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

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, my friends! I hope you had a pleasant weekend. (I know, you’re thinking, “But what about my Monday???” It’s just habit for me to ask about the weekend because I write this on Sunday!) I enjoyed the lovely Maine weather and got lots of work done in preparation for NEIBA this week. It’s a New England conference for book people. It’s like summer camp for me! I get to see lots of people I love that I only see at NEIBA. And I get to come home with lots of info about upcoming books, so it’s a win for you, too! Speaking of new books, it’s another amazing day for them. Topping my list of books to buy today are O Caledonia by Elspeth Barker, Black Skinhead by Brandi Collins-Dexter, and Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout.

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including The Getaway, The Killing Code, and Rust in the Root. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You by Susan Rogers, Ogi Ogas; illustration of rainbow colored sound waves

This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You by Susan Rogers, Ogi Ogas

If I had to tell you what the music I love says about me, it would say I am a very eclectic person. Which tracks, LOL. This is a fascinating book that will tell you what your music says about you! What kind of music, tempos, and instruments you like says a lot about your brain. And the author is the perfect person to explain it to you. Susan Rogers is an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience. But before that, she was a successful musical engineer who worked with such artists as Prince and Barenaked Ladies! I never get tired of brain books, because we still know so little about how they work, and every little thing we learn fascinates me to no end.

Backlist bump: The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross

cover of You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro; illustration of a young Latine boy walking a brown dog

You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro

I cannot believe it has already been a year since I was recommending you pick up Mark Oshiro’s middle grade debut The Insiders. It was such a good book! Now he’s back with speculative adventure. This time, we follow — wait for it — David Bravo, who is struggling in school. After a particularly bad day, he wishes he could do it over. And POOF! A magical dog appears to help him make his wish come true. But how many tries does it take to get something just right? David will learn that maybe just letting things happen is the best decision. But also, did I mention the magical dog??!

Backlist bump: The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

cover of The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers by Adam Sass; several illustrations of scenes from the book, done in pinks and purples

The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers by Adam Sass

And last, but not least, I am recommending this charming YA romcom. I enjoyed Sass’s debut a couple of years ago, which was an queer YA thriller. And I thought this was a delight. It’s a Cinderella-type story about a young boy named — wait for it again! — Micah Summers. He’s been lucky at a lot of things, but not love. He keeps an Instagram account of sketches of imaginary boys he’s like to date, but so far, Micah has been too shy to ask anyone out. That all changes when he meets a cute boy on a train, who leaves behind his jacket. Convinced that finding the jacket’s owner will bring him true love, Micah and his friends set off on an adventure across Chicago. But what if finding true love isn’t like a fairy tale?

Backlist bump: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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 in an open dresser drawer; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading The Shamshine Blind by Paz Pardo and The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino. Outside of books, I am excited that Jeopardy is starting up again! And the song stuck in my head is “Righteously” by Lucinda Williams. I’m also into listening to music from the 1980s while I play WoW and I started a playlist — you can listen here! And here is your weekly cat picture: If you don’t shut your dresser drawers in this house, you’re going to end up with clothes covered in cat hair. Er, once you first remove said cat.


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!

Say it with me: HOLY CATS. It is another amazing day for new books! There are so many books out today that I want, I don’t even know where to begin. It was really hard narrowing down my recommendation choices. (I mean, like Cadillac problem hard, but still.) And topping my list of books to buy today — after I get a million copies of Nona the Ninth — are No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies by Julian Aguon, I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers, and Thistlefoot by GennaRose Nethercott.

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including Bliss Montage, How Not To Drown in a Glass of Water, and People Person. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien; design of a sun setting behind a mountain in simplistic block cutouts

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien

Today is a great day for debuts, and this novel is at the top of the list! It’s about Ky Tran, a Vietnamese Australian woman whose younger brother, Denny, is murdered at a restaurant while celebrating his graduation. When Ky returns home for the funeral, she discovers that even though there were many witnesses, they are all claiming to have seen nothing happen. In her grief, Ky takes it upon herself to talk to them, and exposes the undercurrent of racism and violence that have long existed in the country. This is a powerful and moving debut, and you will think about it for a long time after you finish. (CW for violence and murder, drug use, loss of a loved one, racism, and xenophobia.)

