Everyone, there are so many good books coming out this month that it’s really quite unfair. We have over forty titles we’re excited for below, but here are a few others we know you’re all anxious to read:
- Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is releasing! (My roommate splurged on a life-sized cardboard cutout of Baz, btw.)
- Margaret Atwood as written a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale called The Testaments. ( A | BN | K | G | AB )
- Rachel Caine continues her Great Library series with Sword and Pen ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).
- No Judgments by Meg Cabot ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) comes out this month.
- Keep up with Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series with The Unkindest Tide ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).
- If you’re ready to get into the holiday spirit, Jill Shalvis has a new holiday contemporary romance: Wrapped Up in You ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).
All of Me
Author: Dani Burlison
Released: September 1, 2019 by PM Press
With women’s anger, empowerment, and the critical importance of intersectional feminism taking center stage in feminist spaces right now, an anthology like this has never been more vital. The voices in this collection offer perspectives that help women find common ground. Through personal essays and interviews about what it is like to live as a woman (cis and trans) All of Me includes vulnerable, painful truths and bold inspiration. This anthology covers topics of social and economic justice, creativity, racism, transgender perspectives, sexuality, sex work, addiction, reproductive rights, assault, relationship dynamics, families, radical self-care, witchcraft, and more.
Contributors include Silvia Federici, Michelle Cruz Gonzales, Ariel Gore, Laurie Penny, Lidia Yuknavitch, Christine No, Kandis Williams, Vatan Doost, Deya, Phoenix LeFae, Anna Silastre, Michel Wing, Bethany Ridendour, Lorelle Saxena, Airial Clark, Patty Stonefish, Nayomi Munaweera, Melissa Madera, Margaret Elysia Garcia, Leilani Clark, Ariel Erskine, Wendy-O Matik, Kara Vernor, Starhawk, adrienne maree brown, Gerri Ravyn Stanfield, Sanam Mahloudji, Melissa Chadburn, Avery Erickson, and Milla Prince.
Ellen: I only recently learned about this nonfiction anthology but I’m really excited for it. The theme seems to be personal essays with an intersectional feminist lens.
Island Fling with the Tycoon
Author: Therese Beharrie
Released: September 1, 2019 by Harlequin Romance
Could a fairy-tale wedding…
..lead to her own love story?
Sparks fly when Piper Evans meets tycoon Caleb Martin on the way to her brother’s wedding. Gorgeous but uncompromising — he’s the kind of man heartbroken Piper has sworn to stay away from. Yet when the perfect wedding turns to disaster, Piper must search for the runaway groom — with Caleb’s help! Island hopping around Greece, Piper finds herself increasingly tempted by the man whose totally off-limits…
Aarya: I’m not a regular category reader these days but I enjoy Beharrie’s writing and I’m a sucker for books set during a wedding (especially if it turns disastrous!).
Lord of the Last Heartbeat
top me. Please.
Three words scrawled in bloodred wine. A note furtively passed into the hand of a handsome stranger. Only death can free Mio from his mother’s political schemes. He’s put his trust in the enigmatic Rhodry—an immortal moon soul with the power of the bear spirit—to put an end to it all.
But Rhodry cannot bring himself to kill Mio, whose spellbinding voice has the power to expose secrets from the darkest recesses of the heart and mind. Nor can he deny his attraction to the fair young sorcerer. So he spirits Mio away to his home, the only place he can keep him safe—if the curse that besieges the estate doesn’t destroy them both first.
In a world teeming with mages, ghosts and dark secrets, love blooms between the unlikely pair. But if they are to be strong enough to overcome the evil that draws ever nearer, Mio and Rhodry must first accept a happiness neither ever expected to find.
Aarya: Fantasy romance with a non-binary and intersex protagonist! I’m looking forward to this debut.
A Dangerous Engagement
The stylish, charming new novel in the Edgar-nominated Amory Ames mystery series, set in 1930s New York.
