When readers spend the majority of their days wandering among the bookshelves, they get elevated to superstar status—where book recommending is as effortless as breathing. And we’ve got recommendations from these experts rounded up here! Indie booksellers are always combing through the shiny new releases, and here we list their favorites. If your first stop at your local indie is always heading over to the “staff picks” section, then take a look at this sneak peek of some of the most transcendent, heartbreaking, truly immersive, and joyful reading experiences you can expect to have this fall.
“Everyone will have their own transportive experience with this book. You can either choose to read this and watch the characters descend, or you can choose to go on that journey with them. Those who choose the former may describe this book as ‘beautifully written’ or ‘heartrending.’ The rest of us will say it defied words. The entire time I felt, as a Black reader, a surreal sense of awe that I could experience the written word of this story in a way Annis, the main character, couldn’t. This book is truth, it is American, it is real, and it will stay with me forever.” —Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
From Jesmyn Ward—the two-time National Book Award winner, youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for Fiction, and MacArthur Fellow—comes a haunting masterpiece, sure to be an instant classic, about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War.
“‘Let us descend,’ the poet now began, ‘and enter this blind world.’” —Inferno, Dante Alighieri
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward’s most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.
“THE SQUARE OF SEVENS by Laura Shepherd-Robinson is the kind of epic, dreamy novel you get lost in, the kind that envelopes you so you forget everything around you . . . and then the author starts the twists and turns and the reader is left with their jaw dropped to the floor in astonishment, wanting to read the whole thing again to see what clues they missed! It’s an elegant historical mystery set in the mid-1700s in England, in which a young female fortune teller insinuates herself into a wealthy family in order to discover who her mother was and why she was abandoned. Thus begins a rollicking story of intrigue, sexual liaisons, family disputes, lies, and cartomancy. This is the most fun I have had reading a book this year (and maybe last year as well), and I cannot wait to sell it to customers. Please, S&S, bring more Laura Shepherd-Robinson to American shores! I need to read them all now.” —William Carl, An Unlikely Story
“A big, satisfying, and clever read.” —The Times (London)
An orphaned fortune teller in 18th-century England searches for answers about her long-dead mother and uncovers shocking secrets in this immersive and atmospheric saga perfect for fans of Sarah Waters and Sarah Perry.
Cornwall, 1730: A young girl known only as Red travels with her father making a living predicting fortunes using the ancient Cornish method of the Square of Sevens. Shortly before he dies, her father entrusts Red’s care to a gentleman scholar, along with a document containing the secret of the Square of Sevens technique.
Raised as a lady amidst the Georgian splendor of Bath, Red’s fortune-telling delights in high society. But she cannot ignore the questions that gnaw at her soul: who was her mother? How did she die? And who are the mysterious enemies her father was always terrified would find him?
The pursuit of these mysteries takes her from Cornwall and Bath to London and Devon, from the rough ribaldry of the Bartholomew Fair to the grand houses of two of the most powerful families in England. And while Red’s quest brings her the possibility of great reward, it also leads to grave danger.
Laura Shepherd-Robinson, “the queen of modern Georgian literature” (Susan Stokes-Chapman, author of Pandora), has written a dazzling and Dickensian story of mystery and intrigue, with audacious twists and turns.
“This was my first experience with Melissa Broder, and it will absolutely not be my last! I loved every minute of DEATH VALLEY, Broder’s exploration—into a cactus, no less—of grief, loss, love, and hope. Our nameless narrator, her husband chronically ill and her father in the ICU, wanders into the desert outside a Best Western. There, she encounters a giant cactus with a gash in its side and walks into it. She meets her father at different ages and begins to grieve his death before he has died. She is hilarious and hurting. She makes her way through the desert of her grief, and Broder’s prose simmers and sparkles. Don’t miss out on this book; it’s brilliant.” —Margaret, Dotters Books
The most profound book yet from the visionary author of Milk Fed and The Pisces, a darkly funny novel about grief that becomes a desert survival story.
In Melissa Broder’s astounding new novel, a woman arrives alone at a Best Western seeking respite from an emptiness that plagues her. She has fled to the California high desert to escape a cloud of sorrow—for both her father in the ICU and a husband whose illness is worsening. What the motel provides, however, is not peace but a path, thanks to a receptionist who recommends a nearby hike.
