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, 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.
By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and one of the few Black employees at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves.
All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?
But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and — it turns out — just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.
Reasons to read it: For a Black and bookish retelling of Beauty and the Beast! I did not have that on my 2022 bookish bingo card, but I am. Here. For. It. This is actually the second in the Meant to Be series, the first of which was If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy. The series is Disney’s first adult publishing project and aims to update classic princesses. In other words, this story is canon! Which is perfect, as it’s a sweet enemies-to-lovers, sunshine/grumpy romance that has details that make classic Disney stories feel more real, as well as great character development.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…
Nora Stephens’ life is books — she’s read them all — and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away — with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again — in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow — what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
“Emily Henry never fails to deliver … this may just be her best yet.” — Taylor Jenkins Reid
Reasons to read it: For this line in the book blurb “It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.” Seriously, gold! After Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry offers up another romance with people who have such a great connection. Nora and Charlie — both from bigger cities and now stuck in a smaller town — exchange such excellent, snarky banter. And, there are fun moments that seem to parody romantic movie and book tropes. What’s more, it’s refreshing to see a woman with Nora’s type A personality be the main character in a romance. Taylor Jenkins Reid even said, “Emily Henry never fails to deliver … this may just be her best yet.” Bookish romances for the win!
When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are.
Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.
Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.
In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small — their lives and their prospects — and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.
Reasons to read it: For a fantasy that explores gender and feminism with nuance in an alternate 1950s U.S. Characters are complex and interesting as they try to make sense of their world and what it means to be themselves. World building and prose are lush and atmospheric, and the confines of patriarchal views of the world are dissected so thoroughly. Plus, it’s just fun to see women take up space and step into their power so fiercely.
Book of Night by Holly Black
Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie.
Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but going straight isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that her shadowless and possibly soulless boyfriend has been keeping secrets from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends back into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world ― all trying to steal a secret that will allow them control of the shadow world and more.
Reasons to read it: For prolific YA fantasy author Holly Black’s adult debut. Here, Black guides us through an expertly built world full of crime, magic, and secrets. The story switches between present-day and flashbacks, providing context to Charlie’s character. This is equal parts dark fantasy and murder mystery with an ending that has a satisfying twist. Leigh Bardugo, author of Six of Crows, says it’s “Dark, strange, thick with mystery and twists ― Book of Night is everything delicious and frightening I’ve come to expect from Holly Black. It’s a story so believable in its magic, you’ll be keeping one eye on your shadow as you turn the pages.”
The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara
Will you, dear Shareholder, set Athena free?
Athena Rao must reckon with the memory of her father, King Rao ― literally. Through biotechnological innovation, he has given her his memories. His Dalit childhood on an Indian coconut plantation in the 1950s is as alive to her as her own existence in a prison cell, accused of her father’s murder.
Egocentric, brilliant, a little damaged, King Rao had a visionary idea: the personal computer known as the Coconut. His wife, Margie, was an artist with a marketing genius. Together they created a new world order, led by a corporate-run government. Athena’s future is now in the hands of its Shareholders ― unless she can rejoin the Exes, a resistance group sustaining tech-free lifestyles on low-lying islands.
Lyrical, satirical, and profound, The Immortal King Rao obliterates genre to confront the digital age. This gripping, brilliant debut poses an urgent question: can anyone ― peasant laborers, convention-destroying entrepreneurs, radical anarchists, social-media followers ― ever get free?
Reasons to read it: For an examination of current social structures — and stereotypes — as well as what they could morph into against the backdrop of advanced tech. The sci-fi setting allows for an interesting analysis of father-daughter relationships and climate change, and King Rao’s story represents the dreams of so many who immigrate.
Valleyesque: Stories by Fernando A. Flores
“These are marvelously unpredictable stories, anchored by Fernando A. Flores’s deadpan prose and his surefooted navigation of those overlapping territories, the real and the fantastic, where so much of the best contemporary fiction now lives.” ―Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
Psychedelic, dazzling stories set in the cracks of the Texas-Mexico borderland, from an iconoclastic storyteller and the author of Tears of the Trufflepig.
No one captures the border ― its history and imagination, its danger, contradiction, and redemption ― like Fernando A. Flores, whose stories reimagine and reinterpret the region’s existence with peerless style. In his immersive, uncanny borderland, things are never what they seem: a world where the sun is both rising and setting, and where conniving possums efficiently take over an entire town and rewrite its history.
The stories in Valleyesque dance between the fantastical and the hyperreal with dexterous, often hilarious flair. A dying Frédéric Chopin stumbles through Ciudad Juárez in the aftermath of his mother’s death, attempting to recover his beloved piano that was seized at the border, while a muralist is taken on a psychedelic journey by an airbrushed Emiliano Zapata T-shirt. A woman is engulfed by a used-clothing warehouse with a life of its own, and a grieving mother breathlessly chronicles the demise of a town decimated by violence. In two separate stories, queso dip and musical rhythms are bottled up and sold for mass consumption. And in the final tale, Flores pieces together the adventures of a young Lee Harvey Oswald as he starts a music career in Texas.
Swinging between satire and surrealism, grief and joy, Valleyesque is a boundary- and border-pushing collection from a one-of-a-kind stylist and voice. With the visceral imagination that made his debut novel, Tears of the Trufflepig, a cult classic, Flores brings his vision of the border to life ― and beyond.
Reasons to read it: For a collection of stories set along the Texas-Mexico border that are drenched in magic realism. This collection is set in the same world as the author’s other writings, and are just as bizarre and funny. Flores will take you on a surreal ride along the border that involves all its familiar, sociopolitical trappings, but also experiments and expands on them, reimagining them in a different light.
Other Book Riot New Releases Resources
- All the Books, our weekly new 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!