Backlist bump: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

cover of What If? 2 : Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe; illustration of a T-rex riding an airplane in the sky

What If? 2 : Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

This book, and the first volume, are so much fun. I like them because they’re wildly funny and strange, but they also teach you such incredible things. Munroe, former NASA roboticist and creator of the popular web comic xkcd, answers silly questions with fully-researched answers. Could you ride a fire pole from the moon to the Earth? What would happen if you stepped on a geyser as it erupted, or hung on to a helicopter blade as it spun around? Munroe has answers. These also make great gifts for the people in your life who like their science with a side of silly.

Backlist bump: How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe

cover of The Depths by Nicole Lesperance; illustration of a young woman peering through some foliage

The Depths by Nicole Lesperance

And last, but not least, as we approach fall, it’s time for some creepy books! I have Tirzah to thank for this recommendation. It’s a fun YA read about Addie, a 17-year-old who is forced to accompany her mother on her honeymoon to Eulalie Island. Addie doesn’t want to be on the island, but when she learns of two girls who died there centuries ago (and may not have left) and meets a mysterious boy on the beach, everything starts to get interesting. And by interesting, I mean eerie. It’s a fast read, full of slightly magical and haunting happenings! (Also, doesn’t the girl on the cover look like Linda Cardellini???) (CW for violence, injury, and death.)

Backlist bump: The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance

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 stretched out on a bed with a cartoon cape on its back; photo and photoshop by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling and Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson. Outside of books, I have been rewatching Star vs. the Forces of Evil. (It’s still my favorite theme song.) And the song stuck in my head is “Weird Goodbyes” by The National with Bon Iver. I’m also into listening to music from the 1980s while I play WoW and I started a playlist — you can listen here! And here is your weekly cat picture: “Here I come to save the dayyyyyyyyyy!”—Zevon


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 September!

Hello, star bits! I hope you got lots of rest last night, because you’re going to use all your energy spending the rest of the day looking at all the titles out today! At the top of my list of books to buy are Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley (surprise, surprise), What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri, and Plagues and Pencils: A Year of Pandemic Sketches by Edward Carey. This is shaping up to be my busiest month yet, with events and work meetings, so I hope I can find time to read them!

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 a 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 Killers of a Certain Age, The Weight of Blood, Year of the Tiger, and more.

Biography and Memoir

cover of Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life by Alice Wong; illustration of a red tiger on a yellow background

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong

Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley

Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora

On the Ledge: A Memoir by Amy Turner

They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom by Ahed Tamimi, Dena Takruri

All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns by Betty Gilpin

Boy with the Bullhorn: A Memoir and History of ACT UP New York by Ron Goldberg 

A Visible Man: A Memoir by Edward Enninful

Fiction

cover of The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West; collage of a Black woman with flowers behind her ear

The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West ***

The Bad Angel Brothers by  Paul Theroux

On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton ***

Sacrificio by Ernesto Mestre-Reed

Ithaca by Claire North

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell***

Book of Extraordinary Tragedies by Joe Meno

What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye

No Windmills in Basra by Diaa Jubaili, Chip Rossetti (translator)

cover of The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh; cartoon illustration of a man and woman looking over several homes in a village by a lake

The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh ***

The Unfolding by A.M. Homes 

The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland 

The Means by Amy Fusselman 

Unleashed by Cai Emmons

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery***

The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado***

The Deceptions by Jill Bialosky 

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 Demon: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America’s Jack the Ripper by Daniel Stashower

The Red Widow: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind it All by Sarah Horowitz

Off with Her Head: Three Thousand Years of Demonizing Women in Power by Eleanor Herman

Middle Grade

cover of The Curse on Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo; illustration of a girl and dog by a lighthouse at night shining a flashlight on a girl ghost