As they travel by ship to New York for her childhood friend Tabitha’s wedding, Amory Ames gazes out at the city’s iconic skyline, excited by the prospect of being a bridesmaid. Her husband Milo, however, is convinced their trip will be deadly dull, since Prohibition is in full swing. But when a member of the wedding party is found murdered on the front steps of the bride’s home, the happy plans take a darker twist.
Amory discovers that the dead groomsman has links to the notorious—and notoriously handsome—gangster Leon De Lora, and soon she and Milo find themselves drawn into another mystery. While the police seem to think that New York’s criminal underworld is at play, Amory feels they can’t ignore the wedding party either. Tabitha’s fiancé Tom Smith appears to be a good man, but he has secrets of his own, and the others in the group seem strangely unaffected by the death of their friend . . .
In an unfamiliar city, not knowing who they can trust, Milo and Amory are drawn into the glamorous, dangerous world of nightclubs and bootleggers. But as they draw closer to unraveling the web of lies and half-truths the murdered man has left in his wake, the killer is weaving a web of his own.
Sarah: I mainlined this series on vacation in July and was very excited to see a new one in September. Historical mystery with a very glamorous and smart heroine.
A House of Rage and Sorrow
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Released: September 17, 2019 by Sky Pony
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Series: The Celestial Trilogy #2
One kingdom. One crown. One family.
“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”
Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?
As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.
The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.
Aarya: Four words: Mahabharata retelling in space. This is a sequel to one of my favorite YA SFF books ever (series must be read in order).
The Avant-Guards, Vol 1.
As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s barely-a-basketball-team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind…until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left cut-throat competition in in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be. From Carly Usdin, the writer behind the hit series Heavy Vinyl, and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer) comes an ensemble comedy series that understands that it’s the person you are off the court that matters most.
Ellen: I’ve discovered a soft spot for queer sports stories, and this gets me right in that soft spot.
Bringing Down the Duke
A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke…
Amanda: Everyone I know is excited for this one and I am too!
Claudia: This book felt oddly current despite being set in the late 1870s, early 1880s — The heroine and her friends are competent women navigating the world of incompetent men intent on preserving their exalted (and undeserved) place in society. It’s also a very good “starchy hero undone” story, and so much more!
Aarya: I’ve read an arc and it’s EXCELLENT. There are swoonworthy moments in alcoves and Beauty and the Beast allusions. Highly recommend.
Ellen: It just sounds so fun!!
Lara Diane: Gorgeous cover? Check. Sassy boss ladies doing the damn thing? Check. Men in breeches? Check. I’m sold.
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
Author: Maika Moulite
Released: September 3, 2019 by Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult
This exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!
When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…
You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?
Actually, a lot.
Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.
All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.
You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Shana: I need this epistolary story about Haiti to live up to its gorgeous cover.
Maya: Such a pretty cover!!
The Glass Woman
Rósa has always dreamed of living a simple life alongside her Mamma in their remote village in Iceland, where she prays to the Christian God aloud during the day, whispering enchantments to the old gods alone at night. But after her father dies abruptly and her Mamma becomes ill, Rósa marries herself off to a visiting trader in exchange for a dowry, despite rumors of mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death.
Rósa follows her new husband, Jón, across the treacherous countryside to his remote home near the sea. There Jón works the field during the day, expecting Rósa to maintain their house in his absence with the deference of a good Christian wife. What Rósa did not anticipate was the fierce loneliness she would feel in her new home, where Jón forbids her from interacting with the locals in the nearby settlement and barely speaks to her himself.
Seclusion from the outside world isn’t the only troubling aspect of her new life—Rósa is also forbidden from going into Jón’s. When Rósa begins to hear strange noises from upstairs, she turns to the local woman in an attempt to find solace. But the villager’s words are even more troubling—confirming many of the rumors about Jón’s first wife, Anna, including that he buried her body alone in the middle of the night.
Rósa’s isolation begins to play tricks on her mind: What—or who—is in the attic? What happened to Anna? Was she mad, a witch, or just a victim of Jón’s ruthless nature? And when Jón is brutally maimed in an accident a series of events are set in motion that will force Rósa to choose between obedience and defiance—with her own survival and the safety of the ones she loves hanging in the balance.
