Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits! I hope your reading goals are going well. And if you haven’t set any reading goals, I hope you at least are reading something you love. We’re now in that stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day where the number of new releases slows down considerably. But there are still lots of great books to investigate. I feel bad for books being released these last five weeks, because they can get lost in the shuffle, so at least I get to shout about them to you!

Now on to today’s books: Topping my list of books to buy today are We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (I love this book and cannot wait to get a hard copy), The Two Doctors Górski by Isaac Fellman, and The Forever Witness: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder by Edward Humes. You can hear about more fabulous books on this week’s episode of All the Books! On this rare fifth Tuesday, Kelly and I talked about great books out today and more, including Butts, Never Getting Back Together, and A Heart That Works.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing: A Memoir Across Three Continents by Mary-Alice Daniel; illustration of a Black woman in a red and yellow flower patterned headdress

A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing: A Memoir Across Three Continents by Mary-Alice Daniel

Here’s one more beautiful memoir to squeeze in before the end of the year. It’s a powerful debut about immigration, belonging, and home. When Daniels was young, her family moved from Nigeria to England, to a very different climate and culture. She discusses how over the years, she had to hold fast to her heritage but also carve her own identity, as she tried to decide which of her parents’ tribes to claim as her own while ending up in California. Daniels also discusses a lot of history and ancestry, making this educational as well as moving.

Backlist bump: Antiman: A Hybrid Memoir by Rajiv Mohabir

cover of Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke; peach emoji

Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke

Hold on to your butts! Okay, I know I talked about this on the podcast this week, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m practically having an existential crisis, realizing how unaware I was of basically anything to do with our butts. Radke covers butts from the first humans to have them, to fashion trends, to desire and shame, to their role in our survival. Now every time I sit down, I’m like, “I’m sitting on my butt.” It’s like becoming aware of your own breathing or blinking. That’s what this history of butts will do to you. You should get a copy for yourself and a friend — it’s FASCINATING.

Backlist bump: Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams

cover of A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney; photo of the author kissing his young son on the cheek

A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney

And I also mentioned this book on the podcast, but I hadn’t read it yet. I was saving it for when I needed a good cry, but it turned out, that was this weekend. And cry and cry I did. Writer and actor Delaney has written a heartbreaking but hope-infused memoir about the death of his youngest son, Henry, at age three. Delaney has done a remarkable job of mixing humor and love with his overwhelming grief. Obviously, it’s very sad because of the loss of a child, so if that’s something you’re sensitive to, you’ll want to pass. But it does us good to occasionally slow down and be reminded to appreciate what we have, and remember what we’ve lost.

Backlist bump: Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels Wachs

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat standing on the window ledge looking outside; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea by Rita Chang-Eppig and Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. Outside of books, I have been trying out Hive Social (@LibertyHardy) and watching Christmas movies. (I’m Team Die Hard.) And the song stuck in my head is “Can I Sit Next To You” by Spoon. You can still listen to the playlist of music from the 1980s I made. And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon desperately wants to wrestle a pigeon.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, friends! I hope you had a weekend filled with amazing books. I have been on a great streak of wonderful reads. (Although I probably just jinxed myself, lol.) As you know, I am excited about books every day, but some days I get that “dog rolling on its back in the grass” feeling about them, where I love books even more, and I definitely had that feeling this past weekend. I talked with so many of you on the internet about titles we love—there were so many good books this year! And also thank you to all you lovely people who have reached out to tell me you’ve loved something I recommended recently. I love this bookish community!

Now on to today’s books: Topping my list of books to buy today is Well Documented: The Essential Documentaries that Prove the Truth is More Fascinating than Fiction by Ian Haydn Smith, She and Her Cat: Stories by Makoto Shinkai and Naruki Nagakawa, Ginny Tapley Takemori (translator), and How to Read the Wilderness: An Illustrated Guide to the Natural Wonders of North America by Nature Study Guild. You can hear about more fabulous books on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I talked about great books for giving, including The Song of the Cell, Justice of the Pies, and The Man Who Could Move Clouds. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar; photo of the two authors surrounded by trophies

The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

This one was an easy choice, because their first book was so funny. It’s a continuation of the sisters discussing the racist comments and microaggressions they and their family members have experienced as Black people in America. Where the first book was mostly about Lacey’s experiences living in Nebraska, this includes tales from many of their family members, told with humor and headshakes. It’s a great book to give someone who loves to laugh and learn at the same time.