The Curse on Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo

1-2-3-4, I Declare a Thumb War by Lisi Harrison and Daniel Kraus

Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution by Sherri Winston

Eden’s Everdark by Karen Strong

A Pocket Full of Posies by Shawn Sarles

Attack of the Black Rectangles by A. S. King*** 

What We Saw by Mary Downing Hahn

My Buddy, Killer Croc by Sara Farizan and Nicoletta Baldari

Sweet and Sour by Debbi Michiko Florence

The Replacement by Lindsey Duga

Shot Clock by Caron Butler and Justin A. Reynolds

cover image of Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn; illustration of a hand holding a big knife, with a bracelet on the wrist

Moonflower by Kacen Callender

Mystery and Thriller

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn***

Back to the Garden by Laurie R. King

Nonfiction

The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World by Max Fisher

Plagues and Pencils: A Year of Pandemic Sketches by Edward Carey***

Romance

The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale 

Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match by Sally Thorne 

cover of The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish; cartoon illustration of several small town scenes with direction signs spelling out the title

The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish

Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings

The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas 

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca***

Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Young Adult

The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology) by Aiden Thomas***

Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories by Yamile Saied Méndez (Editor), Amparo Ortiz (Editor), Ricardo López Ortiz (Illustrator)

Daughters of the Dawn by Sasha Nanua and Sarena Nanua

Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix (Remixed Classics, 5) by Anna-Marie McLemore***

cover of Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix (Remixed Classics, 5) by Anna-Marie McLemore; illustration of two young men, one white and blonde, one Latine with dark hair, dressed in 1920s outfits

Destination Unknown by Bill Konigsberg

Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson***

Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah 

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


two orange kittens piled up inside a fruit tart cat bed; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland, Cat + Gamer Volume 2 by Wataru Nadatani, and Community Board by Tara Conklin. Outside of books, I’m back to watching Over the Garden Wall again (over and over and over) while I do data entry. And the song stuck in my head is this amazing cover of Cher’s “Believe” by Lucy Dacus. (She is the best. THE. BEST.) And because it was Ginger Cat Appreciation Day lately, here’s a throwback to my orange monsters when they were just wee monsters.


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!

It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means—time to overload your TBR with new releases! This last Tuesday in August is full of exciting titles. Topping my list of books to buy today are Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery by Casey Parks, Walking in My Joy: In These Streets by Jenifer Lewis (I saw a ten-minute author event with her and she made me both laugh and cry in that time), and The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes) by Elizabeth Lim. And don’t forget, the Bunnicula graphic novel hits shelves today! It’s super-adorbs and you should definitely pick it up. *stares intensely at you in carrot speak*

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! where Kelly joined me for a rare fifth Tuesday and we discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including Daisy Darker, Seton Girls, and Suburban Hell. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

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!

cover of Dead Flip by Sara Farizan; 1980s movie poster-style image of several teens and arcade games under neon text

Dead Flip by Sara Farizan

I hate to say it but…summer is practically over, my friends. This is a great YA book to kick off the fall and also give you some Stranger Things vibes. In 1987, Cori, Maz, and Sam were the closest of friends, spending much of their time at the arcade. But then Sam went missing. Now it’s five years later, and Cori and Maz are in high school. Sam’s disappearance has never been solved, and it has been hard on a lot of people. Then suddenly Sam shows up again—but he’s still twelve years old. Something supernatural is going on and it’s not finished with their small town yet. Can the group of friends, old and new, get to the bottom of the weirdness? This book is lots of fun and chock full of nostalgia! I was like, “I remember that! And that! And that…” (CW for racism, homophobia, violence, child harm, and animal harm.)