Elyse: This novel is set in medieval Iceland and has serious Gothic overtones.
The Harp of Kings
Author: Juliet Marillier
Released: September 3, 2019 by Ace
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Series: Warrior Bards #1
A young woman is both a bard–and a warrior–in this thrilling historical fantasy from the author of the Sevenwaters novels.
Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart, and a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan’s burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. She and her brother train there to compete for places, and find themselves joining a mission while still candidates. Their unusual blend of skills makes them ideal for this particular job, which requires going undercover as traveling minstrels. For Swan Island trains both warriors and spies.
Their mission: to find and retrieve a precious harp, an ancient symbol of kingship, which has gone mysteriously missing. If the instrument is not played at the upcoming coronation, the candidate will not be accepted and the people could revolt. Faced with plotting courtiers and tight-lipped druids, an insightful storyteller, and a boorish Crown Prince, Liobhan soon realizes an Otherworld power may be meddling in the affairs of the kingdom. When ambition clashes with conscience, Liobhan must make a bold decision and is faced with a heartbreaking choice. . .
Ellen: The Sevenwaters series is one of my all-time faves. Some of her other series have been kind of hit or miss for me but I have high hopes as it seems like this new series has a Sevenwaters tie-in. Plus, I love bards.
His Billionaire Bride
Business investor Carrie Morgan is guarded for a long list of good reasons. She’s battled her way to the top of her industry, dealt with enough bad sex to put her off men, and if her painful past has taught her anything, it’s that commitment always ends in heartbreak.
When Carrie’s sister asks her to sit for a portrait—as a bride—she uneasily agrees. Anything for Emmie. Even if it means intimate nightly sessions with her secret fantasy: artist Edwin Prince.
Rejected by his family and treated as temporary by past lovers, Edwin will settle for nothing less than commitment — and wants that and more from the beguiling Carrie Morgan. Startling them both, she allows him to unwind her emotional bindings one intense interaction at a time, until their chemistry builds so high, she’s blinded to the fall.
And the only way out is to break both their hearts.
Amanda: Anything with a billionaire heroine gets a second look.
The Lady and the Highwayman
Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school in 1830s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of ”silver-fork” novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories–the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.
Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher’s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group’s undoing as King’s readership continues to cut into their profits.
Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King’s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.
For the first time Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.
Sneezy: The summary is promising a headlong dive into class and gender dynamics in Victorian London, all wrapped up in a romance powered by a sizzling attraction, a secret, conflicts of interest, and attempts to out maneuver each other because of said conflict. I WANT IT!!!!
Catherine: This one sounds entirely delicious, with secret identities and authorly intrigue. There’s something about romances with writer heroes or heroines that is just irresistible to me.
Susan: I adore stories about pulps and penny dreadfuls beyond the telling of it, so I am very excited .
The Lady Rogue
The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.
Some legends never die…
Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.
Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.
Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.
Aarya: Bennett is an excellent YA writer and this sounds like a madcap adventure in 1930s Romania.
Lara Diane: This book gives me grabby hands and a greedy heart. Get in my book-belly!
The Magnolia Sword
CHINA, 484 A.D.
A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.
Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.
A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling—the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it’s too late.
Aarya: I’d preorder a phone book by Sherry Thomas. So yeah, I’m pretty excited for this book!
Serpent & Dove
For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.
Lou’s death would have ended the ancient war between the Church and witches, but Lou refuses to become a martyr. Forsaking her coven, she escapes to the gloomy city of Cesarine and hides her magic as a thief in the criminal underworld. But life in Cesarine has its own dangers. Huntsmen roam the city revered as holy men. Witches burn without trial. And the Archbishop, the Church’s austere patriarch, revels in violence.
As a huntsman, Reid Diggory lives by one verse: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
He’s devoted his entire life to eradicating the occult and making his surrogate father, the Archbishop, proud. Finally given the chance to capture a witch of his own, Reid is devastated when a foul-mouthed thief thwarts him—and doubly devastated when she too disappears. Hell-bent on bringing her to justice, Reid vows she won’t escape again. But when Lou tricks him into public scandal trying to avoid capture, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.