Backlist bump: You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

cover of Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail by Ashley Herring Blake; illustration of a blond woman in a white dress and black high heels and a redheaded woman with short hair in overalls standing on the porch in front of a big wooden door

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake

And this is another book I immediately picked up because I loved the first one. Before you read on, know that this description contains slight spoilers for the first book, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care. Okay, ready? Designer Astrid Parker broke up with her controlling fiancé a year ago, and since, has put the thought of a relationship out of her mind as she works almost obsessively on her career. When she is hired to lead the Everwood Inn’s renovation, her job suddenly feels almost impossible as she butts head with the lead carpenter for the renovation, who hates every design change that Astrid proposes. But still, lots of tension in close quarters seems to have an affect on people, and soon they’ll…well, you know. It’s a romance, after all.

Backlist bump: Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

cover of Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World's Greatest Art Forger; photo of the back of a framed picture with the word 'fake' written across it

Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro and Giampiero Ambrosi

And for fans of true crimes stories with little violence, but lots of unbelievable tales, this is a great read. At one time, Tetro was painting copies of some of the most famous artists in history and making mad bank doing it. His cash brought him a lavish sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle, but it also brought the law to his door, and he was eventually busted and imprisoned for four years. Tetro has since become somewhat of an infamous celebrity since, and his discussion of how he creates forgeries, as well as the absurd high-finance of the art world, is really fascinating. As is the 2019 scandal that involved none other than King Charles III.

Backlist bump: The Art Detective: Adventures of an Antiques Roadshow Appraiser by Philip Mould

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat sitting in the sun on a desk, looking directly at the camera; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr and Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirshenbaum (because I have been assured that despite the title, there is very little animal harm in it.) Outside of books, besides Celtics games, I haven’t had time for television the past week, but that’s okay, I like books better anyway. And the song stuck in my head is the “C’mon C’mon” by The Von Bondies. You can still listen to the playlist of music from the 1980s I made. And here is your weekly cat picture: Farrokh is practicing in case he ever needs to get a high school senior portrait done.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits! Have you started planning for your 2023 reading? Do you plan your reading? It’s around now every year that I get antsy to start a new reading spreadsheet. It probably has more to do with being a spreadsheet nerd than anything. I am not setting any goals for the second year in a row, however, because I never even get close to achieving them. Like, in the past, I have said I wanted to read all of Kurt Vonnegut’s books again, or 10 books that start with Z, or Middlemarch, etc. And I never complete them, so this year I didn’t set goals and it worked out just fine, lol. (I do still want to read Middlemarch, though.)

Now on to today’s books: Topping my list of books to buy today is the new hardcover edition of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib, Eat Plants, B*tch: 91 Vegan Recipes That Will Blow Your Meat-Loving Mind by Pinky Cole, and Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm and Saskia Vogel (translator). You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I talked about some of the best books we read for this week and more, including They’re Going To Love You, The Lies We Tell, and Pride and Protest. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade; blue with illustration of a blonde woman and a man with brown hair and a beard in a clutch

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade

Dade’s books are great escapism. They’re fun, they’re fluffy, they’re sexy. An actress and actor who had a hot one-night stand — that ended with her leaving after without another word — are about to star in a show together. She’s kinda into the idea of them getting together again, but why should he trust her? So for six years of shooting their show, nothing happens…until the end of the last season. But when they return to their homes on different continents, can they keep the spark alive? (It’s a romance, so you know they answer already…)

Backlist bump: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

cover of Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction; painting of a young Black woman in a yellow astronaut suit holding little white flowers

Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight

One of my new favorite things to read are anthologies featuring stories by several different authors. The variety and scope of imagination in one place is always amazing. I loved this collection of speculative African diaspora stories, which include shapeshifters, supercomputers, child robots, and lion goddesses. My favorite story was “A Knight in Tunisia” by Alex Jennings, who is the author of one of the most fun books of the year, The Ballad of Perilous Graves.

Backlist bump: Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown

cover of How to Live with Objects: A Guide to More Meaningful Interiors by Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer; green with images of different objects like chairs and lamps

How to Live with Objects: A Guide to More Meaningful Interiors by Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer

This book was too intriguing not to check out, and I am glad I did! If you like art, or bright colors, or weird objects, or all of these things, you’ll love this book. It’s a look at items in people’s homes, but they’re all very interesting, like a giant candy bar, or a giant lipstick, or U-shaped vases. And there’s text to go along, describing why we like things, different aesthetics, and general information about objects. These are basically just really cool versions of things we all have in our homes. I am definitely going to get a hard copy of this one.