Out on the sun-scorched trail, the woman encounters a towering cactus whose size and shape mean it should not exist in California. Yet the cactus is there, with a gash through its side that beckons like a familiar door. So she enters it. What awaits her inside this mystical succulent sets her on a journey at once desolate and rich, hilarious and poignant.
This is Melissa Broder at her most imaginative, most universal, and finest. This is Death Valley.
“As always, Jennifer Weiner knocks it out of the park! THE BREAKAWAY has it all—a young woman searching for her dream life, fretting about her perfect boyfriend, who might not be so perfect, and dwelling on her relationship with her mother, which has always been volatile. Given a chance to lead a two-week-long bike trip along the Erie Canal, she jumps at it, only to discover that life might be what happens when you are making other plans. Charming!” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a warmhearted and empowering new novel about love, family, friendship, secrets, and a life-changing journey.
Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.
Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that something isn’t right...or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invitation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.
But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. In spite of their undeniable chemistry, Abby is determined to keep her distance. Then there’s a surprise last-minute addition to the trip: her mother, Eileen, the woman Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.
Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways...and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love.
“The true horror in Tananarive Due’s masterful new novel comes from her depiction of the evils wrought by Jim Crow and the men wielding its power—especially in the titular reformatory. The casual racism, daily indignities, and denial of the humanity of Black people are all bad enough, but these things pale compared to the abuse in the form of the beatings, rape, solitary confinement, and murder endured by the young inmates . . . fold in a ghost story with some rightfully angry ghosts and the story goes full-on horror.” —Rebecca Glenn, Sandpiper Books
A gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida that follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead.
Twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr., is sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys, a reformatory, for kicking the son of the largest landowner in town in defense of his older sister, Gloria. So begins Robbie’s journey further into the terrors of the Jim Crow South and the very real horror of the school they call The Reformatory.
Robbie has a talent for seeing ghosts, or haints. But what was once a comfort to him after the loss of his mother has become a window to the truth of what happens at the reformatory. Boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, but the haints Robbie sees hint at worse things. Through his friends Redbone and Blue, Robbie is learning not just the rules but how to survive. Meanwhile, Gloria is rallying every family member and connection in Florida to find a way to get Robbie out before it’s too late.
The Reformatory is a haunting work of historical fiction written as only American Book Award–winning author Tananarive Due could, by piecing together the life of the relative her family never spoke of and bringing his tragedy and those of so many others at the infamous Dozier School for Boys to the light in this riveting novel.
“Those of us who were alive at the time remember. We remember the men who first went to space and the ones who first walked on the moon. But what we also remember was that there were no women on board the space program. At least not in space. In 1977 when NASA finally opened up the application process to anyone regardless of race or gender, a new chapter in our space program was entered and women were soon proving their worth, yet again. This is the story of six women who started it all and carved their names in history. And it’s the story of the kind of media pressure they endured and extra scrutiny applied to their training that simply made their work harder and their lives more challenging. THE SIX is exciting, revealing, and invigorating. You’ll love it!” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore
In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and Code Girls, the remarkable true story of America’s first women astronauts—six extraordinary women, each making history going to orbit aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle.
When NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots—a group then made up exclusively of men—had the right stuff. It was an era in which women were steered away from jobs in science and deemed unqualified for space flight. Eventually, though, NASA recognized its blunder and opened the application process to a wider array of hopefuls, regardless of race or gender. From a candidate pool of 8,000 six elite women were selected in 1978—Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon.
In The Six, acclaimed journalist Loren Grush shows these brilliant and courageous women enduring claustrophobic—and sometimes deeply sexist—media attention, undergoing rigorous survival training, and preparing for years to take multi-million-dollar payloads into orbit. Together, the Six helped build the tools that made the space program run. One of the group, Judy Resnik, sacrificed her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded at 46,000 feet. Everyone knows of Sally Ride’s history-making first space ride, but each of the Six would make their mark.