Marriage to a huntsman could provide real protection from the witches—if Lou can convince Reid she isn’t one herself. The secret proves difficult to keep as Lou begins practicing magic in secret within the heart of the Church, determined to prepare for her mother’s inevitable return. As time passes, however, Lou discovers yet another danger lurking: her own growing feelings for her husband. But Reid is still dangerous. He’s just as likely to tie her to the stake as defend her if he learns her true identity. With enemies closing in—and more than her own life at stake—Lou must decide who she can trust before it’s too late…and she’s not the only one with a secret.
Amanda: Star crossed romance between a witch and a member of the Church!
To Be Taught, If Fortunate
In her new novella, Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves.
Adriane is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does.
Ariadne may awaken to find that support for space exploration back home has waned, or that her country of birth no longer exists, or that a cult has arisen around their cosmic findings, only to dissolve once more by the next waking. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home.
Carrying all the trademarks of her other beloved works, including brilliant writing, fantastic world-building and exceptional, diverse characters, Becky’s first audiobook outside of the Wayfarers series is sure to capture the imagination of listeners all over the world.
Shana: Traveling in space with the author of the Wayfarer series. Yes, please!
All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jen DeLuca.
Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?
The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?
This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.
Amanda: Look at these adorable nerds.
Aarya: The author has described this book as “awkward flirting via Shakespeare,” which makes the English nerd in me happy.
Shana: I’m hoping this will fulfill my inappropriate Ren Faire fantasies without making me feel guilty for Marie Kondo-ing my faire garb.
A Jewel Bright Sea
Author: Claire O’Dell
Released: September 3, 2019 by Rebel Base Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Series: Mage and Empire #1
A whirlwind of intrigue, lies, politics, and adventure swirls around one woman—and the prize she’s been sent to reclaim …
It was her talent for tracking magic that got Anna Zhdanov sent to catch a thief. A scholar’s daughter sold as a bond servant, she has no desire to recover the Emperor’s jewel for herself. But a chance to earn her freedom has driven her to the untamed Eddalyon province, awash with warm breezes, lapping waves, and more danger than she could possibly guess.
Within days her cover as an indolent noblewoman is in question, and it’s clear there’s more to Anna’s task than she knows. Soon she’s the captive of the unpredictable pirate captain Andreas Koszenmarc, hunted by the Emperor’s guard, besieged by a brigand queen, and at odds with her only friend. She must trust someone if she is to survive. But when all that’s certain is that everyone is hiding something, it’s no simple thing to choose…
Sneezy: I’ll be posting my review for this book soon, and I can’t wait for people to read it and tell me if I’m crazy or not!
The Wedding Dress Maker
In the shadow of a love lost and being disgraced by her actions, Netta Nichol must watch from the sidelines as her child is brought up by her father and stepmother. This is not the first time her stepmother has taken what is rightfully hers. First it was her dead mother’s rainbow necklace—Netta’s only legacy—now her son. Netta is unable to protest such treatment, for it is 1945 and, in the eyes of her God-fearing community, she is doubly cursed: an unmarried mother who struggled with mental health problems after giving birth to her son. After being banished from her beloved Galloway, to a Yorkshire mill-town, Netta is determined to show she is capable of building a life for herself, so she can return to Galloway and claim back her child.
Sneezy: I’m always interested in the smaller, quieter stories that happen in and around momentous changes in time. It also talks about the ways women are punished when they bear children out of wedlock. Just from the summary, I don’t see how the romance will come into play, but it just makes the book more enticing for me in this case.
A Match Made in Mehendi
Author: Nandini Bajpai
Released: September 10, 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readershttp
Genre: Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.”
But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.
But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.
Aarya: The fifteen-year-old heroine starts a matchmaking service on an app. I LOVE high school drama.
Are You Listening?
Are You Listening? is an intimate and emotionally soaring story about friendship, grief, and healing from Eisner Award winner Tillie Walden.
Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.