Backlist bump: Bibliostyle: How We Live at Home with Books by Nina Freudenberger

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat lying on a desk by a rainy window; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb and Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova. Outside of books (and the NBA), I have started rewatching The Good Place for the 10th time and it is just what my soul needed. I love this show so much! It’s definitely in my top five favorite shows. And the song stuck in my head is the Family Ties theme. (Please make it stop.) You can still listen to the playlist of music from the 1980s I made. And here is your weekly cat picture: Farrokh was making a cute face at me, which is like “awwwwww.” But what you need to know is that he was really making that face at me because he wanted some of my yogurt. He always has an ulterior motive.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy new book day to all who celebrate! Before I get into some of the books out today that I loved, I just want to say that I know it’s hard right now. So many people I talk with, and see online, are struggling. I want you to know I see you, and I love you, and you will get through this. Take care of yourself, friends. I appreciate you.

Now on to today’s books: Topping my list of books to buy today are Aliens: Vasquez by V. Castro, Fatty Fatty Boom Boom: A Memoir of Food, Fat, and Family by Rabia Chaudry, and Breakable Things by Cassandra Khaw. You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I talked about some of the best books we read for this week and more, including Now Is Not the Time To Panic, Better Than Fiction, and Legends & Lattes. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of The Pirate's Wife: The Remarkable True Story of Sarah Kidd by Daphne Palmer Geanacopoulos; old painting of a pirate ship

The Pirate’s Wife: The Remarkable True Story of Sarah Kidd by Daphne Palmer Geanacopoulos

This is a look at the wife of one of history’s most famous pirates: Captain Kidd. Sarah Kidd, twice-widowed at an early age, was secretly helping her third husband in a time when it was inconceivable for women to break with societal norms, and certainly not acceptable to marry pirates and take up a life of crime. Whether she was an antihero or a villain, I’ll let you decide. (CW for violence, murder, death, sexism, assault.)

Backlist bump: Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson

cover of The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family by Kerri K. Greenidge; old-fashioned photos and newspaper articles

The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family by Kerri K. Greenidge

Sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke were famous abolitionists in the 1800s. They gave up their rich plantation lives to live in the North and write pamphlets protesting slavery. They are famously known for that work and for being champions of the cause. But Greenidge actually takes a look at the little-known Black members of their family over the past century or so, specifically the Black women. And she also shines a light on an overlooked aspect of the sisters, and how they objected to slavery but did not believe that Black people deserved equal rights. (CW for slavery, racism and racialized violence, violence, murder, death, sexual assault, and sexism.)

Backlist bump: Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball

cover of Conversations with Birds by Priyanka Kumar; paintings of birds

Conversations with Birds by Priyanka Kumar 

If you have been reading this newsletter or listening to the show recently, you know that I have a newfound obsession with birdwatching. So of course I had to read this book. Kumar had a love of nature as a child in India, but sort of lost touch with it when she moved to the United States. She rekindled her love of birds and birdwatching in her 20s, and she shares her thoughts about our feathered friends in these lovely essays. Kumar covers different types of birds, memories from her life and her work, and a look at climate change and how it is affecting the birds we love.

Backlist bump: The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat in a sunbeam on a multi-colored floral rug; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading The Wishing Pool and Other Stories by Tananarive Due and P. Djèlí Clark’s children’s book debut Abeni’s Song. Outside of books, I have been following the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. (I need someone to come up with a word for the feeling you get when you know an answer none of the contestants know. It doesn’t happen very often to me, but I like it.) And the song stuck in my head is “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus. When she lets loose at the end, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck every single time. You can still listen to the playlist of music from the 1980s I made! And here is your weekly cat picture: Farrokh is a big fan of the new rug on the sun porch, especially when there’s sun.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

New Books for the First Tuesday of November!

Happy Tuesday, book friends!!! I hope you had a lovely weekend and are ready for all the amazing books I am about to shout into your brain. It’s an especially big day for fans of U2 and/or Friends, with memoirs from Bono and Matthew Perry now available. At the top of my list of today’s books to buy are My Pinup by Hilton Als, Ordinary Wonder Tales by Emily Urquhart, and I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee. Also how is it NOVEMBER already?!? It boggles the mind. What book do you absolutely want to read before the end of the year? For me, it’s Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree (translated by Daisy Rockwell), the winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize.

Now, today’s books: I do these first Tuesday megalists because the first Tuesday of each month has so many new releases, and it’s fun to round some of them up. Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting asterisks *** next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as White Horse, The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, and more.

