New Releases Tuesday: The Best Books Out This Week
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.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is a story of kindness and love from one of the foremost practitioners of hopeful Science Fiction.
After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.
They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.
Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?
Reasons to read it: A Psalm for the Wild-Built, the first in this novella series, gave readers a good dose of what some call “hope punk” or “cozy punk,” which is essentially just some very hopeful and comforting science fiction. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is the continuation of this wonderful little series that feels like a balm for bad days in book form.
Why Didn’t You Tell Me? by Carmen Rita Wong
An immigrant mother’s long-held secrets upend her daughter’s understanding of her family, her identity, and her place in the world in this powerful and dramatic memoir
My mother carried a powerful secret. A secret that shaped my life and the lives of everyone around me in ways she could not have imagined.
Carmen Rita Wong has always craved a sense of belonging: First as a toddler in a warm room full of Black and brown Latina women, like her mother, Lupe, cheering her dancing during her childhood in Harlem. And in Chinatown, where her immigrant father, “Papi” Wong, a hustler, would show her and her older brother off in opulent restaurants decorated in red and gold. Then came the almost exclusively white playgrounds of New Hampshire after her mother married her stepfather, Marty, who seemed to be the ideal of the white American dad.
As Carmen entered this new world with her new family—Lupe and Marty quickly had four more children—her relationship with her mother became fraught with tension, suspicion, and conflict, explained only years later by the secrets her mother had kept for so long.
And when those secrets were revealed, bringing clarity to so much of Carmen’s life, it was too late for answers. When her mother passed away, Carmen wanted to shake her soul by its shoulders and demand: Why didn’t you tell me?
A former national television host, advice columnist, and professor, Carmen searches to understand who she really is as she discovers her mother’s hidden history, facing the revelations that seep out. Why Didn’t You Tell Me? is a riveting and poignant story of Carmen’s experience of race and culture in America and how they shape who we think we are.
Reasons to read it: Wong’s experience with being at the intersection of different ethnicities offers an interesting look at just how deeply rooted race and culture are when it comes to how we think of ourselves. Her writing can be as empathetic as it can be sharp, and the answer to the question of just what her mother hid from her is surprisingly satisfying. Sunny Hostin, three-time Emmy Award–winning co-host of ABC’s The View and New York Times bestselling author of I Am These Truths said “This is the Carmen Rita Wong I know—fierce and true. Her story broke my heart and filled it up at the same time.”
Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
Fathomlessly inventive and original, Julia Armfield’s Our Wives Under the Sea is a portrait of marriage as we’ve never seen it before.
Leah is changed. A marine biologist, she left for a routine expedition months earlier, only this time her submarine sank to the sea floor. When she finally surfaces and returns home, her wife Miri knows that something is wrong. Barely eating and lost in her thoughts, Leah rotates between rooms in their apartment, running the taps morning and night. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home. As Miri searches for answers, desperate to understand what happened below the water, she must face the possibility that the woman she loves is slipping from her grasp.
By turns elegiac and furious, wry and heartbreaking, Our Wives Under the Sea is an exploration of the unknowable depths within each of us, and the love that compels us nevertheless toward one another.
Reasons to read it: You’ve read novels of grief and love, but have you read novels of grief and love that slowly descend into body horror while examining religion, married life, and possibly even fairy tales? Pick this one up for a glorious mix of all the things. Sarah Waters, author of The Paying Guests, said this is “A wonderful novel, deeply romantic and fabulously strange. I loved this book.”
The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
From the author of the critically acclaimed novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree, comes a dazzling, kaleidoscopic memoir reclaiming her family’s otherworldly legacy.
For Ingrid Rojas Contreras, magic runs in the family. Raised amid the political violence of 1980s and ’90s Colombia, in a house bustling with her mother’s fortune-telling clients, very little seemed out of the ordinary. Her maternal grandfather, Nono, was a renowned curandero, a community healer gifted with what the family called “the secrets”: the power to talk to the dead, tell the future, treat the sick, and move the clouds. And as the first woman to inherit “the secrets,” Rojas Contreras’ mother was just as powerful. Mami delighted in her ability to appear in two places at once, and she could cast out even the most persistent spirits with nothing more than a glass of water.
But this had always felt like a story that belonged to her mother and grandfather, until, in her twenties, Rojas Contreras’ suffered a head injury that left her with amnesia. As she regained partial memory, her family was excited to tell her that this had happened before: Decades ago Mami had taken a fall that left her with amnesia, too. And when she recovered, she had gained access to “the secrets.”
In 2012, spurred by a shared dream among Mami and her sisters, and her own powerful urge to relearn her family history in the aftermath of her memory loss, Rojas Contreras joins her mother on a journey home to Colombia to disinter Nono’s remains. With Mami as her unpredictable, stubborn, and often hilarious guide, Rojas Contreras traces her lineage back to her Indigenous and Spanish roots, uncovering the violent and rigid colonial narrative that would eventually break her family into two camps: those who believe “the secrets” are a gift, and those who are convinced they are a curse.
Interweaving family stories more enchanting than those in any novel, resurrected Colombian history, and her own deeply personal reckonings with the bounds of reality, Rojas Contreras writes her way through the incomprehensible and into her inheritance. The result is a luminous testament to the power of storytelling as a healing art and an invitation to embrace the extraordinary.
Reasons to read it: When colonialism hits, it destroys entire cultures and belief systems just as it does bodies, replacing all three with what it deems palatable. Contreras stands outside of this imposed Eurocentric lens, telling the story of her family in a memoir that is poetic and multigenerational.
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
From T. Kingfisher, the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones, comes What Moves the Dead, a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.
What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.
Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.
Reasons to read it: Read for a retelling of a gothic horror classic with notes of science fiction, body horror, and a non-binary protagonist. This novella is queer, feminist, and deliciously grotesque.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.
April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.
Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.
Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide … including a murder.
Reasons to read it: Fans of Ware’s writing— as well as newcomers— will revel in her expertly crafted dialogue and characters. This novel in particular showcases these strengths as an action-packed dark academia thriller.
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!