This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak—and a startling revelation about sexual assault—culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.
This magical realistic adventure from the celebrated creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam will stay with readers long after the final gorgeously illustrated page.
Susan: Tillie Walden is one of my insta-buy creators, so of COURSE I’m here for the weird fabulist road trip story.
Stevie Adams doesn’t believe in fate, not after losing her parents in a car crash. Now twenty-eight and a star in the Chicago improv scene, Stevie puts career first. No one’s going to get in the way of her New York City dreams. When her friends beg her to tag along to go see Constance Russo, a deaf psychic, Stevie begrudgingly agrees, as long as no one makes her get a reading.
American Sign Language interpreter Bernadette Thompson has two priorities: caring for her mother and working with her best friend, Constance Russo. But when the headstrong Stevie Adams accidentally stumbles into her life, Bernadette feels an instant connection that’s so intense it frightens her. They can’t seem to stop bumping into each other, or deny their attraction.
When Stevie’s goal of starring in New York becomes more than a pipe dream, will competing desires prove their love to be everlasting or a fleeting act?
Gideon the Ninth
Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.
The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.
Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.
Amanda: One of my most anticipated releases of 2019!
Ellen: I have only heard good things about this book for months. And “lesbian necromancers in space” hits a lot of high notes for me.
Susan: Gideon the Ninth had me at “lesbian necromancers”, even before my corner of the internet went into raptures over it. It has politics! Queer characters! Childhood enemies working together! Swordswomen/Mage team-ups! That cover! I am extremely excited about it.
Author: Gilly Macmillan
Released: September 10, 2019 by William Morrow
When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.
Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.
Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…
In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.
Elyse: A cold case thriller that sounds absolutely creeptastic.
Author: Liza Palmer
Released: September 10, 2019 by Flatiron Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
“Liza Palmer’s voice is fresh, exciting, and necessary. She’s a must-read author.” –Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & the Six
If there’s one thing Joan Dixon knows about herself, it’s that she is a damn good journalist. But when she is laid off from yet another soon-to-be-shuttered newspaper, and even the soulless, listicle-writing online jobs have dried up, she is left with few options. Closer to 40 than 30, single, living with her parents again, Joan decides she needs to reinvent herself. She goes to work as a junior copywriter at Bloom, a Los Angeles startup where her bosses are all a decade younger and snacks and cans of fizzy water flow freely.
For once, Joan has a steady paycheck and a stable job. She befriends a group of misfit coworkers and even begins a real relationship, after years of false starts. But once a journalist, always a journalist, and as Joan starts to poke beneath Bloom’s bright surface, she realizes that she may have accidentally stumbled onto the scoop of her lifetime. Is it worth risking everything for the sake of the story?
Charmingly candid, hilarious, and deeply moving, The Nobodies is a novel about failing but never losing the core of yourself, from a beloved writer at the top of her game.
Sarah: Liza Palmer writes such thoughtful characters who I don’t mind hanging out with for a few hundred pages. The heroine of this one has taken a job at a tech startup after her journalism career flatlines badly.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix Harrow
Released: September 10, 2019 by Redhook
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
In the early 1900s, a young woman searches for her place in the world after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Amanda: This sounds delightfully magical.
Aarya: Harrow just won a Hugo Award for Best Short Story (“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”) so I’m intrigued to read her full-length debut.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Released: September 10, 2019 by W. W. Norton & Company
Best-selling author and mortician Caitlin Doughty answers real questions from kids about death, dead bodies, and decomposition.
Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Do people poop when they die? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral?
In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Doughty blends her mortician’s knowledge of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious, and candid answers to thirty-five distinctive questions posed by her youngest fans. In her inimitable voice, Doughty details lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn colors during decomposition? And why do hair and nails appear longer after death? Readers will learn the best soil for mummifying your body, whether you can preserve your best friend’s skull as a keepsake, and what happens when you die on a plane. Beautifully illustrated by Dianné Ruz, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? shows us that death is science and art, and only by asking questions can we begin to embrace it.