Biography and Memoir

cover of Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry; color photo of Perry

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki: A Memoir by Baek Sehee, Anton Hur (translator)

The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent in His World by Paul Fisher

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono

My Pinup by Hilton Als

Fiction

Little by David Treuer

We Are the Light by Matthew Quick

A Cat At the End of the World by Robert Perišic, Vesna Maric (translator)

Saha by Cho Nam-Joo, Jamie Chang (translator)

cover of The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka; colorful illustration of a Sri Lankan god

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander 

When Franny Stands Up by Eden Robins

Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli

Artist by Yeong-shin Ma and Janet Hong

Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning

Foster by Claire Keegan

The Islands: Stories by Dionne Irving

Days Come and Go by Hemley Boum, Nchanji Njamnsi (Translator)

To Fill a Yellow House by Sussie Anie 

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson

cover of Toad by Katherine Dunn; illustration of a caterpillar on fire

Toad by Katherine Dunn***

The Best American Short Stories 2022 by Andrew Sean Greer, Heidi Pitlor

Dr. No by Percival Everett

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

History

Requiem for the Massacre: A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by RJ Young

Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, the Millionaire’s Wife, and the Murder of the Century by Roseanne Montillo

Middle Grade

The Wondrous Wonders by Camille Jourdy***

Sweet Valley Twins: Best Friends: (A Graphic Novel) by Nicole Andelfinger (Adapter), Francine Pascal (Author), Claudia Aguirre (Illustrator)

Mystery and Thriller

cover of White Horse by Erika T. Wurth; photo of a woman with dark hair wearing red-tinted sunglasses, surrounded by wisps of smoke

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth***

The Prisoner by B.A. Paris

The Couple at the Table by Sophie Hannah

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Small Game by Blair Braverman***

The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022 by Jess Walter, Steph Cha

Nonfiction

Art Is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night by Jerry Saltz

No F*cks Given: Naughty Words to Live By by Sarah Knight 

Cyclettes by Tree Abraham

The Best American Science And Nature Writing 2022 by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Jaime Green

cover of The Best American Essays 2022 edited by Alexander Chee; photo of dozens of tiny pencils

The Best American Essays 2022 edited by Alexander Chee, Robert Atwan

The Best American Food Writing 2022 by Sohla El-Waylly, Silvia Killingsworth

Poetry

Concentrate: Poems by Courtney Faye Taylor

The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi

Romance

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble (Winner Bakes All Book 2) by Alexis Hall

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun***

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell

cover of A Restless Truth (The Last Binding #2) by Freya Marske; green flowery background with yellow silhouettes of two women in the middle

A Restless Truth (The Last Binding #2) by Freya Marske***

The World We Make (The Great Cities) by N. K. Jemisin

Màgòdiz by Gabe Calderón

The Best American Science Fiction And Fantasy 2022 by Rebecca Roanhorse, John Joseph Adams

Young Adult

Seasparrow (Graceling Realm) by Kristin Cashore 

This is Our Place by Vitor Martins

Sugaring Off by Gillian French

Salt and Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho

Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win by Susan Azim Boyer

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow

DPS Only! by Velinxi

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Orange cat sitting on a desk with its upper lip curled and its nose crinkled like it’s about to say something; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading The Things We Do to Our Friends by Heather Darwent and The Between by Tananarive Due. Outside of books, I have been watching a lot of NBA basketball games (and reading a few pages during the commercials.) The song stuck in my head is “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl” by Broken Social Scene. And of course, there’s a cat photo: Farrokh is making such a funny face in this picture. Pretty sure I caught him just as he was saying a bad word.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, my little book dragons! I hope that you are currently reading something marvelous. There are many things out today to be excited about and possibly add to your TBR, so get ready! I did not make it to Kelly Link’s bookstore last Tuesday, but it was only a small delay. I did manage to go over the weekend, and it was fantastic! HOORAY FOR BOOKSTORES. I also visited friends in the same town who have 12 cats between them. So much cuteness and excitement packed into one day!

But now on to today’s books: Topping my list of books to buy today are The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy, Heretic: A Memoir by Jeanna Kadlec, and The White Mosque: A Memoir by Sofia Samatar. You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I talked about some of the best books we read for this week and more, including Anywhere You Run, Thieves, and Unprotected: A Memoir. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West by Katie Hickman; colorized photo of a Latine woman holding a horse

Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West by Katie Hickman

History books are filled with tales of cowboys and wars in the Old West, but women are often left out of the stories. This is a look at the many roles women played in the American West, and what life was like under the harsh conditions in a man’s world. Using diaries, interviews, and more, Hickman reconstructs the stories of many women who played a part in making the American West what it was, from the rule-breakers to the record-makers, and as importantly, the many marginalized women who were ignored or exploited, and whose voices have been lost to the years. (Content warnings for sexual assault, racism, slavery, sexual slavery, violence, and death.)

