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, as well as a few others you may have missed from recent weeks. 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.
A Restless Truth by Freya Marske
A Restless Truth is the second entry in Freya Marske’s beloved, award-winning Last Binding trilogy, the queer historical fantasy series that began with A Marvellous Light.
Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance!
Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She expected plenty of it when she volunteered to serve as an old lady’s companion on an ocean liner, in order to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy that began generations ago.
What she didn’t expect was for the old lady in question to turn up dead on the first day of the voyage. Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham, who’s also returning home to England. Violet is everything that Maud has been trained to distrust yet can’t help but desire: a magician, an actress, and a magnet for scandal.
Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must first drop the masks that they’ve both learned to wear before they can unmask a murderer and somehow get their hands on a magical object worth killing for ― without ending up dead in the water themselves.
Reasons to read it: With its sapphic romance, murder mystery, and magical elements, this is bound to be such a fun read! If you liked A Marvellous Light, Marske continues in this latest book with the same great characterization and prose, while expanding on the world building initiated by the first book. Pick up if you’re down for historical lesbian Knives Out on a ship. Which, I mean, who isn’t.
THE BANNED BOOKSHOP OF MAGGIE BANKS by Shauna Robinson
I, Maggie Banks, solemnly swear to uphold the rules of Cobblestone Books.
If only, I, Maggie Banks, believed in following the rules.
When Maggie Banks arrives in Bell River to run her best friend’s struggling bookstore, she expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. But running a bookstore in a town with a famously bookish history isn’t easy. Bell River’s literary society insists on keeping the bookstore stuck in the past, and Maggie is banned from selling anything written this century. So, when a series of mishaps suddenly tip the bookstore toward ruin, Maggie will have to get creative to keep the shop afloat.
And in Maggie’s world, book rules are made to be broken.
To help save the store, Maggie starts an underground book club, running a series of events celebrating the books readers actually love. But keeping the club quiet, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything.
Maggie will have to decide what’s more important: the books that formed a small town’s history, or the stories poised to change it all.
Reasons to read it: Romance readers who love a bookish angle, your time has come. The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks, has eccentric, fun characters, a cozy romance, the charm of a small town, and a good dose of humor. This is altogether a lighthearted and fun read.
Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell
Ocean’s Echo is a stand-alone space adventure about a bond that will change the fate of worlds, set in the same universe as Everina Maxwell’s hit debut, Winter’s Orbit.
Rich socialite, inveterate flirt, and walking disaster Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers,” is a security threat on his own. But when controlled, readers are a rare asset. Not only can they read minds, but they can navigate chaotic space, the maelstroms surrounding the gateway to the wider universe.
Conscripted into the military under dubious circumstances, Tennal is placed into the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a duty-bound soldier, principled leader, and the son of a notorious traitor general. Whereas Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Like all other neuromodified “architects,” he can impose his will onto others, and he’s under orders to control Tennal by merging their minds.
Surit accepted a suspicious promotion-track request out of desperation, but he refuses to go through with his illegal orders to sync and control an unconsenting Tennal. So they lie: They fake a sync bond and plan Tennal’s escape.
Their best chance arrives with a salvage-retrieval mission into chaotic space ― to the very neuromodifcation lab that Surit’s traitor mother destroyed 20 years ago. And among the rubble is a treasure both terrible and unimaginably powerful, one that upends a decades-old power struggle, and begins a war.
Tennal and Surit can no longer abandon their unit or their world. The only way to avoid life under full military control is to complete the very sync they’ve been faking.
Can two unwilling weapons of war bring about peace?
Reasons to read it: If you loved Winter’s Orbit, you may like the second in the series even better! Here, queer romance is a big part of the story, but so is an engaging military plot. Also, main character Tennal is wonderfully chaotic, which serves as a nice counter to Surit’s fastidious rule-following.
Concentrate: Poems by Courtney Faye Taylor
Winner of the 2021 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
In her virtuosic debut, Courtney Faye Taylor explores the under-told history of the murder of Latasha Harlins ― a 15 year old Black girl killed by a Korean shop owner, Soon Ja Du, after being falsely accused of shoplifting a bottle of orange juice. Harlins’s murder and the following trial, which resulted in no prison time for Du, were inciting incidents of the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, and came to exemplify the long-fraught relationship between Black and Asian American communities in the United States. Through a collage-like approach to collective history and storytelling, Taylor’s poems present a profound look into the insidious points at which violence originates against ― and between ― women of color.