Amanda: Doughty’s nonfiction on death and death practices is so fascinating. I also highly recommend her YouTube channel.
Sarah: The Good Death.
The Babysitters Coven
Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.
Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.
And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.
Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?
The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”
Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.
Ellen: I will consume basically any piece of media about teenage witches.
The Forest Feast Mediterranean
Author: Erin Gleeson
Released: September 17, 2019 by Abrams
Bestselling author returns with a gorgeously illustrated cookbook that will transport you to the Mediterranean coast
For years, Forest Feast readers have been transported to Erin Gleeson’s picturesque cabin in the woods through her stunning photography of magical gatherings and vibrant vegetarian cooking. Now, Gleeson takes inspiration from an extended family trip around Europe, creating effortless, unforgettable meals immersed in the cultures and cuisines of France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. The Forest Feast Travels reimagines the produce, flavors, and signature dishes of the Mediterranean coastline, presenting more than 100 new vegetarian recipes for small plates, drinks, and desserts. Richly illustrated with atmospheric images of Mediterranean coastal villages, charming watercolor illustrations, and mouthwatering food photography, The Forest Feast Travels is an irresistible escape from the everyday, no matter where you might live.
Catherine: Are we allowed to include cookbooks? Surely we are allowed to include cookbooks? Because I am super excited about this cookbook. Almost, but not quite, excited enough to have bought it in German when I saw it was published in Germany first last month. (I bought it for my German penfriend instead. But I very definitely need my own copy.) The recipes are fresh and delicious and I love the way she lays them out visually, to make them very intuitive even after a long day.
Monster, She Wrote
Author: Lisa Kroger
Released: September 17, 2019 by Quirk Books
Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.
Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Colter, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.
Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.
Susan: A history of women in speculative fiction and horror that actually acknowledges queer women and women of colour? SIGN ME UP.
The Paris Orphan
Sarah: This is a WWII novel with a past heroine’s actions influencing a present-day heroine’s life, and I’m very curious about it.
Promise of Darkness
Princess. Tribute. Sacrifice. Is she the one prophesied to unite two warring Fae courts? Or the one bound to destroy them?
In a realm ruled by magic, the ruthless Queen of Thorns is determined to destroy her nemesis, the cursed Prince of Evernight.
With war brewing between the bitter enemies, the prince forces Queen Adaia to uphold an ancient treaty: she will send one of her daughters to his court as a political hostage for three months.
The queen insists it’s the perfect opportunity for Princess Iskvien to end the war before it begins. But one look into Thiago’s smoldering eyes and Vi knows she’s no assassin.
The more secrets she uncovers about the prince and his court, the more she begins to question her mother’s motives.
Who is the true enemy? The dark prince who threatens her heart? Or the ruthless queen who will stop at nothing to destroy him?
And when the curse threatens to shatter both courts, is her heart strong enough to break it?
Join USA Today bestselling author, Bec McMaster, on a seductive journey through a mythic land, with a wicked prince who holds a thousand secrets, a princess determined to uncover the truth, and an evil queen who threatens to tear them apart. Download this epic fantasy filled with magic and breathtaking romance today!
Ellen: I feel like Bec McMaster distills fantasy romance tropes down to their purest form and then delivers them directly to my brain.
The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls
Author: Mona Eltahawy
Released: September 17, 2019 by Beacon Press
An international mandate for how girls and women can defy, disobey, and disrupt patriarchy everywhere
Feminist activist Mona Eltahawy knows that the patriarchy is alive and well, and she is fed the hell up. Sexually assaulted during hajj at the age of fifteen. Groped on the dance floor of a night club in Montreal at fifty. Countless other injustices in the years between.
Seizing upon the energy of the #MeToo movement, Eltahawy advocates a muscular, out-loud approach to teaching girls and women to harness their power through what she calls the “seven necessary sins” women and girls are not supposed to do or supposed to want or supposed to be: angry, ambitious, profane, violent, attention-seeking, lustful, and powerful. All the necessary “sins” that girls and women require to erupt.
