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New Releases Tuesday: The Books You Need to Read This Week

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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, though, so stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for keeping up with new books, including our YouTube channel, where I talk about each of these! The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.

Snake Falls to Earth cover

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She’s always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he’s been cast from home. He’s found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries.

And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

Reasons to read it: For fans of Darcie Little Badger’s YA magical mystery Elatsoe, and for those interested in an immersive story of monsters, magic, and family that draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling. This is a coming-of-age story that examines our effects on the environment in a world where tradition and technology combine.

The Keeper of Night cover dark fantasy books

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death…only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task — find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons — and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

Reasons to read it: This haunting and compulsively readable dark fantasy is set in 1890s Japan. It has a morally gray main character and has a lot of action and mystery while still managing to comment on race and ableism. Read if you love dark, and at times gruesome, stories with Japanese folklore — with an exploration into the Japanese underworld — and are a fan of things like Spirited Away and Demon Slayer.

cover of Black Birds in the Sky by Brandy Colbert

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert

In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District — a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America’s Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives. In a few short hours, they’d razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

These are the questions that award-winning author Brandy Colbert seeks to answer in this unflinching nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In examining the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors — white resentment of Black economic and political advancement, the resurgence of white supremacist groups, the tone and perspective of the media, and more — a portrait is drawn of an event singular in its devastation, but not in its kind. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country’s earliest days through Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement in the mid–twentieth century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today.

The Tulsa Race Massacre has long failed to fit into the story Americans like to tell themselves about the history of their country. This book, ambitious and intimate in turn, explores the ways in which the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre is the story of America—and by showing us who we are, points to a way forward.

Reasons to read it: You may be familiar with Brandy Colbert from The Voting Booth, The Only Black Girls in Town, and Little & Lion, which she won the 2018 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for. This is a vital book to add to your arsenal of antiracist and American history reading for better understanding of an event that got all but erased from so many of our history books. I, for one, am shocked that I only just learned about it as adult.

cover of On Animals by Susan Orlean

On Animals by Susan Orlean

“How we interact with animals has preoccupied philosophers, poets, and naturalists for ages,” writes Susan Orlean. Since the age of six, when Orlean wrote and illustrated a book called Herbert the Near-Sighted Pigeon, she’s been drawn to stories about how we live with animals, and how they abide by us. Now, in On Animals, she examines animal-human relationships through the compelling tales she has written over the course of her celebrated career.

These stories consider a range of creatures: the household pets we dote on, the animals we raise to end up as meat on our plates, the creatures who could eat us for dinner, the various tamed and untamed animals we share our planet with who are central to human life. In her own backyard, Orlean discovers the delights of keeping chickens. In a different backyard, in New Jersey, she meets a woman who has twenty-three pet tigers — something none of her neighbors knew about until one of the tigers escapes. In Iceland, the world’s most famous whale resists the efforts to set him free; in Morocco, the world’s hardest-working donkeys find respite at a special clinic. We meet a show dog and a lost dog and a pigeon who knows exactly how to get home.

Equal parts delightful and profound, enriched by Orlean’s stylish prose and precise research, these stories celebrate the meaningful cross-species connections that grace our collective existence.

Reasons to read it: I think this would be an excellent companion to Mary Roach’s 2021 release titled Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law, which is an examination of the history of human and animal dynamics as well, but as they pertain to the law. Both are excellent forays into how we as humans relate to the other living beings that we share the planet with, and I think are a part of the larger conversation on environmentalism.

Cover of The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town.

Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man ― one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to.

Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Caitlin Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

Reasons to read it: This has been described as a mix of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, with a dash of The Alienist by Caleb Carr. It’s for people who like to explore relationships — specifically what people are willing to do for them — all within a gothic context.

cover of The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros

The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros

Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical fantasy about a city, a boy, and the shadows of the past that bind them both together. 

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.

But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.

Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer — before the killer claims them next.

Reasons to read it: This is gripping story for people who want a mix of thriller, mystery, and Jewish lore told in a fast pace. It’s also an interesting look at immigrant and gay life in the late 1800s in Chicago. It’s all together a fun, spooky read with a perspective that we don’t often see.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources

This is only scratching the surface of the books out this week! If you want to keep up with all the latest new releases, check out:

  • Book Riot’s YouTube channel, where we discuss the most exciting books out every Tuesday!
  • All the Books, our weekly new releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts (including Danika!) 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!
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