“I just finished this book and couldn’t write my review fast enough. I can’t wait to get this book into the hands of readers for no other reason than I’ll finally have someone to talk about it with! When I quickly noticed the similarities between what was happening in this book and the true story of a notorious serial killer, I was nervous that this was going to be yet another one of those avenues to glamorize his story. But it’s the absolute opposite. I found myself cheering on Pamela as she poured her heart and soul into finding justice for her sisters and she never once bought into The Defendant’s charm that captivated the rest of the United States. This novel is what true crime wants to do at its very best: operate as an avenue to redeem the memory and hold on to the lives lost while obliterating any charm or sensationalism surrounding the perpetrator.” —Libby Monaghan, Twice Told Tales
From the megabestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive comes another shocking thriller inspired by the real-life sorority and target of America’s first celebrity serial killer.
January 15, 1978, is a night of promise, excitement, and desire. A serial killer’s murderous spree in the Pacific Northwest couldn’t be further from the minds of the vibrant young women at the top sorority on Florida State University’s campus in Tallahassee.
That night, Pamela Schumacher, president of the sorority, makes the unpopular decision to stay home. Startled awake at 3 a.m. by a strange sound, she makes the fateful decision to investigate. What she finds outside her bedroom door is a scene of implausible violence—two of her sisters dead; two others, maimed.
On the other side of the country, in Seattle, Tina Cannon has found peace after years of hardship. A chance encounter brings twenty-five-year-old Ruth Wachowsky into her life and they forge an instant connection. But then Ruth goes missing from Lake Sammamish State Park in broad daylight, the same day as another young woman, surrounded by thousands of beachgoers. Both vanish without a trace. Tina is convinced Ruth was a target of the man the papers refer to as the All-American Sex Killer.
When she learns of the massacre in Tallahassee, Tina is convinced it’s him again. She rushes to Florida, on a collision course with Pamela—and one last impending tragedy.
Bright Young Women tells the story of two women from opposite sides of the country who forge a sisterhood in grief and in the fervent pursuit of justice. Toggling between those terrifying days in 1978 and a letter that brings them together in the present, this is a novel that flips the script on the oft-perpetuated glorification of a sadistic but ultimately average man and instead turns the spotlight on the exceptional women he targeted.
“ALICE SADIE CELINE is so funny, sexy, and full of nuance. Just read the explosive premise—it’ll reel you right in. With three fantastic central characters, so crisply distinct from each other, it’s sort of like Gilmore Girls gone wrong, but in the best way. There’s lots of love-to-hate going on, and there are also many tender, beautiful, true-to-life moments. I really appreciated that one of the characters makes her sexual debut at a later age than is often portrayed in the media. It’s giving off pheromones for fans of my favorite Irish girlies—Sally Rooney, Naoise Dolan, Caroline O’Donoghue—but we’re in Hollywood (and Berkeley) now, baby. Mommy issues, who?” —Mary Wahlmeier Bracciano, Raven Book Store
“Obsessed!” —Chloë Sevigny
“I am literally obsessed.” —Busy Philipps
A hypnotic, sexy, and incisive debut adult novel following one woman’s affair with her daughter’s best friend that tests the limits of love and ambition from #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Riding Hood.
It’s opening night, but Alice’s performance in the local Bay Area production of The Winter’s Tale is far from glamorous. She doesn’t have dreams of stardom, but the basement theater in a wildfire-choked town isn’t exactly what she envisioned for her career back home in Los Angeles. To make matters worse, her best friend Sadie is not even coming.
Pragmatic, serious Sadie and flighty, creative Alice have been best friends since high school—really one another’s only friends—but now that they are through with college (which they attended together) and living on opposite ends of California, Alice would at least expect her friend’s support. Sadie, determined not to cancel her plans with her boyfriend, ends up enlisting the help of her mother, Celine.
A professor of women’s and gender studies at UC Berkeley, Celine’s landmark treatise on sex and identity made her notorious, but she’s struggling to write her new book in a post-second-wave feminist world. So, when Sadie begs her to attend Alice’s play, she relents, if only to escape writer’s block. But in a turn of perplexing events, Celine becomes entranced by Alice’s performance and realizes that her daughter’s once lanky, slightly annoying best friend is now an irresistible young woman.