Backlist bump: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

cover of A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland; illustration of two men with dark hair, one with a beard, wearing royal garments

A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

I am leaning heavily into fantasy reads the last couple of weeks, so I picked this up because I can’t resist a Goblin Emperor comp. And I was not disappointed! In this world of Arasht, the princes have the ability to taste metals with the touch of their fingers. Kadou is one such prince. After the shy prince is humiliated by the father of the queen’s child, he agrees to lead an important investigation to prove his loyalty. With the help of his handsome new bodyguard, Evemer, what starts as a look into a seeming break-in uncovers a vast conspiracy at the court—and some complicated feelings between Kadou and Evemer! This is a fabulous enemies-to-lovers high fantasy romance adventure! (Plus lots more adjectives but we’re short on space, lol.) (CW for anxiety and mental illness, violence, murder, and chemical use.)

Backlist bump: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

cover of Stories to Keep You Alive Despite Vampires by Ben Acker; illustration of a mansion at night with the shadow of people in one lit window

Stories to Keep You Alive Despite Vampires by Ben Acker, illustrated by Scott Buoncristiano

Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark fans, take note! As I may have said, I am so excited about fall books and the upcoming Halloween reading season. So here’s a delightful new middle grade story collection! These are age-appropriate and still scary stories to delight readers of all ages. There’s ghosts, vampires, werewolves, beasts, hauntings, bugs, and more. Scary + funny + wonderfully illustrated = a new collection for a new generation. (Full disclosure: I used to babysit Scott Buoncristiano’s little brother when I was in high school. I haven’t seen him in over three decades, but I was unsurprised and happy to to learn he’s made a career out of his art.)

Backlist bump: Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu

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

orange cat sleeping in a silver mixing bowl with its head hanging over the side; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading House of Cotton by Monica Brashears and The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi, which is her first novel for adults! Outside of books, I have been rewatching Regular Show. And the song stuck in my head is “Am I Wrong” by Love Spit Love. I’m also into listening to music from the 1980s while I play WoW and I started a playlist. It now has over 900 songs and you can listen here! And here is your weekly cat picture: I don’t know how this can possibly be comfortable, but Farrokh loves to sleep like this.


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 release day to all who celebrate! I hope you are having a fabulous Tuesday, and are reading something wonderful. I am here to tempt your brain with more reading material. (IT’S NEVER ENOUGH!) Topping my list of books to buy today are The Silverberg Business by Robert Freeman Wexler, Six Feet Deep Dish by Mindy Quigley (because lol that title), Day Boy by Trent Jamieson, and Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling. (I CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH!)

You can hear about more of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! where Patricia and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, To Catch a Raven, and Babel. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah; brown font woven with blue leaves and shadows of people

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Gurnah is the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, for good reason. This is a sweeping epic about a young boy who was stolen by German troops in east Africa and raised to fight his own people. When Ilyas eventually returns home, he finds his family in pieces. Eventually his fate will cross with other young people trying to find their way in a fractured world. It’s a work about brutality and beauty. (CW for racism, colonization, slavery, violence, trauma, illness, and death.)

Backlist bump: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

cover of Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution by R. F. Kuang; B&W illustration of a very tall tower at Oxford

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R. F. Kuang

I mentioned this on the show and then read it this weekend and had to tell you about it here, too, because it’s so good. It’s a fantasy novel set at Oxford in the 19th century. Robin Swift is an orphan who is brought from China to England, where he is educated at Oxford. Robin’s to work on Babel, the center for magic and translation. Silver is used in the work of translation and it helps the British remain a major world power, which also enables colonialism. Eventually, when Britain declares war on China, Robin wonders if he can help his homeland from the inside. (CW for violence and murder, loss of a loved one, child abuse, sexism, racism, colonization, chemical use, and suicide.)

Backlist bump: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

cover of Perish by LaToya Watkins; brown with a tree growing out of the title font

Perish by LaToya Watkins

And last but not least, this powerful debut about family, love, and intergenerational trauma. It follows Helen Jean, the matriarch of the Turner family, as she is on her death bed, and how her choices affected those around her. As her family gathers around her, their long-held secrets come to light. Told in alternating chapters, Watkins explores familial hurts and how the Turners work towards a better future. (CW for racism, violence, chemical use, child abuse, sexual assault, incest, and suicide.)