Concentrate displays an astounding breadth of form and experimentation in found texts, micro-essays, and visual poems, merging worlds and bending time in order to interrogate inexorable encounters with American patriarchy and white supremacy manifested as sexual and racially charged violence. These poems demand absolute focus on Black womanhood’s relentless refusal to be unseen, even and especially when such luminosity exposes an exceptional vulnerability to harm and erasure. Taylor’s inventive, intimate book radically reconsiders the cost of memory, forging a path to a future rooted in solidarity and possibility. “Concentrate,” she writes. “We have decisions to make. Fire is that decision to make.”
Reasons to read it: It’s hard to think of how some violent crimes against Black people in the U.S. have been blatantly disregarded even in recent years. Here, Taylor builds up Latasha’s world in unique ways, at times using reviews of L.A. businesses and collages to set the scene. Latasha’s life comes alive as we’re reminded how precarious it can be just to exist as a Black kid in America.
White Horse by Erika T. Wurth
Some people are haunted in more ways than one.
Kari James, Urban Native, is a fan of heavy metal, ripped jeans, Stephen King novels, and dive bars. She spends most of her time at her favorite spot in Denver, the White Horse. When her cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother, it inadvertently calls up both her mother’s ghost and a monstrous entity, and her willful ignorance about her past is no longer sustainable…
Haunted by visions of her mother and hunted by this mysterious creature, Kari must search for what happened to her mother all those years ago. Her father, permanently disabled from a car crash, can’t help her. Her Auntie Squeaker seems to know something but isn’t eager to give it all up at once. Debby’s anxious to help, but her controlling husband keeps getting in the way. Kari’s journey toward a truth long denied by both her family and law enforcement forces her to confront her dysfunctional relationships, thoughts about a friend she lost in childhood, and her desire for the one thing she’s always wanted but could never have.
Reasons to read it: Get ready for a murder mystery and ghost story steeped in Indigenous lore with horror that is tied to real life issues, like missing Indigenous women and generational trauma. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of The Daughter of Doctor Moreau and Mexican Gothic said “This ghost story is a perfect example of new wave horror that will also satisfy fans of classic Stephen King.”
Toad by Katherine Dunn
A previously unpublished novel of the reflections of a deeply scarred and reclusive woman, from the cult icon Katherine Dunn, the author of Geek Love.
Sally Gunnar has been in love, has been mad, has been an agent of destruction, has been spurned; and now she has retreated from the world. She lives in isolation in her small house, where her only companions are a vase of goldfish, a garden toad, and the door-to-door salesman who sells her cleaning supplies once a month. From her comfortable perch, she broods over her deepest regrets: her wayward, weed-hazy college days; her blighted romance with a scornful poet; a tragically comic accident involving a paper cutter; a suicide attempt; and her decision to ultimately relinquish a conventional life.
Colorful, crass, and profound, Toad is Katherine Dunn’s ode to her time as a student at Reed College, filled with the same keen observations, taboo-shirking verve, and singular characters that made Geek Love a cult classic. Through the perceptive Sally, a fish out of water among a cadre of eccentric, privileged young people, we meet Sam, an unwashed collector of other people’s stories; Carlotta, a free spirit who nevertheless fails to escape the deception of marriage; and Rennel, a shallow, self-obsessed philosophy student. With sly self-deprecation and mordant wit, Sally recounts their misadventures, up to the tragedy that tore them apart.
Through it all, Toad demonstrates Dunn’s genius for black humor and irony, her ecstatic celebration of the grotesque. Daring and bizarre, Toad is a brilliant precursor to the book that would make Dunn a misfit hero — even 50-some years after it was written, it’s a refreshing take on the lives of young outsiders treading the delicate lines between isolation and freedom, love and insanity, hatred and friendship.
Reasons to read it: This posthumously published novel has the same beautiful prose that made Geek Love a cult classic, but with less of a far-out plot. Plus the characters are train wrecks and Dunn’s writing will have you living for the ride
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 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!