Set over the course of decades—from Alice and Sadie’s early friendship days and Celine’s decision to leave her husband to the radical movements of 1990s Berkeley and navigating contemporary Hollywood—Alice and Celine’s affair will test the limits of their love for Sadie and their own beliefs of power, agency, and feminism. Witty and relatable, sexy and surprising, Sarah Blakley-Cartwright’s debut adult novel is a mesmerizing portrait of the inner lives of three very different women.
“A tremendous and raw memoir about growing up in a disparaging Rastafarian household. Safiya’s writing is beautiful and poignant. Padded with historical moments in Jamaican and Rastafarian culture, Safiya Sinclair gives the reader an inside look on growing up with an absent and often abusive father in a religion that doesn’t value her thoughts or feelings. Incredibly touching and unique.” —Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana
With echoes of Educated and Born a Crime, How to Say Babylon is the stunning story of the author’s struggle to break free of her rigid Rastafarian upbringing, ruled by her father’s strict patriarchal views and repressive control of her childhood, to find her own voice as a woman and poet.
Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair’s father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman’s highest virtue was her obedience.
In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya’s mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father’s beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya’s voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them.
How to Say Babylon is Sinclair’s reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about.
“If you want a mix of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, read this book. This fast-paced book hooks you from the beginning. As a mother reading this book, I found myself thinking about how vulnerable and lonely you can get, and how just one group of friends could change your whole life. The book starts out with Tash, who is a journalist, learning of a murder and becoming obsessed with trying to ask all the questions that the police seem to sweep under the rug, but in the process, she enters into a mommy group that just might have all the answers. Over the course of the book the women become closer, and Tash just can’t stop herself from getting swept up in the sisterhood of the group and really questions her own reality. What is real in her life and what isn’t? Is her marriage as strong as she thought? Could her friends be murderers? All the questions get answered in a twist I did not see coming. This book is really good at showing how loneliness as a mother could push you to do things that you never thought you’d do. Just as an added bonus, the book has short chapters, and you’ll blow right through this book.” —Amy Thue, Whimsy on Main
The author of the “twisty, fast-paced” (The Sunday Times, London) Greenwich Park returns with a fresh and deftly paced thriller about murder, class, and motherhood in an exclusive London community.
When a young nanny is found dead in mysterious circumstances, new mom, Tash, is intrigued. She has been searching for a story to launch her career as a freelance journalist. But she has also been searching for something else—new friends to help her navigate motherhood.
She sees them at her son’s new playgroup. The other mothers. A group of sleek, sophisticated women who live in a neighborhood of tree-lined avenues and stunning houses. The sort of mothers Tash herself would like to be. When the mothers welcome her into their circle, Tash discovers the kind of life she has always dreamt of—their elegant London townhouses a far cry from her cramped basement flat and endless bills. She is quickly swept up into their wealthy world via coffees, cocktails, and playdates.
But when another young woman is found dead, it’s clear there’s much more to the community than meets the eye. The more Tash investigates, the more she’s led uncomfortably close to the other mothers. Are these women really her friends? Or is there another, more dangerous reason why she has been so quickly accepted into their exclusive world? Who, exactly, is investigating who?
“One of the easiest five-star ratings I’ve ever given. ROUGE is Mona Awad’s best novel yet. We follow Belle, a skincare-obsessed and insecure woman as she navigates the (apparent) suicide of her mother, the problems she inherits, and the enigmatic spa on a seaside cliff that may be more than meets the eye. Awad is at her finest here, doing what she does best: creating phantasmagoric scenes dripping in saturated colors and textures and conjuring characters that are depthless. Her homages to classic fairy tales like Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, among others, as well as an examination of the impossible, even cannibalistic demands of the beauty industry, all with a sprinkle of old, classic Hollywood, create a reality so vivid, so tactile you can touch it. Taste it. Smell it. Yet everything is just one step off from the world as we know it. Is that blood on Mother’s lips or her favorite lipstick? What is floating in the water: crimson jellyfish or a brain stem? Is that mannequin smirking at you or is it just your imagination? Does that dress have frills or gore on the bodice? What horrors await us when we pluck up the courage to look in a mirror and ask who really IS the fairest of them all? And (holy sh*t!) is that Tom Cruise?!” —Conner Horak, Tattered Cover Book Store
From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny comes a horror-tinted, gothic fairy tale about a lonely dress shop clerk whose mother’s unexpected death sends her down a treacherous path in pursuit of youth and beauty. Can she escape her mother’s fate—and find a connection that is more than skin deep?