Backlist bump: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

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

close up of an orange cat's face; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading How To Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix. Outside of books, I’m still into playing World of Warcraft and I am looking forward to watching the first episode of House of the Dragons soon. (Rhys Ifans 5-eva!) And the song stuck in my head is “Playboy Mommy” by Tori Amos (from my favorite Tori album.) I’m also into listening to music from the 1980s while I play WoW and I started a playlist. It now has over 900 songs and you can listen here! And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon is ready for his close-up.


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 hope you all had a lovely weekend. I spent it trying to cram as many books as I could into my brain pan. I received a plethora of incredible titles last week, which made it really hard to choose what to read. So I started about ten of them, ha ha, including White Cat, Black Dog: Stories by Kelly Link, Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translator), The Ferryman by Justin Cronin, and Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson. You can see many of them here so you can get them down on your TBR. You know how I love to spread the word about upcoming books!

As for today’s books, I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is that I did not read many of today’s books that I enjoyed enough to pass along, so I am sharing three that I am excited to read. The good news is that after this week, publishing starts ramping up again for a huge fall, in which I have read so many of the books. So thanks for coming on this journey with me, and I promise, there will be more recommendations that I have read next week. You can hear about some of today’s new releases on this week’s episode of All the Books! where Tirzah and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including Complicit, Tumble, and Acting Class. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of Stories from The Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana; illustration of a brick apartment building

Stories from The Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana 

I can’t wait to pick this up, because you know how I love interconnected stories! Each of the stories in this debut collection is about a tenant in the Banneker Homes, a low-income high rise in Harlem. Fofana looks at their lives separately, including their hopes and dreams, as well as how their paths cross in the building.

cover of The Honeys by Ryan La Sala; the word 'honeys' repeated all the way down the cover over paintings of flowers

The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

And I did start this dark YA thriller recently, because Danika gave it such a rave review on All the Books! and WOW was she right about the beginning. It opens with a teen trying to kill her brother in his bed, and then goes back to examine what could have driven her to such an act. The quest for answers will lead him to a prestigious summer academy, home of a mysterious group called The Honeys. I will definitely be getting back to this soon!

cover of Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis by Beth Macy; photo looking over a farm house in a beautiful valley

Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis by Beth Macy

And last but not least, this important work of nonfiction. A few years ago, Macy examined the opioid crisis in America in Dopesick (which has since become an award-winning series). Now, in Raising Lazarus, she dives deeper into the epidemic, highlighting the people on the front lines working to combat the crisis and offer help to those who need it. I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t been touched in some way by the opioid crisis, and I will definitely be buying a copy of this next time I’m at the bookstore.

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

orange cat making cute eyes at the camera; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week, I am reading What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall at the moment, but like I mentioned, I have about ten other books going, because I want to read everything all at once. Outside of books, I have been playing a bit of World of Warcraft in the middle of the night. It’s a great time to play! And the song stuck in my head is “Just Like Honey” by The Jesus and Mary Chain. I’m into listening to music from the 1980s while I play WoW and I started a playlist this weekend of songs I thought I’d like to hear and the next thing I knew, it had over 700 songs. You can listen here! And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon is demonstrating how he is able to get away with murder: by being the cutest.


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 are well. It has been a very eventful weekend for me. I rescued a bird and I read two amazing books: The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean and Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton. And now as I write this, it is Sunday night, and I am getting ready to start A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher. There’s something about this disgusting heatwave we’ve been having here in Maine that makes me want to read horror more than ever, even before bed. But I’m sure I will chicken out at some point and pick something else up instead — she writes scary stuff!

As for today’s books: At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe by David Maraniss, Mother in the Dark by Kayla Maiuri, and Moth by Melody Razak. And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including The Women Could Fly, You’re Invited, and I’m Glad My Mom Died. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

cover of A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang; collage image of a setting sun over green fields

A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang

As it happens occasionally, I did not read and love as many of this week’s books as I hoped. So I am kicking it off with this novel, which I just started. It excellent so far, so it seemed worth mentioning it to you. It’s a debut novel about a man living in America who returns home to China when his father goes missing. This will reconcile him not only with his estranged mother, but a childhood friend he hasn’t seen in many years. If the rest of the book is as good as the beginning, this will be an excellent read!