Illuminating her call to action are stories of activists and ordinary women around the world – from South Africa to China, Nigeria to India, and Bosnia to Egypt – who are tapping into their inner fury, and crossing the lines of race, class, faith, and gender that make it so hard for marginalized women to be heard. Rather than teaching women and girls to survive the poisonous system they found themselves in, Eltahawy arms them to dismantle it.
Brilliant, bold, and energetic, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls is a manifesto for all feminists in the fight against patriarchy.
Sneezy: Mona Eltahawy is the kind of boss I want to be when I grow up. She has faced all kinds of adversity and traumas in her life, and no matter that happens, her conviction in herself remains unshaken. Her voice grows louder and ever more precise, refuses to confine herself to anyone else’s agenda, and remains compassionate to herself and others. I’ve admired her since I saw her debate on Al Jazeera English, and I. Can’t. Wait. For. This. Book.
The Tea Dragon Festival
Author: Katie O’Neill
Released: September 18, 2019 by Oni Press
Genre: Graphic Novel
Series: Tea Dragon #2
Revisit the enchanting world of Tea Dragons with an all-new companion story to the two-time Eisner Award-winning graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society!
Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village, but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep… but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.
Critically acclaimed graphic novelist Katie O’Neill delivers another charming, gentle fantasy story about finding your purpose, and the community that helps you along the way.
Susan: This prequel to The Tea Dragon Society is INCREDIBLY cute! It’s a sweet little story full of community and friendship, and I adore it!
Widow of Pale Harbor
Maine, 1846. Gideon Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Pale Harbor, Maine, where there is a vacancy for a new minister. Gideon and his late wife had always dreamed of building their own church, and Pale Harbor is the perfect opportunity.
But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town of Pale Harbor. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople know that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a widow who lives with a spinster maid in the decaying Castle Carver on the edge of town. Sophronia is a recluse, rumored to be a witch who killed her husband.
When Gideon meets her, he knows the charming, beautiful woman cannot be guilty of anything. Together, Gideon and Sophronia realize that the mysterious events have one thing in common: they all contain an element from the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And when the events escalate to murder, Gideon and Sophronia must find the real killer, before it’s too late for them both.
Elyse: A traditional gothic novel set on the Maine coast.
A Dream So Dark
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates), Alice must abandon her friends to complete her mission: find The Heart and prevent the Red Lady’s rise. But the deeper she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wits end that she realizes—Wonderland is trying to save her.
There’s a new player on the board; a poet capable of using Nightmares to not only influence the living but raise the dead. This Poet is looking to claim the Black Queen’s power—and Alice’s budding abilities—as their own.
Dreams have never been so dark in Wonderland, and if there is any hope of defeating this mystery poet’s magic, Alice must confront the worst in herself, in the people she loves, and in the very nature of fear itself.
Maya: OH MAN. I loved the first book and how it established the relationship between Wonderland and the real world, in particular how things like police brutality can create bigger, stronger nightmares in Wonderland because they feed off the fears and sadness of the community that experienced that violence. The first book ended on a cliffhanger, so I’m excited to dive back in!
Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .
The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.
At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .
This war could end them all.
Aarya: Nalini Singh. Need I say more?
Maya: Sighhhhh my PNR queen Nalini Singh. I’m about to face unemployment with the accompanying free time and I am very worried that I might burn through all her books at once.
The Bone Houses
Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Sky in the Deep in this bewitching, historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Holly Black and V.E. Schwab.
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the deeply-buried truths about themselves. Equal parts classic horror novel and original fairytale, The Bone Houses will have you spellbound from the very first page.
Amanda: I’m so ready to get spooky!
Heiress Gone Wild
Dear Lady Truelove,
My ward is driving me crazy. I have to marry her off and get her out of my life. There’s just one problem…
When Jonathan Deverill promised a dying friend he’d be guardian to the man’s daughter, he envisioned a girl in pigtails and pinafores, a child he could leave behind in some finishing school. Problem is, his ward is actually a fully-grown, defiant beauty whose longing for romance threatens to make his guardianship a living hell.