For as long as she can remember, Belle has been insidiously obsessed with her skin and skincare videos. When her estranged mother Noelle mysteriously dies, Belle finds herself back in Southern California, dealing with her mother’s considerable debts and grappling with lingering questions about her death. The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother’s demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. With the help of a pair of red shoes, Belle is lured into the barbed embrace of La Maison de Méduse, the same lavish, culty spa to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother’s) obsession with the mirror—and the great shimmering depths (and demons) that lurk on the other side of the glass.
Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut in this surreal descent into the dark side of beauty, envy, grief, and the complicated love between mothers and daughters. With black humor and seductive horror, Rouge explores the cult-like nature of the beauty industry—as well as the danger of internalizing its pitiless gaze. Brimming with California sunshine and blood-red rose petals, Rouge holds up a warped mirror to our relationship with mortality, our collective fixation with the surface, and the wondrous, deep longing that might lie beneath.
“Brimming with emotional resonance, Land’s candid narrative detailing her experiences as a young single mother kept me up all night. I was unable to set the book aside. This memoir serves as a crucial critique of our outdated governmental structures and their shortcomings in supporting hardworking and dedicated parents. It’s a bittersweet celebration of the never-ending efforts undertaken by countless single parents (often without acknowledgment), and a sign of hope for parents/guardians who find themselves in similar situations.” —Rose Pearson, The Bluestocking Bookshop
From the New York Times bestselling author who inspired the hit Netflix series about a struggling mother barely making ends meet as a housecleaner—a gripping memoir about college, motherhood, poverty, and life after Maid.
When Stephanie Land set out to write her memoir Maid, she never could have imagined what was to come. Handpicked by President Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2019, it was called “an eye-opening journey into the lives of the working poor” (People). Later it was adapted into the hit Netflix series Maid, which was viewed by 67 million households and was Netflix’s fourth most-watched show in 2021, garnering three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Stephanie’s escape out of poverty and abuse in search of a better life inspired millions.
Maid was a story about a housecleaner, but it was also a story about a woman with a dream. In Class, Land takes us with her as she finishes college and pursues her writing career. Facing barriers at every turn including a byzantine loan system, not having enough money for food, navigating the judgments of professors and fellow students who didn’t understand the demands of attending college while under the poverty line—Land finds a way to survive once again, finally graduating in her mid-thirties.
Class paints an intimate and heartbreaking portrait of motherhood as it converges and often conflicts with personal desire and professional ambition. Who has the right to create art? Who has the right to go to college? And what kind of work is valued in our culture? In clear, candid, and moving prose, Class grapples with these questions, offering a searing indictment of America’s educational system and an inspiring testimony of a mother’s triumph against all odds.
“Once again Krueger has given us a beautiful novel and an in-depth character study about the town, the setting, and the people. It is about life in a small town and the diverse characters who live there, all with their own secrets and baggage and yet with a strong will to survive and be happy with who they are and what they now have. It shows us the true hardships of life, and the prejudices that existed in 1958 in a small farming community in southern Minnesota. It is sad and sometimes tough to read but it also shows us the beauty in human beings and what each will do to protect those they love and to right past wrongs.” – Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction
In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the “expansive, atmospheric American saga” (Entertainment Weekly) This Tender Land.
On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn’s murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.
Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn’s death threatens to expose.
Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life from an author of novels “as big-hearted as they come” (Parade), The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.