Backlist bump: Burning the Breeze: Three Generations of Women in the American West by Lisa Hendrickson

cover of Strike the Zither by Joan He; illustration of a young Asian woman standing against a historically appropriate background painting

Strike the Zither by Joan He

One of the great things about recording All the Books! a week early is getting to mention books I am excited to read, and then reading them before Sunday, so I can mention them here! Strike the Zither was indeed as great as I expected it to be. It’s an exciting YA fantasy about a military strategist in 414 China. Zephyr is loyal to Xin Ren, one of three warlordesses struggling for control of the land and the Empress’s favor (but who also want to steal the throne for themselves). When Zephyr goes undercover in an enemy camp, her loyalties will be tested when she discovers not everything in the world is as she thought it was. Plus, she comes up against Crow, another strategist who challenges Zephyr and her beliefs. It’s an exciting book, and the first in a series! (Content warnings for war, violence, gore, death, animal death, and loss of a loved one.)

Backlist bump: Descendent of the Crane by Joan He

cover of Toil and Trouble: A Women's History of the Occult by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson; illustrations of moons and occult signs done in shades of purple

Toil and Trouble: A Women’s History of the Occult by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

And one last book to get you in a Halloween-y mood before the holiday. This is just a whole lot of fun, featuring several profiles of women and nonbinary people from American history who have dabbled in the supernatural. You’ll read about the clairvoyant celebrity craze of the 19th century; Nancy Reagan’s personal psychic; everyone’s favorite late-night dark mistress, Elvira; and even the new 21st century supernatural dabblers who have made a name for themselves on social media.

Backlist bump: Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat lying upside down with its front legs in the air; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am trying to get in some more backlist the last couple of months of the year. So I am reading Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town by Kelly McMasters, and because it is almost Halloween, I am digging deep into Michael McDowell and starting Blackwater: The Complete Saga. Outside of books, I have been watching a lot of basketball. Our TV died last week so we bought a new one, and it’s like a whole different experience. I’ve never had a new television before. It’s wild! And the song stuck in my head is “Free” by Florence + The Machine, again. Pretty sure it’s my favorite song of the year. You can still listen to the playlist of music from the 1980s I made! And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon is the silliest fang face to ever fang fangs.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, friends, and welcome to another book-filled Tuesday! There are a lot of books to be excited about today. Congratulations to all you John Irving fans: the big day is finally here. And by big, I mean BIG — The Last Chairlift is 912 pages! If all goes well, I should be on my way to Kelly Link’s bookstore this morning because I am in desperate need of books at my house. (Lololololol.) Topping my list of books to buy today are Singer Distance by Ethan Chatagnier, Road of the Lost by Nafiza Azad, and Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me by Ralph Macchio. (In second grade, my parents took me to see Karate Kid at the late showing on a school night and my teacher was there, too. I still have never felt like such a rebel as I did running into her that night.)

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I talked about some of the best books we read for this week and more, including Seven Empty Houses, Maybe an Artist, and The Diaries of Alan Rickman. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders; illustration of a dove flying through a black circle towards a red circle

Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders 

It almost feels like cheating to include a book of stories by George Saunders as a recommendation — he’s such a master of the craft that of course it’s going to be good. It does seem wild to me that he hasn’t had a collection since Tenth of December in 2013. (The title, not the date, lol.) But luckily for us, he hasn’t lost his edge. These nine stories are his classic genre-bending humorous and incisive style, including a tale about Hell at an amusement park, a love triangle in a hailstorm, forced political actors, and more.

Backlist bump: Tenth of December by George Saunders

cover of Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai; illustration of a woman in a white dress sitting in a red sports car with a man in a purple suit leaning against the side of the car

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai

I definitely got hooked on Alisha Rai books because I worked for Book Riot — so many of our contributors are fans. She’s an auto-read for me now. Her books are so wild and sexy. Mira Chaudhary is a thirtysomething Indian American woman who is finally ready to settle down. She was pretty wild in her younger years, but now she wants a quiet life of domesticity. So of course this all blows up in her face spectacularly. Her attempt to date English teacher Naveen ends up a high stakes adventure in Vegas with attempted kidnapping and art thieves! Can they salvage their date — if they survive the night? (CW for violence and kidnapping, death, chemical use and abuse, body shaming.)