Backlist bump: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

cover of Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine by Carole Adrienne; image of the red cross logo over an illustration of a civil war battlefield

Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine by Carole Adrienne 

And this is a little Liberty wheelhouse-y, given my interest in reading about the American Civil War, but it’s always fun to learn! Treatment for illness and injury at the start of the war was archaic and horrifying. Adrienne documents the crucial strides that were made in medicine during the four years of the Civil War, helping more soldiers survive and revolutionizing medicine in general. Though sometimes gross and shocking, this is a great book for people who love reading about history.

Backlist bump: This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust

cover of Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer; blonde man and dark-haired woman standing in front of a large sheet of tacked-up note paper

Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer 

Dara Rabinowitz is the creator and CEO of the popular Jewish dating app J-Mate. And while she helps many, many people find love, she herself hasn’t had much luck. When her bubbe shares her private list of the qualities in a perfect husband on national television, everything changes. News anchor Chris Steadfast decides helping Dara find love will be good for his show’s ratings. But there’s the chance he just might fall for her himself. Could Dara be interested in someone who doesn’t check any of the boxes on her list?

Backlist bump: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

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

orange cat lying upside down on a desk; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: Like I mentioned, I am reading A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher, as well as Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Outside of books, I have been spending a lot of time watching all the nature in my yard again and rooting for a rogue sunflower that has decided to grow in the middle of our yard. The song stuck in my head is “The Authority Song” by Jimmy Eat World. And here is your weekly cat picture: Zevon is taking advantage of the rare day I spent out of my office last week. (That’s his favorite position to be in, which I call the Steve Holt.)


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 August!

Hello, my little page turners, and welcome to another book-filled Tuesday! There are so many good books to check out today, you may cackle with uncontrollable glee. I had a lovely weekend, soaking in our inflatable pool, watching the hummingbirds, and reading upcoming titles, as well as some comics. I am really into comics again lately, especially graphic novels. I will be sure to share the ones I love with you when they come out. 😊

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 a ❤️ 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 All This Could Be Different, The Book Eaters, Shutter, and more.

Biography and Memoir

cover of Acceptance: A Memoir by Emi Nietfeld; black and white photo of author as a teen

Acceptance: A Memoir by Emi Nietfeld

Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility by Michelle Tea 

Mothercare: On Obligation, Love, Death, and Ambivalence by Lynne Tillman

Fiction

Bookish People by Susan Coll 

All the Ruined Men: Stories by Bill Glose

Dogs of Summer by Andrea Abreu, Julia Sanches (Translator)

With Neighbors Like This by Tracy Goodwin

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford

Delphi by Clare Pollard

cover of All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews; colorful painting of a crowd of people

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews ❤️

Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra ❤️

Yoga by Emmanuel Carrère and John Lambert

A Career in Books: A Novel about Friends, Money, and the Occasional Duck Bun by Kate Gavino ❤️ 

When We Were Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty  

Mother of Strangers by Suad Amiry 

Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak 

How to Fall Out of Love Madly by Jana Casale

cover of The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid; illustration of a large eye with a man as the iris

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid ❤️

Cyclorama by Adam Langer 

Properties of Thirst by Marianne Wiggin

Middle Grade

Camp Scare by Delilah S. Dawson 

Future Hero by Remi Blackwood

Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd

Mystery and Thriller

Shutter by Ramona Emerson ❤️

Kismet by Amina Akhtar

The Lost Kings by Tyrell Johnson

Alias Emma by Ava Glass 

cover of The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias; white shadow of a man against a red, green, and black background

The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias ❤️

Gangland by Chuck Hogan

Dirt Creek by Hayley Scrivenor

The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas

Nonfiction

Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter by E.B. Bartels 

Deer Creek Drive: A Reckoning of Memory and Murder in the Mississippi Delta by Beverly Lowry 