“Sometimes, living in a bubble, we forget how terrifying the real world is. Myriam Gurba reminds us in CREEP that there are horrors hidden within the skin of everyone we see walking down the street. She introduces readers to the raw hideousness of oppression, racism, and misogyny by taking us through eleven striking essays, each leaving us with our hands covering our mouths in shock. This book is painfully important for everyone to read. Gurba reminds us that creeps and danger lurk in the corners we never expected them to, and they are closer than we may think. This book is a must-read, as it opens our eyes to the warped dangers that plague our society.” —Aadi Miglani, Adventures By The Book
A ruthless and razor-sharp essay collection that tackles the pervasive, creeping oppression and toxicity that has wormed its way into society—in our books, schools, and homes, as well as the systems that perpetuate them—from the acclaimed author of Mean, and one of our fiercest, foremost explorers of intersectional Latinx identity.
A creep can be a singular figure, a villain who makes things go bump in the night. Yet creep is also what the fog does—it lurks into place to do its dirty work, muffling screams, obscuring the truth, and providing cover for those prowling within it.
Creep is Myriam Gurba’s informal sociology of creeps, a deep dive into the dark recesses of the toxic traditions that plague the United States and create the abusers who haunt our books, schools, and homes. Through cultural criticism disguised as personal essay, Gurba studies the ways in which oppression is collectively enacted, sustaining ecosystems that unfairly distribute suffering and premature death to our most vulnerable. Yet identifying individual creeps, creepy social groups, and creepy cultures is only half of this book’s project—the other half is examining how we as individuals, communities, and institutions can challenge creeps and rid ourselves of the fog that seeks to blind us.
With her ruthless mind, wry humor, and adventurous style, Gurba implicates everyone from Joan Didion to her former abuser, everything from Mexican stereotypes to the carceral state. Braiding her own history and identity throughout, she argues for a new way of conceptualizing oppression, and she does it with her signature blend of bravado and humility.
“Set in the near future, Naomi Alderman’s book depicts a world sitting on the brink of environmental cataclysm. Alderman ties together the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media platforms. The way they can manipulate and change the subconscious of the world at lightning speed is truly frightening. If the heads of those platforms don’t have the best intentions for the world in their ethos, then the world is truly doomed. Which is where this book takes place. At the beginning, three tech giants and their families get alerted that a cataclysmic event is in the process of happening. They are instructed to extract themselves and head to one of their bunkers to wait out the end of the world. Alderman then takes us back to show us all the behind-the-scenes action that happened before the lead-up. It is a wild ride, and I wish that the outcome could happen to our world as well.” —Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company
The bestselling, award-winning author of The Power delivers a dazzling tour de force where a handful of friends plot a daring heist to save the world from the tech giants whose greed threatens life as we know it.
When Martha Einkorn fled her father’s isolated compound in Oregon, she never expected to find herself working for a powerful social media mogul hell-bent on controlling everything. Now, she’s surrounded by mega-rich companies designing private weather, predictive analytics, and covert weaponry, while spouting technological prophecy. Martha may have left the cult, but if the apocalyptic warnings in her father’s fox and rabbit sermon—once a parable to her—are starting to come true, how much future is actually left?
Across the world, in a mall in Singapore, Lai Zhen, an internet-famous survivalist, flees from an assassin. She’s cornered, desperate and—worst of all—might die without ever knowing what's going on. Suddenly, a remarkable piece of software appears on her phone telling her exactly how to escape. Who made it? What is it really for? And if those behind it can save her from danger, what do they want from her, and what else do they know about the future?
Martha and Zhen’s worlds are about to collide. An explosive chain of events is set in motion. While a few billionaires assured of their own safety lead the world to destruction, Martha’s relentless drive and Zhen’s insatiable curiosity could lead to something beautiful or the cataclysmic end of civilization.
By turns thrilling, hilarious, tender, and always piercingly brilliant, The Future unfolds at a breakneck speed, highlighting how power corrupts the few who have it and what it means to stand up to them. The future is coming. The Future is here.
“I really enjoyed this slow-burn romance because not only is it funny and feel-good, it also touches on a lot of deeper and important topics. It is a queer awakening with so much queer and trans joy despite being set in a state with so much hatred, showing us that joy can be found within the people you surround yourself with. I really wasn’t in the mood for a holiday book going in, but my mood quickly changed within the first chapter.” —Meghan Molinari, Lark & Owl Booksellers
A trans man returns to his Florida hometown for Christmas after his career goes up in flames, only to cross paths with his high school ex in this charming rom-com about family and second chances from the author of the “delectable” (Time) Chef’s Kiss.
