Tuesday means new releases, and I’ve got some meaty ones for you. As we hurtle towards officially starting summer, the release of highly anticipated new releases is amping up. Just this week alone, there’s a new, thrilling murder mystery by king of Southern noir S.A. Cosby. Elliot Page shares his Hollywood story; a couple of story collections explore the lives of Nigerians and South Africans as they contend with homophobia and apartheid, respectively. Finally, there’s another murder mystery that works cloning in in an interesting way.
As you make plans for celebrating Pride this June, make sure to add these books to your TBR.
All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
Cosby hits us with another banger of a Southern noir novel with All the Sinners Bleed. Titus Crowne is busy. He’s the first Black sheriff in Charon County, VA and his work is cut out for him. As he contends with everyday Virginia sheriff tasks (like guarding Confederate pride marches?!), a tragedy happens. A popular teacher in town is killed and before Titus can talk down the suspected student and get him to surrender, he’s shot by police. Soon enough, Titus finds out that the student — and other Black kids — had been abused by the teacher. The investigation also reveals dead bodies and secrets that point to a serial killer. Roxane Gay said it’s, “An excellent, gritty novel about how eventually, all sins must be reckoned with, one way or another.”
Pageboy by Elliot Page
In this memoir, Academy Award-nominated Page offers a look at his life as he became himself. Once he experienced the success of starring in Juno, he found his dreams being realized in some ways, but not in others. Pageboy looks at his romantic relationships, experiences in Hollywood and within the trans community. He explores his experiences with gender, abuse, mental health, love, and more as he came of age.
Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao
In 12 dark and speculative stories, queer Indonesian writer Pasaribu uses Batak and Christian trappings to answer the question of how it feels to be almost happy. The characters in Happy Stories, Mostly are just at the cusp of joy, but never able to fully grasp it. Heaven has a department dedicated to archiving the prayers that go unanswered. A mother travels to Vietnam seeking closure for her son’s suicide. Each of these stories examines the consequences of colonialism, homophobia, and the insistence on heteronormativity.
And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu
Roxane Gay, who is fairly active on Goodreads, is one of the few people whose book recs I will follow to the ends of the earth, and And Then He Sang a Lullaby is the first release from the Roxane Gay Books imprint. Ani Kayode Somtochukwu is a Nigerian queer activist, and with this debut, explores the lives of queer men in a deeply homophobic country. When track star August leaves home to go to college, he seems to be doing pretty well initially. His grades are decent, he’s making friends, and there’s a girl that might become his girlfriend. But his thoughts constantly go to Segun, an openly gay student who works nearby. As the two become closer, Segun wants more than ever to be loved openly, while August’s true self remains guarded and hidden from the violence that surrounds them.
Innards: Stories by Magogodi oaMphela Makhene
Makhene writes stories of the South Africa before, during, and after apartheid, showing the savagery of colonization and slavery. Each linked tale follows the lives of the residents of Soweto as the geography changes in relation to apartheid. Ntatemogolo, a descendent of shepherds, is older and must sell animal innards to survive; a girl finds a burning body and goes mute; a woman is reeling after a terrible experience with police. The full range of human emotions is told with unique prose accented with South African English, Afrikaans, and Dutch.
My Murder by Katie Williams
Lou is killed by a serial killer. Then she’s brought back through a controversial government project, and returns to her life being the mother of a toddler. As she adjusts to a new normal, she meets other female victims and starts to question exactly what happened leading up to her death. She searches for answers, which take her to unexpected places and make her question who she should really trust. This is for the girlies wanting murder mystery, but make it sci-fi.
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!