Backlist bump: Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts, #2) by Alisha Rai

cover of Prunella and the Cursed Skull Ring by Matthew Loux; illustration of a skeleton with blond hair and a red bow and blue dress

Prunella and the Cursed Skull Ring by Matthew Loux

I have been really into reading graphic novels between prose books this year. And I had to read this one, because it’s described as ‘gently macabre’ and I just love that. And it’s a really cute, sweet book. It’s a little like the Star vs the Forces of Evil monster storyline, if you’ve seen that show. Prunella is a young girl who lives in a village where people are terrified of monsters. Of course, the humans are the actual monsters — Prunella’s mother is like Cruella de Vil’s less nice sister (+5 Sliding Doors reference). One day, Prunella finds a ring buried in the garden and when she puts it on, it turns her into a skeleton! Of course, the people of the village refuse to believe she’s still Prunella and chase her off. So she’s left to wander outside the village walls, where she makes friends, learns monsters are not as terrible as everyone says, and discovers that she might even prefer being one!

Backlist bump: Rutabaga the Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal

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orange cat sitting in a silver bowl with one leg hanging over the side; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei and The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Outside of books, I am excited for the first game of the Celtics’ regular season tonight! And I am halfway through the series Bad Sisters and I love it. Sharon Horgan is a goddess. The song stuck in my head is “Gimme Some Salt” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. You can still find the playlist of music from the 1980s I made here! And here is your weekly cat picture: Farrokh looks like he’s cruising down main street is a car with his window down.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits! I had a quick visit to NYC last week to moderate a couple of panels at the New York Comic Con. They were both SO much fun. I also got to meet James Howe, author of Bunnicula, which was very emotional for me. Not everyone gets to meet the author of the first chapter book they read by themselves, and I felt so fortunate. It was a great time, but I am also happy to be back home where I can hang out in my jammies all day. Although, I guess I could have worn them to the Con, too, and no one would have questioned it. Now in books: I have some great suggestions for reads you might like, and topping my list of books to buy today are Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey, Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet, and Cat Massage Therapy Vol. 3 by Haru Hisakawa. (This series is so ridiculous and I love it.)

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I talked about some of the best books we read for this week and more, including The Runaway Restaurant, The Belle of Belgrave Square, and Little Eve. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang; illustration of a young Asian girl's face being swept away

If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang

What would you do if you were invisible? Alice Sun does not feel like she fits in at her school. The only scholarship student at an elite Beijing international boarding school with some of the richest teens around, she isn’t having a great time. She wants so much to pass through this time without making any waves that she actually wishes herself invisible. When she discovers that her parents can no longer afford to send her to the school, she decides to monetize her new skill by spying on her classmates, learning their secrets, and blackmailing them. This sounds like it might be dark and heavy, but it’s actually a pretty light, fun read. It’s a great look at fitting in, classism, and deciding between right and wrong. Liang already has a new book coming next year called This Time It’s Real, and I look forward to it! CW for classism, anxiety, kidnapping and violence, racism, and sexism.

Backlist bump: American Panda by Gloria Chao

cover of The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal; illustration of a couple in fancy dress with a small white dog beside them standing on the deck of a space craft

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

And, hooray, a new book from the Hugo, Locus, and Nebula-Award winning Mary Robinette Kowal! This is a fun 1930s-esque mystery with a Nick and Nora Charles-like couple, but set in the future on a spaceliner cruise. The famous inventor and heiress Tesla Crane is on her honeymoon aboard an intergalactic vessel when someone is murdered — and her new husband is arrested for the crime. Tesla will have to toss off her cloak of anonymity and use her wits and wealth to find out who the real killer is before they strike again. (Light spoiler: Tesla has a service dog, and the dog is put in harm’s way, but everything will be okay for the dog in the end.) CW for violence and murder, injury and illness, trauma and PTSD, ableism, sexism, and chemical use and abuse.

Backlist bump: The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal

cover of I'm So Happy You're Here: A Little Book About Why You're Great by Liz Climo; illustration of a crocodile with a tiny yellow bird sitting on its snout

I’m So Happy You’re Here: A Little Book About Why You’re Great by Liz Climo

I adore the comics of Liz Climo and I am including this delightful little pep talk of a book, because I bet you need it. One thing I learned in NYC last week while talking to many people I haven’t seen in years is that everyone is having a tough time. There is so much going on to stress out about! So this is a little rhyming book to cheer you on and cheer you up. And Climo’s animal illustrations are so cute and perfect. (I especially identified with the mule collapsing under the weight of all the books on its back, both literally and metaphorically, lol.) Be nice to yourself and pick up this book, because you are great.

Backlist bump: Lobster Is the Best Medicine: A Collection of Comics About Friendship by Liz Climo

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat standing on top of a rack of clothing; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto and The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. Outside of books, I am watching the Celtics preseason games. I cannot believe it’s time for basketball again already but I am also surprised by how much I missed it the last three months. The song stuck in my head is “No One’s Here To Sleep” by Naughty Boy and Bastille. You can still find the playlist of music from the 1980s I made here! And here is your weekly cat picture: When I am traveling, I have my husband send me pictures of the cats every few hours. At some point while I was gone, Zevon decided he was going to trying walking the clothes rack like Philippe Petit.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

New Books for the First Tuesday of October!