New York heiress Marjorie McGann wants a London season and a titled husband who can help her spend the Yankee millions she’s inherited, and she thinks her new British guardian is the perfect person to help her find him. But Jonathan has no intention of letting his friend’s fortune be squandered. Under his watchful, protective eye, Marjorie finds romance hard to come by . . . until one fateful night when her own guardian’s devastating kisses makes her wonder if the greatest romance of all might be right in front of her.
Catherine: Laura Lee Guhrke always feels like a guilty pleasure for me. I’m not sure why. Oh, I do know why though – that was the name of the first book of hers that I read, and it was delightful and used the language of flowers to send pointed insults. It’s probably too much to hope for a recurrence, but she does have a lovely way with humour, and her heroines are always interesting.
Murder at Kensington Palace
Wrexford and Sloane must unravel secrets within secrets—including a few that entangle their own hearts—when they reunite to solve a string of shocking murders that have horrified Regency London…
Though Charlotte Sloane’s secret identity as the controversial satirical cartoonist A.J. Quill is safe with the Earl of Wrexford, she’s ill prepared for the rippling effects sharing the truth about her background has cast over their relationship. She thought a bit of space might improve the situation. But when her cousin is murdered and his twin brother is accused of the gruesome crime, Charlotte immediately turns to Wrexford for help in proving the young man’s innocence. Though she finds the brooding scientist just as enigmatic and intense as ever, their partnership is now marked by an unfamiliar tension that seems to complicate every encounter.
Despite this newfound complexity, Wrexford and Charlotte are determined to track down the real killer. Their investigation leads them on a dangerous chase through Mayfair’s glittering ballrooms and opulent drawing rooms, where gossip and rumors swirl to confuse the facts. Was her cousin murdered over a romantic rivalry . . . or staggering gambling debts? Or could the motive be far darker and involve the clandestine scientific society that claimed both brothers as members? The more Charlotte and Wrexford try to unknot the truth, the more tangled it becomes. But they must solve the case soon, before the killer’s madness seizes another victim…
Ellen: One of my favorite historical mystery series, with a delightful slow burn (emphasis on sloooow) romance subplot between the two Mystery Solvers. Also some very fun child characters who are not just Plot Moppets.
The Orchid Throne
Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.
A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…
A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?
Ellen: Jeffe Kennedy is one of my favorite authors so this was a no-brainer for me.
Author: Brittney Morris
Released: September 24, 2019 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the black man.”
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”
Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically black in a world intimidated by blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Maya: That cover!! The heroine is a Black teen that is good at math and a game developer!! She gets sued for “anti-white discrimination”! It all makes me want to simultaneously read it and set stuff on fire!!
The Water Dancer
A boldly imagined work of magic and adventure from the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me .
Every plantation is a house of spies and intrigue, engineered to hide a fundamental reality: that it is built on slavery and built by the enslaved, its true geniuses and laborers stashed away in basements and fields, sleeping under beds and entering drawing rooms from passageways hidden behind sliding walls, their faces masks of compliance, their hearts beating with betrayal and insurrection. But against whom?
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage–and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child–but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn’t understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram’s private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he’s ever known.
So begins an unexpected journey into the covert war on slavery that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, all Hiram wants is to return to the Walker Plantation to free the family he left behind–but to do so, he must first master his magical gift and reconstruct the story of his greatest loss.
This is a bracingly original vision of the world of slavery, written with the narrative force of a great adventure. Driven by the author’s bold imagination and striking ability to bring readers deep into the interior lives of his brilliantly rendered characters, The Water Dancer is the story of America’s oldest struggle–the struggle to tell the truth–from one of our most exciting thinkers and beautiful writers.
Maya: I adore this native Baltimorean. The Beautiful Struggle is a must read for anyone that wants to know more about Baltimore than what they’ve seen on The Wire and Coates’ essays for The Atlantic are always fire.
It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…
Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.
Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom is looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.
Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.
In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.
Aarya: I loved the previous book in the Hat Trick series, and can’t wait to revisit the Atlanta Venom hockey team for another m/m romance (they’re rival goalies on the same team!).