The Best New Book Releases Out July 9, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

How up-to-date are you on bookish news? If you need to be caught up, here’s a roundup. Heads up that it’s not all pretty. In other bookish things you may want to know, here are the most-read books on Goodreads from last week, and the most popular genres right now.

As for new books, there’s the AI-centered dystopian Whoever You Are, Honey by Olivia Gatwood; family sagas My Parents’ Marriage by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond and A Thousand Times Before by Asha Thanki — which a Ghanian family and an Indian family, respectively.

cover of Dismantling Mass Incarceration by Premal Dharia; James Forman, Jr.; Maria Hawilo

In the mystery/thriller arena, there’s the cruise-set On the Surface by Rachel McGuire, and the game-based YA thriller It’s Only a Game by Kelsea Yu. For more YA, there’s the hopeful Unbecoming by Seema Yasmin, which sees two Muslim teens fighting against abortion being made illegal. And for nonfiction, there’s Dismantling Mass Incarceration by Premal Dharia, James Forman, Jr., and Maria Hawilo. It features Angela Davis, Clint Smith, and other prison reform advocates.

The rest of the new releases featured below have a rootin’ tootin’ hard-living romance in the West, a look at our dysfunctional relationship with food, a timely (and actually fun) political explainer, and more.

cover of This Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour ; illustration of bright outline of a person standing on a mountain against a colorful sky

This Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour

It’s 500 years in the future, and society is cooked. It’s still terribly divided by class, but despite this, one young woman is very carefully carving out a life for herself that puts her above where society would have her. Sweetmint lives as a second-class citizen — an invisible woman — but has managed to land a prestigious apprenticeship. But then her older brother — who had disappeared a while back — is accused of murdering someone way above his social class. Now, she’ll set off to clear his name, navigating the changing politics and brutal class divisions.

cover of The Heart in Winter by Kevin Barry

The Heart in Winter by Kevin Barry

Here, award-winning Barry writes his first America-set novel. It’s October in 1891, and winter is coming. But so is love to the hardened. In Butte, Montana, the locals subsist on the spoils of the copper mines and the debauchery it allows them. Among them is Degenerate No. 1, young Irish poet Tom Rourke. Tom’s life is mired in the muck of his surroundings when Polly Gillespie comes to town, and things start looking up. The two start an affair, but Polly is mine captain Long Anthony Harrington’s new bride, and when the two abscond out west, her self-flagellating zealot husband sends ruthless gunmen after them. Turns out they’ll need a little more than a stolen horse and money to make it to San Francisco.

cover of It's Elementary by Elise Bryant

It’s Elementary by Elise Bryant

Ever read a cozy murder mystery centered around school PTA meetings? Well, in It’s Elementary, Bryant serves up just that with Mavis Miller, who low-key gets suckered into joining the PTA at her 7-year-old daughter’s school. Surprisingly (it’s not a surprise), PTA president Trisha Holbrook wants her to head the school’s new DEI committee, but then the principal — who had pissed off the intimidating Trisha — doesn’t show up to work one day. And Mavis remembers how she saw Trisha moving huge trash bags and cleaning supplies out of her car the day before…

cover of Toward Eternity by Anton Hur

Toward Eternity by Anton Hur

Hur, who has an extensive book-translating resumé, is looking ahead to where this whole AI thing might lead us. In this future world, cancer has basically been cured by replacing human body cells with nanites, or robot/android cells that leave their hosts virtually immortal. Meanwhile, there’s a literary researcher, Yonghun, who successfully teaches AI how to understand poetry, and creates a thinking machine called Panit. Well, Dr. Beeko, who controls the aforementioned nano technology, transfers Panit into an android body, and now, well, we’ve just got a whole lot of questions about what constitutes art and humanity.

cover of How to Make Changes Big and Small in Our Country and in Our Lives By Sami Sage and Emily Amick

Democracy in Retrograde: How to Make Changes Big and Small in Our Country and in Our Lives by Sami Sage and Emily Amick

I don’t read many political books, so maybe my saying this one feels so refreshing isn’t worth much — but it does. In it, Betches Media cofounder Sami Sag and former counsel to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Emily Amick combine political involvement and self-help. They show how becoming more civically engaged is a way to show yourself — and your community — love. Showing up and voting on your beliefs on how to make our democracy better and not giving in to the despair so many feel surrounding modern politics is a way to claim your place in your world. They address the apathy and doomscrolling that plagues current discussions about politics, offer tips on how people can become involved in ways that fit them, particularly (there’s a nice tie-in for the astrology girlies), advise on making action plans, give basic info, and even include some nice book club discussion questions.

cover of More, Please: On Food, Fat, Bingeing, Longing, and the Lust for "Enough" by Emma Specter

More, Please: On Food, Fat, Bingeing, Longing, and the Lust for “Enough” by Emma Specter

Though it seems like every few years there’s a new weight-loss craze, I don’t remember the last time one was in everyone’s mouths like Ozempic. Even its name stands out — it sounds both futuristic and retro, like something out of sci-fi classic Metropolis, and Specter’s examination of it, and other diet culture trends, shows just how our obsession with thinness has warped our relationship with healthy eating and actual health. She uses both her experience as someone who has struggled with binge eating disorder and reporting to give context to our history and relationship with food.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • 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’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!