the story.

Another mystery/thriller for you is While We Were Burning by Sara Koffi, which takes place in Memphis, TN, and is being described as a combination of Parasite and Such a Fun Age.

cover of Weird Black Girls: Stories by Elwin Cotman

Weird Black Girls: Stories by Elwin Cotman

This collection of stories from Philip K. Dick Award finalist Cotman mixes the mundane with the fantastical while exploring what it means to live as a Black person. There’s a rural town with an authoritarian tree, friends hashing out their differences while stranger and stranger things keep happening in the Mexican restaurant they’re in, and a day of LARPing that turns existential. Cotman works humor and whimsy into each of these character-driven tales, even as the mood turns somber.

cover of The Alternatives by Caoilinn Hughes

The Alternatives by Caoilinn Hughes

Here, four brilliant sisters — all of whom are in their 30s and with PhDs — reunite for the first time in years to find their geologist sister who abruptly disappears. The Flattery sisters, whose parents died tragically when they were young, lead very separate lives everywhere from Connecticut to London, and the reason why becomes clear once they gather in the dilapidated house they stay in while searching for their sister. Old traumas resurface as they look for a sister who wants to stay missing.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts 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’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!