Hello, my friends. Another amazing book-filled Tuesday is here to topple our TBRs! I hope you had a chance to get some reading in over the weekend. I read a lot of upcoming comics, mostly collected issues in trade form. My brain was delighted. As for today’s books, at the top of my list of books to buy are The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn, The Storyteller’s Death by Ann Dávila Cardinal, and By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Gone (Murder, She Wrote #1) by Stephanie Kuehn. I haven’t read any of the Murder, She Wrote tie-ins for adults, but for some reason, I am really excited about this YA novel!

Now, today’s books: I do these first Tuesday megalists because the first Tuesday of each month has so many new releases, and it’s fun to round some of them up. Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting asterisks *** next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Our Missing Hearts, A Scatter of Light, Such Sharp Teeth, and more.

Biography and Memoir

cover of The Future Is Disabled by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinh; illustration of a clock face with people representing the numbers

The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

David Smith: The Art and Life of a Transformational Sculptor by Michael Brenson

You Are Home by Catana Chetwynd

The Family Outing: A Memoir by Jessi Hempel***

I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton (American Music Series) by Lynn Melnick

Mirror in the Sky: The Life and Music of Stevie Nicks by Simon Morrison

Token Black Girl: A Memoir by Danielle Prescod

When They Tell You To Be Good: A Memoir by Prince Shakur***

Making a Scene by Constance Wu***

Fiction

cover of Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng; image of a feather breaking apart into flying birds

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng***

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern by Rita Zoey Chin***

The Storyteller’s Death by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese

A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt***

A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton 

The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw 

Life Is Everywhere by Lucy Ives 

The White Hare by Jane Johnson

Billie Starr’s Book of Sorries by Deborah E. Kennedy

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd

cover of The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken; large font with illustration of a woman in one of the 'O's in 'Book'

The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken***

Weasels in the Attic by Hiroko Oyamada, David Boyd (translator)

Nights of Plague by Orhan Pamuk, Ekin Oklap (translator)

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

Blood Red by Gabriela Ponce, Sarah Booker (translator)

It Falls Gently All Around and Other Stories (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize) by Ramona Reeves 

Utopia by Heidi Sopinka

Bilbao–New York–Bilbao (Spatial Species) by Kirmen Uribe, Elizabeth Macklin (translator)

Which Side Are You On by Ryan Lee Wong***

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

History

American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis by Adam Hochschild

Middle Grade

cover of Sisterhood of Sleuths by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman; illustration of outline of two young women with magnifying glasses standing in front of buildings

Sisterhood of Sleuths by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism by Tiffany Jewell and Nicole Miles

A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

Mystery and Thriller

Jackal by Erin E. Adams***

Blackmail and Bibingka (A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery) by Mia P. Manansala

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict 

Book of Knives by Lise Haines

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James 

Cocoon by Zhang Yueran, Jeremy Tiang (translator)

Nonfiction

cover of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions by Francesca T. Royster; photo of several Black musicians

Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions by Francesca T. Royster

Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way by Kieran Setiya 

Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations by Tabitha Brown

Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America by Cody Keenan 

A Lovely Girl: The Tragedy of Olga Duncan and the Trial of One of California’s Most Notorious Killers by Deborah Holt Larkin

Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus by David Quammen

Romance

When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle 

Bad Girl Reputation by Elle Kennedy

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert 

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

cover of Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison; illustration of a wolf against a blood red full moon

Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison***

Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli

It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror edited by Joe Vallese

Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty 

The Witch In The Well by Camilla Bruce

Freeway: La Movie by Jorge Enrique Lage, Lourdes Molina (translator)

A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson***

The Revivalists by Christopher M. Hood

All These Subtle Deceits (Black Wells Book 1) by C. S. Humble 

cover of The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler; illustration of a black octopus reaching out against a blue background

The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler

It Rides a Pale Horse by Andy Marino 

Curse of the Reaper by Brian McAuley

Dark Carnivals: Modern Horror and the Origins of American Empire by W. Scott Poole***

Kalyna the Soothsayer by Elijah Kinch Spector

Lute by Jennifer Thorne

Young Adult

A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo

Anne of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki

The Empress of Time (The Keeper of Night, Book 2) by Kylie Lee Baker

cover of By the Time You Read This I'll Be Gone (Murder, She Wrote #1) by Stephanie Kuehn; burning note with a skull forming in the smoke

