It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for new 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.
Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho
An ambitious career woman signs up for a co-parenting website only to find a match she never expected, in this unflinchingly funny and honest novel from the author of Last Tang Standing.
Management consultant Lucie Yi is done waiting for Mr. Right. After a harrowing breakup foiled her plans for children — and drove her to a meltdown in a Tribeca baby store — she’s ready to take matters into her own hands. She signs up for an elective co-parenting website to find a suitable partner with whom to procreate — as platonic as family planning can be.
Collin Read checks all of Lucie’s boxes; he shares a similar cultural background, he’s honest, and most important, he’s ready to become a father. When they match, it doesn’t take long for Lucie to take a leap of faith for her future. So what if her conservative family might not approve? When Lucie becomes pregnant, the pair return to Singapore and, sure enough, her parents refuse to look on the bright side. Even more complicated, Lucie’s ex-fiancé reappears, sparking unresolved feelings and compounding work pressures and the baffling ways her body is changing. Suddenly her straightforward arrangement is falling apart before her very eyes, and Lucie will have to decide how to juggle the demands of the people she loves while pursuing the life she really wants.
Reasons to read it: Would you like to laugh and cry? If yes, then Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic is a book you’ll want to add to your summer arsenal. The grief the main character experiences over things lost and what could have been are going to resonate with a lot of people. But there’s also humor and romance, which provide a nice balance to the grief, making for a book that is as touching as it is fun.
The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing — a tech innovator, Tom is rich, and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.
One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other — and the longer Casey watches — it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession, and how looks can be very deceiving.
With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy twists, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake will shock readers until the very last page.
Reasons to read it: For a newer rendition of Rear Window. Although the set up for this book is virtually the same as the movie starring Jimmy Stewart, the two are ultimately very different. The atmosphere Sager writes is delightfully claustrophobic and the twists surprising while still being plausible.
An Immense World by Ed Yong
Enter a new dimension — the world as it is truly perceived by other animals — from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of I Contain Multitudes.
“I don’t know how to put into words the awe I felt while reading this book — for the incredible sensory diversity of our planet, and for Ed Yong’s talents.” —Mary Roach, author of Stiff
The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world.
In An Immense World, author and Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile’s scaly face is as sensitive as a lover’s fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.
Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called “the only true voyage . . . not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.”
Reasons to read it: This follows the format of a lot of popular science books in that the author travels widely and interviews experts to build on his point. What’s a bit different from other books, though, are the more philosophical components. Yong details the many cool things other animals can sense — and the more… “colorful” organs some use to do so — but also mentions Aristotle’s definition of the senses and discusses some of the implications in thinking of human experience as just being a piece of something larger rather than all there is.
Vera Kelly: Lost and Found by Rosalie Knecht
It’s spring 1971 and Vera Kelly and her girlfriend, Max, leave their cozy Brooklyn apartment for an emergency visit to Max’s estranged family in Los Angeles. Max’s parents are divorcing — her father is already engaged to a much younger woman and under the sway of an occultist charlatan; her mother has left their estate in a hurry with no indication of return. Max, who hasn’t seen her family since they threw her out at the age of 21, prepares for the trip with equal parts dread and anger.
Upon arriving, Vera is shocked by the size and extravagance of the Comstock estate — the sprawling, manicured landscape; expansive and ornate buildings; and garages full of luxury cars reveal a privileged upbringing that, up until this point, Max had only hinted at — while Max attempts to navigate her father, who is hostile and controlling, and the occultist, St. James, who is charming but appears to be siphoning family money. Tensions boil over at dinner when Max threatens to alert her mother — and her mother’s lawyers — to St. James and her father’s plans using marital assets. The next morning, when Vera wakes up, Max is gone.
In Vera Kelly Lost and Found, Rosalie Knecht gives Vera her highest-stake case yet, as Vera quickly puts her private detective skills to good use and tracks a trail of breadcrumbs across southern California to find her missing girlfriend. She travels first to a film set in Santa Ynez and, ultimately, to a most unlikely destination where Vera has to decide how much she is willing to commit to save the woman she loves.
Reasons to read it: Return to the noir world of Vera Kelly with this third installment, which works as a standalone for people who haven’t read the first two books. Though there is mystery, the treatment of queerness in the 1970s is the focal point. Vera and Max’s relationship — and the homophobia they’ve both endured — provide the background of this book and allows readers to see Vera in a new light.
The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi
In the first book of a visionary African and Arabian-inspired fantasy trilogy, three women band together against a cruel Empire that divides people by blood.
Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.
Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the Empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.
Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the Empire. But dust always rises in a storm.
Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution.
As the Empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.
Reasons to read it: For an epic adult fantasy full of rebellion, a sapphic friends-to-lovers storyline, ridable desert lizards, blood magic, a tournament, and lots more epic fantasy type things. Seriously, the world El-Arifi has built is so thoroughly fleshed out and brought to life. The characters are intriguing (like a “chosen one” protagonist who misses her calling), and the issues it addresses current.
Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods by Lyndsie Bourgon
A gripping account of the billion-dollar timber black market — and how it intersects with environmentalism, class, and culture.
In Tree Thieves, Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and Indigenous communities along the way.
Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn’t include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results.
Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy.
Reasons to read it: With this book, Bourgon, a National Geographic Explorer, brings to light a billion-dollar black market that many of us had no idea existed. Her treatment of both sides of the preservation vs. logging debate is balanced, and she reveals some startling history surrounding the conservation movement.
Other Book Riot Resources for New Book Releases
- 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!