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.
Bliss Montage by Ling Ma
A new creation by the author of Severance, the stories in Bliss Montage crash through our carefully built mirages.
What happens when fantasy tears through the screen of the everyday to wake us up? Could that waking be our end?
In Bliss Montage, Ling Ma brings us eight wildly different tales of people making their way through the madness and reality of our collective delusions: love and loneliness, connection and possession, friendship, motherhood, the idea of home. From a woman who lives in a house with all of her ex-boyfriends, to a toxic friendship built around a drug that makes you invisible, to an ancient ritual that might heal you of anything if you bury yourself alive, these and other scenarios reveal that the outlandish and the everyday are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly similar.
Reasons to read it: Pick this up for a trippy look at everything from the immigrant experience to toxic relationships. These unique stories are just as insightful as they are dream-like. Ma’s writing is witty, dark-humored, and totally absorbing.
People Person by Candice Carty-Williams
The author of the “brazenly hilarious, tell-it-like-it-is first novel” (Oprah Daily) Queenie returns with another witty and insightful novel about the power of family — even when they seem like strangers.
If you could choose your family…you wouldn’t choose the Penningtons.
Dimple Pennington knows of her half siblings, but she doesn’t really know them. Five people who don’t have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad’s gold jeep, and some pretty complex abandonment issues. Dimple has bigger things to think about.
She’s thirty, and her life isn’t really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, Dimple’s life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. And despite a small but loyal following, she’s never felt more alone in her life. That is, until a dramatic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie, and Prynce crashing back into her life. And when they’re all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated.
From an author with “a flair for storytelling that appears effortlessly authentic” (Time), People Person is a vibrant and charming celebration of discovering family as an adult.
Reasons to read it: How the siblings initially come together is a little extra, in the best way. Their journey to getting to know each other, though, is quite endearing. Carty-Williams drops readers right into South London with characters who seemed all too real.
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Her city is under siege.
The zombies are coming back.
And all Nona wants is a birthday party.
In many ways, Nona is like other people. She lives with her family, has a job at her local school, and loves walks on the beach and meeting new dogs. But Nona’s not like other people. Six months ago she woke up in a stranger’s body, and she’s afraid she might have to give it back.
The whole city is falling to pieces. A monstrous blue sphere hangs on the horizon, ready to tear the planet apart. Blood of Eden forces have surrounded the last Cohort facility and wait for the Emperor Undying to come calling. Their leaders want Nona to be the weapon that will save them from the Nine Houses. Nona would prefer to live an ordinary life with the people she loves, with Pyrrha and Camilla and Palamedes, but she also knows that nothing lasts forever.
And each night, Nona dreams of a woman with a skull-painted face…
Reasons to read it: Fans of the other books in this series know what to expect…kind of. Muir brings the same fantastical world, with its many dark elements that play out beside its many humorous ones, but with new characters readers will be bracing at the bit to know all about. V.E. Schwab, author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, said the series is “Unlike anything I’ve ever read.”
The highly anticipated debut from the acclaimed, award-winning New Yorker writer Rachel Aviv compels us to examine how the stories we tell about mental illness shape our sense of who we are.
In Strangers to Ourselves, a powerful and gripping debut, Rachel Aviv raises fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress. Drawing on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs, Aviv writes about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are. She follows an Indian woman, celebrated as a saint, who lives in healing temples in Kerala; an incarcerated mother vying for her children’s forgiveness after recovering from psychosis; a man who devotes his life to seeking revenge upon his psychoanalysts; and an affluent young woman who, after a decade of defining herself through her diagnosis, decides to go off her meds because she doesn’t know who she is without them. Animated by a profound sense of empathy, Aviv’s exploration is refracted through her own account of living in a hospital ward at the age of six and meeting a fellow patient with whom her life runs parallel — until it no longer does.
Aviv asks how the stories we tell about mental disorders shape their course in our lives. Challenging the way we understand and talk about illness, her account is a testament to the porousness and resilience of the mind.
Reasons to read it: Aviv offers another angle to look at mental illness — how it’s classified and how it affects the person who bears its label. At times, she is personal, as is the case when she writes of being hospitalized at a young age. Other times, when she is profiling others, her excellent research shows, and she writes of her subjects with great empathy and care.
No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay by Julian Aguon
“Aguon’s book is for everyone, but he challenges history by placing indigenous consciousness at the center of his project . . . The result is the most tender polemic I’ve ever read.” —Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic
A collection of essays on resistance, resilience, and collective power in the age of climate disaster from Chamorro human rights lawyer and organizer Julian Aguon.
Part memoir, part manifesto, Chamorro climate activist Julian Aguon’s No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is a coming-of-age story and a call for justice — for everyone, but in particular, for Indigenous peoples.
In bracing poetry and compelling prose, Aguon weaves together stories from his childhood in the villages of Guam with searing political commentary about matters ranging from nuclear weapons to global warming. Undertaking the work of bearing witness, wrestling with the most pressing questions of the modern day, and reckoning with the challenge of truth-telling in an era of rampant obfuscation, he culls from his own life experiences — from losing his father to pancreatic cancer to working for Mother Teresa to an edifying chance encounter with Sherman Alexie — to illuminate a collective path out of the darkness.
A powerful, bold, new voice writing at the intersection of Indigenous rights and environmental justice, Julian Aguon is entrenched in the struggles of the people of the Pacific to liberate themselves from colonial rule, defend their sacred sites, and obtain justice for generations of harm. In No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies, Aguon shares his wisdom and reflections on love, grief, joy, and triumph and extends an offer to join him in a hard-earned hope for a better world.
Reasons to read it: With lyrical prose, and a concise 128 pages, Aguon looks at things like environmental justice, military occupation, and heritage. He references other writers like Aurde Lorde as he makes the case that we really need to get it together before it’s too late. There is hope, though.
I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers
The next searing and groundbreaking queer young adult novel from New York Times bestselling and Edgar-award winning author Courtney Summers.
“When 16-year-old Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of 13-year-old Ashley James, she teams up with Ashley’s older sister, Nora, to find and bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. But their investigation throws Georgia into a world of unimaginable privilege and wealth, without conscience or consequence, and as Ashley’s killer closes in, Georgia will discover when money, power and beauty rule, it might not be a matter of who is guilty ― but who is guiltiest.
A spiritual successor to the breakout hit Sadie, I’m the Girl is a bold and masterfully written account of how one young woman feels in her body as she struggles to navigate a deadly and predatory power structure while asking readers one question: if this is the way the world is, do you accept it?
Reasons to read it: The mystery Summers lays out is intriguing and you’ll want to know what happened, but it’s the world of privilege and grooming that feels all too real — and sickening. Summers writes of what can — and does — happen to some of the most vulnerable. Ashley Audrain, author of The Push, says it’s “a stirring, thought-provoking 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!