By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Gone (Murder, She Wrote #1) by Stephanie Kuehn

The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera

After Dark with Roxie Clark by Brooke Lauren Davis

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


close up from the side of an orange cat yawning really wide; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Laid-Back Camp by Afro (thank you, Danika), The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi, and Witch King by Martha Wells. Outside of books, I have been rewatching the first season of Abbott Elementary for like the third time, and I started Home Economics as well. (And I am waiting for all of Bad Sisters to go up before I start it.) The song stuck in my head is “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus. (I am sorry to hear that she passed away a few months ago.) And of course, there’s a cat photo: When I see the cats show off all their teeth like this when they yawn, I am glad they are small-ish and (mostly) on my side.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits! I am back from Rhode Island and feeling recharged, rejuvenated, and ready to recommend reading! Do you remember last week, when I recommended This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You by Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas? Well, I had the chance to hear Rogers speak this week and it was SO inspiring. I am now doubly recommending you pick up the book. She was a great speaker! In the world of new books this week, it’s another banner day. Topping my list of books to buy today are The Furrows by Namwali Serpell, The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang, and Lark Ascending by Silas House.

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I got carried away talking about book conferences and skeleton food, but we eventually got to the best books we read for this week and more, including Leech, House of Hunger, and Shrines of Gaiety. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto; cartoon image of young woman and man standing in an island paradise

Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto

So this book is hilarious (and a great way to start the recommendations because the next one is SO disturbing.) It’s a YA romcom about a young woman named Sharlot, who is taken to her mother’s native country of Indonesia after her mother catches her attempting to lose her virginity. Meanwhile, rumors have gotten out in Indonesia that George Clooney Tanuwijaya (whose father loves American celebrities) is romantically interested in furries, so his father is looking to find him a non-furry match. Enter Sharlot. George and Sharlot meet each other with preconceived notions, because it turns out their parents have been pretending to be them when they chat with each other online. But despite their parents’ meddling, and the fact that they seemingly don’t actually like each other when they meet in person, perhaps there’s something undeniable between them anyway. (CW for sexism, homophobia, and mention of death of a parent.)

Backlist bump: Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

cover of Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth; illustrations of a green-faced woman covering her mouth, a hand with a sparkling ring on it, and a ham salad with pineapple rings

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Okay, friends, now hold on to your butts. This is one of those books that I finished and then thought, “I love this—what the hell is wrong with me??!” This book is DISTURBING AF. But it’s also so freaking original and funny. You know how I hate saying this, but it is definitely not for everyone. If you dare to proceed, here’s the skinny: Abby and her husband Ralph move in with his mother in the hopes of helping her through a dark period. Abby’s own childhood was one of neglect and violence, and she’s seeking a comforting figure in her life. But Ralph’s mother is a cruel, manipulative woman, and when she dies, she continues to haunt and manipulate everyone around her. Hoping to bring joy and stability to their lives, Abby has a plan to fix everything. Spoiler: None of this is going to go well. Like I said, this book is remarkably upsetting, but I also thought it was amazing. So much, that I just got Hogarth’s last book, The Boy Meets Girl Massacre. A heads up that the list of content warnings are a mile long, so I’ll just say it basically has them all. Please do proceed with caution. (But omg let me know if you love it!) P.S. When you ask for it at the bookstore or library, note that the title is ‘mother-thing’ not ‘mothering’.

Backlist bump: Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (It’s more disturbing than Eileen, though.)

cover of Fen, Bog and Swamp by Annie Proulx; photograph of a beautiful, lush swamp

Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis by Annie Proulx

And last, but not least, a scary book of a different nature. (Get it, nature?) Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of works such as The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, turns her attention to nonfiction and the loss of our planet’s wetlands. Proulx discusses how our wetlands have an important role to play in keeping the Earth healthy and how their loss is affected by climate change and vice versa. Heavy, but necessary, reading.

Backlist bump: The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here by Hope Jahren

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

orange cat sitting next to a puzzle box with an image of cats drinking at a bar; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading Sink: A Memoir by Joseph Earl Thomas and Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo. Outside of books, I am thrilled that Abbott Elementary has started its second season. I just rewatched the first season in preparation and loved it even more. And I am looking forward to the premiere of Ghosts this week. The song stuck in my head is “Free” by Florence + The Machine. (Probably because I have been playing it on repeat for days.) I’m also still into the playlist of music from the 1980s I made—you can listen here! And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon is waiting for me to start doing this puzzle so he can eat some of the pieces. My two orange boys think puzzle pieces are a delicacy.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty