New Releases Tuesday: The Best Books Out This Week
It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for new books! 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. Make sure to stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for keeping up with new books. The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions by Greta Thunberg
We still have time to change the world. From Greta Thunberg, the world’s leading climate activist, comes the essential handbook for making it happen.
You might think it’s an impossible task: secure a safe future for life on Earth, at a scale and speed never seen, against all the odds. There is hope — but only if we listen to the science before it’s too late.
In The Climate Book, Greta Thunberg has gathered the wisdom of over 100 experts – geophysicists, oceanographers and meteorologists; engineers, economists and mathematicians; historians, philosophers and indigenous leaders — to equip us all with the knowledge we need to combat climate disaster. Alongside them, she shares her own stories of demonstrating and uncovering greenwashing around the world, revealing how much we have been kept in the dark. This is one of our biggest challenges, she shows, but also our greatest source of hope. Once we are given the full picture, how can we not act? And if a schoolchild’s strike could ignite a global protest, what could we do collectively if we tried?
We are alive at the most decisive time in the history of humanity. Together, we can do the seemingly impossible. But it has to be us, and it has to be now.
Reasons to read it: With the help of experts, Thunberg summarizes the issues surrounding climate change in a way that non-experts can understand. Make no mistake, it’s gloomy, but that’s just Thunberg being real. Luckily, they also give ways that everyone can use their influence, no matter how small they may think it is, to make a change.
Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation by Camonghne Felix
An epic meditation on loving yourself in the face of heartbreak, from the acclaimed author of Build Yourself a Boat, longlisted for the National Book Award.
When Camonghne Felix goes through a monumental breakup, culminating in a hospital stay, everything — from her early childhood trauma and mental health to her relationship with mathematics — shows up in the tapestry of her healing. In this exquisite and raw reflection, Felix repossesses herself through the exploration of history she’d left behind, using her childhood “dyscalculia” — a disorder that makes it difficult to learn math — as a metaphor for the consequences of her miscalculations in love. Through reckoning with this breakup and other adult gambles in intimacy, Felix asks the question: Who gets to assert their right to pain?
Dyscalculia negotiates the misalignments of perception and reality, love and harm, and the politics of heartbreak, both romantic and familial.
Reasons to read it: If you haven’t yet gotten into memoirs written by poets, just know that they hit differently, and this one’s unique premise, which ties Felix’s relationship with math to love and childhood trauma, is super clever. The writing is at times funny, devastating, and effervescent.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi
A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales — the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after — and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage…or their lives.
Combining the lush, haunting atmosphere of Mexican Gothic with the dreamy enchantment of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.
Reasons to read it: This story is sexy, gothic, and generously sprinkled with fairytale elements and mythology, as well as lush imagery. But beneath the veneer is a sinister energy that honestly makes everything all the more intriguing. This is a delicious adult dark fantasy.
V.E. Schwab, author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, has said that “Chokshi’s tale is as sweet as a piece of fairy fruit, and just as wicked. Every bite is velvet, every swallow is gold, and the taste lingers like a fever dream.” And The Once and Future Witches author Alix E. Harrow said it’s “A fairy tale in the oldest and truest sense: a haunting dream full of blood and love, vicious truths and beautiful lies. It swallowed me whole, and I went willingly.”
A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, Edited by Erin Sharkey
A vibrant collection of personal and lyric essays in conversation with archival objects of Black history and memory.
What are the politics of nature? Who owns it, where is it, what role does it play in our lives? Does it need to be tamed? Are we ourselves natural? In A Darker Wilderness, a constellation of luminary writers reflect on the significance of nature in their lived experience and on the role of nature in the lives of Black folks in the United States. Each of these essays engages with a single archival object, whether directly or obliquely, exploring stories spanning hundreds of years and thousands of miles, traveling from roots to space and finding rich Blackness everywhere.
Erin Sharkey considers Benjamin Banneker’s 1795 almanac, as she follows the passing of seasons in an urban garden in Buffalo. Naima Penniman reflects on a statue of Haitian revolutionary François Makandal, within her own pursuit of environmental justice. Ama Codjoe meditates on rain, hair, protest, and freedom via a photo of a young woman during a civil rights demonstration in Alabama. And so on — with wide-ranging contributions from Carolyn Finney, Ronald Greer II, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Sean Hill, Michael Kleber-Diggs, Glynn Pogue, Katie Robinson, and Lauret Savoy — unearthing evidence of the ways Black people’s relationship to the natural world has persevered through colonialism, slavery, state-sponsored violence, and structurally racist policies like Jim Crow and redlining.
A scrapbook, a family chest, a quilt — and an astounding work of historical engagement and literary accomplishment — A Darker Wilderness is a collection brimming with abundance and insight.
Reasons to read it: Exploring Black history and experience through archival objects is an interesting way to not only see different angles of experience, but also to solidify Black people’s history and connection to this land and country, even as certain groups try to sever it. Check out All That She Carried by Tiya Miles for another book centered around an archival object.
Always the Almost by Edward Underhill
A trans pianist makes a New Year’s resolution on a frozen Wisconsin night to win regionals and win back his ex, but a new boy complicates things in Edward Underhill’s heartfelt debut YA rom-dram, Always the Almost.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson has two New Year’s resolutions: 1) win back his ex-boyfriend (and star of the football team) Shane McIntyre, and 2) finally beat his slimy arch-nemesis at the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition. But that’s not going to be so easy. For one thing, Shane broke up with Miles two weeks after Miles came out as trans, and now Shane’s stubbornly ignoring him, even when they literally bump into each other. Plus, Miles’ new, slightly terrifying piano teacher keeps telling him that he’s playing like he “doesn’t know who he is” ― whatever that means.
Then Miles meets the new boy in town, Eric Mendez, a proudly queer cartoonist from Seattle who asks his pronouns, cares about art as much as he does ― and makes his stomach flutter. Not what he needs to be focusing on right now. But after Eric and Miles pretend to date so they can score an invite to a couples-only Valentine’s party, the ruse turns real with a kiss, which is also definitely not in the plan. If only Miles could figure out why Eric likes him so much. After all, it’s not like he’s cool or confident or comfortable in his own skin. He’s not even good enough at piano to get his fellow competitors to respect him, especially now, as Miles. Nothing’s ever been as easy for him as for other people ― other boys. He’s only ever been almost enough.
So why, when he’s with Eric, does it feel like the only person he’s ever really not been enough for…is himself?
Reasons to read it: This book promises joy and it delivers! There is transphobia, but there is also understanding and a sweet romance. The struggles feel real and the characters are multi-faceted, making this an all around endearing trans coming-of-age story.
The Laughter by Sonora Jha
A white male college professor develops a dangerous obsession with his new Pakistani colleague in this modern, iconoclastic novel.
Dr. Oliver Harding, a tenured professor of English, is long settled into the routines of a divorced, aging academic. But his quiet, staid life is upended by his new colleague, Ruhaba Khan, a dynamic Pakistani Muslim law professor.
Ruhaba unexpectedly ignites Oliver’s long-dormant passions, a secret desire that quickly tips towards obsession after her teenaged nephew, Adil Alam, arrives from France to stay with her. Drawn to them, Oliver tries to reconcile his discomfort with the worlds from which they come, and to quiet his sense of dismay at the encroaching change they represent — both in background and in Ruhaba’s spirited engagement with the student movements on campus.
After protests break out demanding diversity across the university, Oliver finds himself and his beliefs under fire, even as his past reveals a picture more complicated than it seems. As Ruhaba seems attainable, yet not, and as the women of his past taunt his memory, Oliver reacts in ways shocking and devastating.
An explosive, tense, and illuminating work of fiction, The Laughter is a fascinating portrait of privilege, radicalization, class, and modern academia that forces us to confront the assumptions we make, as both readers and as citizens.
Reasons to read it: This is one of those books whose narrator will make you feel icky. But that’s by design. Through the object of the main character’s obsession — Pakistani professor Ruhaba — and the movement she aligns herself with, Jha skewers all white-centered ideologies, both conservative and so-called liberal. With scathing humor, Jha flips what we think we know back on us and shocks us in the end.
Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts said, “Sonora Jha expertly inhabits the perspective of a man so terrified of the old world slipping away, he can’t see the ground shifting beneath his feet. A deliciously sharp, mercilessly perceptive exploration of power, The Laughter explores how ‘otherness’ is both fetishized and demonized, and what it means to love something — a person, a country — that does not love you back.”
Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft
A perfectly wicked debut thriller about an ambitious woman who, after a lifetime of conning alongside her mother, wants to leave her dark past behind and marry the heir to one of the country’s wealthiest families.
Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves — it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape.
When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully loaded, thoroughly dull and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring, but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their one percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester.
Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be.
Reasons to read it: Croft’s immaculate twists will have you questioning who to root for — the bag securer or the bestie? Tension builds up into a thrilling narrative with a morally gray main character who is just fun, especially set against a backdrop of blue-blooded backstabbing.
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 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!