Romance

Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

The Wild Hunt by Emma Seckel ❤️

cover of The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean; woman and child cut from pages of a book standing in front of a house, also made from a book

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean ❤️

A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair

Birds of Maine by Michael DeForge 

The Sleepless by Victor Manibo ❤️

40: A Novel by Alan Heathcock 

Unwieldy Creatures by Addie Brook Tsai

Wayward: A Novel (Wanderers Book 2) by Chuck Wendig ❤️

Face by Joma West ❤️

Young Adult

How to Date a Superhero (And Not Die Trying) by Cristina Fernandez

It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano

You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See

cover of Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin; illustration of two young woman in sci-fi gear in a jungle

Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin ❤️

You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See

What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla

The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver 

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


orange cat yawning really wide; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson and The Honeys by Ryan La Sala.. Outside of books, I have been rewatching Psych (Dulé Hill does not get enough credit as a comedic actor. He makes the best expressions. Oh, how I love him.) And the song stuck in my head is Desperados Under the Eaves by Warren Zevon. (Which is 20 years old now!) And here’s a picture of my cat Zevon (yes, named for the musician) screaming into the void. Or yawning — one of these things is true.


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!

Welcome back, book fans! It’s another amazing Tuesday in the world of books. A little slower than usual, because of the summer, but there are still quite a few books to get excited about. At the very top of my list of new releases for this week to acquire are Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda (Alison Watts, translator), A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows, and The Amazing Screw-On Head anniversary edition, because despite being a one-off issue, it remains my favorite comic (and 22 minutes of television) of all time.

And on this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed the best books we read for this week and more, including Calling for a Blanket Dance, The Souls of White Jokes, and Nightmare Fuel. And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game show: AHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants.

Cover of Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min; pink with line illustration of person kissing another person's neck

Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min

This is a love story and a love letter to music, friendship, and love. Just a whole lot of love going on here! Santi and Suwa are high school boys in the school’s marching band. Suwa is a musical prodigy and isn’t sure that Santi belongs in band. But once they get to know each other, they embark on a beautiful journey, full of highs, lows, heartaches, and dreams. It will give you all the feels. (CW for child abuse, chemical use and abuse, loss of a loved one, grief, transphobia including deadnaming, racism, suicidal ideation, and mental illness.)

Backlist bump: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

cover of The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne; illustration of a tower with a long red hair braid hanging out the window

The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne

Okay, so I haven’t actually read this one. I didn’t get to as many of this week’s books as I had hoped, and I don’t like to use the same books for the newsletter as I use for the podcast. Because I want to tell you about as many books as I can! But I am excited to read this book, and wanted to mention it to highlight the fact that I am SO into fantasy novels right now. They are getting me through the summer. And this one is the story of the witch who put Rapunzel in her tower. YES, PLEASE. Give me all your witchy books, your retellings, your witchy retellings. My body is ready. And be sure to read my favorite of the year: Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher!

Backlist bump: Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir

cover of Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traore, featuring an illustration of a young Black girl standing in a forest with two ghosts

Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traoré

And last, but not least, an award-winning middle grade fantasy novel that is out in the States today! This is a great adventure filled with Yoruba myths and legends, set in a Nigerian village. Thirteen-year-old Simi is determined to find out her family secrets, since no one will tell them to her. But her search leads her to danger and a lake where she sinks into quicksand and…falls through to a parallel world. It’s a world of missing children, and Simi must find out what is happening to them to get the answers she wants. (CW for loss of a loved one and grief.)

Backlist bump: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

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

orange cat lying upside down; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley and Sink: A Memoir by Joseph Earl Thomas. Outside of books, I have started rewatching A.P. Bio for the millionth time. The song stuck in my head is “In Luv with U” by Finn. And here is your weekly cat picture: ˙ʎǝʞuoɯ ʎllᴉs ɐ ʇɐɥM


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 ❤️