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.
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.
They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.
Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.
When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.
Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.
Reasons to read it: This gives what it’s supposed to give: a funny, clever action-packed thriller following four sexagenarians as they try to figure out why their employer wants them dead. The narrative alternates between the ’70s and ’80s and the present, and is full of Raybourn’s usual wit. The unfolding of the mystery will keep you guessing as the characters’ tribulations will have you re-examing what you previously thought about what it means for women to age.
Off with Her Head by Eleanor Herman
New York Times bestseller Eleanor Herman, author of Sex with Kings and Sex with Presidents, returns with another work of popular history, exploring the history of misogyny against women with power from Cleopatra to Kamala Harris.
Imagine Donald Trump as a woman, called Donna. Would Donna Trump have been viewed as blunt, honest, and refreshing? Would she have won the election?
Imagine Hillary Clinton as a man. Howard Clinton says and does the exact same things as Hillary. Would Howard Clinton have been portrayed in a thousand Pinterest images as a witch, stirring a cauldron or riding a broomstick? Would he have been called a bitch on countless T-shirts? Would his thoughtful, circumspect answers to media questions have been seen as inauthenticity, secretiveness, and untrustworthiness?
There is a particular kind of rage—let’s call it unadulterated bloodlust—usually reserved for women, especially women in power or vying for it. From the ancient world, through the European Renaissance, up to the most recent U.S. elections, the Misogynist’s Handbook, as Eleanor Herman calls it, has been wielded to put uppity women in their place.
In a story that is shocking, eye-opening, and a powerful force for change, Eleanor Herman’s signature wit and humor explores the patterns that have been operating for more than three thousand years—and are still operating today—against powerful women across the globe, including Cleopatra, Anne Boleyn, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and more.
Each chapter analyzes a tried-and-true misogynistic method to keep women down, including: Her Overweening Ambition, Why Doesn’t She Do Something About Her Hair?, The Dangers of Female Hormones, The Alarming Shrillness of Her Voice, The Mysterious Unlikability of Female Candidates, She’s a Bitch and Other Animals, She’s a Witch and Other Monsters, and Her Sexual Depravity. Herman ends the book by looking forward, examining ways to rip up the Misogynist’s Handbook once and for all.
Reasons to read it: With the recent hits women’s right have taken— and the rampant misogynistic social media movements that have sprung up lately— this book couldn’t be more on time. We all know how averse patriarchal societies can be and are to women in power, but this gives more context and history to what we’re experiencing now.
Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong
In Chinese culture, the tiger is deeply revered for its confidence, passion, ambition, and ferocity. That same fighting spirit resides in Alice Wong.
Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Alice uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer. From her love of food and pop culture to her unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic ableism, Alice shares her thoughts on creativity, access, power, care, the pandemic, mortality, and the future. As a self-described disabled oracle, Alice traces her origins, tells her story, and creates a space for disabled people to be in conversation with one another and the world. Filled with incisive wit, joy, and rage, Wong’s Year of the Tiger will galvanize readers with big cat energy.
Reasons to read it: If you’re wondering what it takes to establish and run something like the Disability Visibility Project, it’s Big Cat Energy. Wong uses structure and format in interesting ways— like when she uses screenshots of text messages alongside things like headlines or her own writing— to share her joy as well as her struggles living as a disabled person in an ableist world.
The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh
Everyone in Orange County’s Little Saigon knew that the Duong sisters were cursed.
It started with their ancestor, Oanh, who dared to leave her marriage for true love—so a fearsome Vietnamese witch cursed Oanh and her descendants so that they would never find love or happiness, and the Duong women would give birth to daughters, never sons.
Oanh’s current descendant Mai Nguyen knows this curse well. She’s divorced, and after an explosive disagreement a decade ago, she’s estranged from her younger sisters, Minh Pham (the middle and the mediator) and Khuyen Lam (the youngest who swears she just runs humble coffee shops and nail salons, not Little Saigon’s underground). Though Mai’s three adult daughters, Priscilla, Thuy, and Thao, are successful in their careers (one of them is John Cho’s dermatologist!), the same can’t be said for their love lives. Mai is convinced they might drive her to an early grave.
Desperate for guidance, she consults Auntie Hua, her trusted psychic in Hawaii, who delivers an unexpected prediction: this year, her family will witness a marriage, a funeral, and the birth of a son. This prophecy will reunite estranged mothers, daughters, aunts, and cousins—for better or for worse.
A multi-narrative novel brimming with levity and candor, The Fortunes of Jaded Women is about mourning, meddling, celebrating, and healing together as a family. It shows how Vietnamese women emerge victorious, even if the world is against them.
Reasons to read it: For a book steeped in Vietnamese American traditions and culture. Through funny scenarios, Huynh examines long-held beliefs, family, and assimilation. This is a joyful and insightful book that Nancy Jooyoun Kim, author of The Last Story of Mina Lee, said was “sharp, smart, and gloriously extra.”
The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson
New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson ramps up the horror and tackles America’s history and legacy of racism in this suspenseful YA novel following a biracial teenager as her Georgia high school hosts its first integrated prom. A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!
When Springville residents—at least the ones still alive—are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation . . . Maddy did it.
An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she’s dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.
After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High’s racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school’s first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it’s possible to have a normal life.
But some of her classmates aren’t done with her just yet. And what they don’t know is that Maddy still has another secret . . . one that will cost them all their lives.
Reasons to read it: Fans of Stephen King’s Carrie will appreciate this retelling, and its excellent working in of social commentary—like racism and misogynoir. What led up to The Event is explored through a true crime podcast that interviews survivors, which makes for an interesting storytelling component. Jackson’s symbolism, talent for building tension, and ending will have you shook.
The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado
A masterful debut that weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.
The tight-knit Izquierdo family is grappling with misfortunes none of them can explain. Their beloved patriarch has suffered from an emotional collapse and is dying; eldest son Gonzalo’s marriage is falling apart; daughter Dina, beleaguered by the fear that her nightmares are real, is a shut-in. When Gonzalo digs up a strange object in the backyard of the family home, the Izquierdos take it as proof that a jealous neighbor has cursed them―could this be the reason for all their troubles? As the Izquierdos face a distressing present and an uncertain future, they are sustained by the blood that binds them, a divine presence, and an abiding love for one another. Told in a series of soulful voices brimming with warmth and humor, The Family Izquierdo is a tender narrative of a family at a turning point.
Reasons to read it: This is a family saga of epic proportions. Each chapter features the point of view of a different character, all of whom are fully realized and complex. Get ready for a great tale of sadness, joy, humor, curses, realistic family dynamics, and Tejano music!
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!