Eli Ward hasn’t been back to his suffocating hometown of New Port Stephen, Florida, in ages. Post-transition and sober, he’s a completely different person from the one who left years ago. But when a scandal threatens his career as a TV writer and comedian, he has no choice but to return home for the holidays. He can only hope he’ll survive his boisterous, loving, but often misguided family and hide the fact that his dream of comedy success has become a nightmare.
Just when he thinks this trip couldn’t get any worse, Eli bumps into his high school ex, Nick Wu, who’s somehow hotter than ever. Divorced and in his forties, Nick’s world revolves around his father, his daughter, and his job. But even a busy life can’t keep him from being intrigued by the reappearance of Eli.
Against the backdrop of one weird Floridian Christmas, the two must decide whether to leave the past in the past…or move on together.
“I appreciate the wisdom and economy of language Coulson uses to tell the story of a woman’s life. Like a minor painting in a world-class museum, Kitty could have gone unnoticed her whole life. But with context and curation, her life takes on the relevance of a masterpiece. I loved this book so much. It deserves two readings, one to find out what happens, in the real world, and one to discover the depth of metaphor and art history of the author.” —Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe
A sly and stylish novel—remarkably told through museum wall labels—about a twentieth-century woman who transforms herself from a precious object into an unforgettable protagonist.
Author Christine Coulson spent twenty-five years writing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her final project was to write wall labels for the museum’s new British Galleries. During that time, she dreamt of using The Met’s strict label format to describe people as intricate works of art. The result is this bullet of a novel that imagines a privileged twentieth-century woman as an artifact—an object prized, collected, and critiqued. One Woman Show revolves around the life of Kitty Whitaker as she is defined by her potential for display and moved from collection to collection through multiple marriages. Coulson precisely distills each stage of this sprawling life, every brief snapshot in time a wry reflection on womanhood, ownership, value, and power.
Described with poignancy and humor over the course of a century, Kitty emerges as an eccentric heroine who disrupts her porcelain life with both major force and minor transgressions. As human foibles propel each delicately crafted text, Coulson’s playful reversal on our interaction with art ultimately questions who really gets to tell our stories.
“I realized while reading my third Yoon book, Snow Hunters, that he might be my favorite writer at the prose level. THE HIVE AND THE HONEY confirms it. Such stunning, sparse language, it’s minimalism with incredible power. There are unforgettable images in these stories: a mechanized shooting star over the sea, a shattering moon, a butterfly hovering above a hot spring. It’s a short collection that’s incredibly expansive, covering a swath of history to explore diaspora, identity, and belonging. I loved all of these stories.” —Santiago Nocera, Greedy Reads
A New York Times, Time, and Literary Hub most-anticipated book of the fall.
From the beloved award-winning author Paul Yoon comes a spectacular collection of unique stories, each confronting themes of identity, belonging, and the collision of cultures across countries and centuries.
A boy searches for his father, a prison guard on Sakhalin Island. In Barcelona, a woman is tasked with spying on a prizefighter who may or may not be her estranged son. A samurai escorts an orphan to his countrymen in the Edo Period. A formerly incarcerated man starts a new life in a small town in upstate New York and attempts to build a family.
The Hive and the Honey is a bold and indelible collection by celebrated author Paul Yoon, one that portrays the vastness and complexity of diasporic communities, with each story bringing to light the knotty inheritances of their characters. How does a North Korean defector connect with the child she once left behind? What are the traumas that haunt a Korean settlement in Far East Russia?
Lauded as a “quotidian-surreal craft-master” (New York magazine), Yoon’s stunning stories are laced with beauty and cruelty, and The Hive and the Honey is the work of an author writing at the very height of his powers.
“WILDFIRE is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy! I loved this book so much! Fans of Hannah Grace will recognize familiar characters from her first novel, Icebreaker, but don’t worry—you do not need to read Icebreaker first. You can pick up WILDFIRE and read it as a stand-alone book with no problems. I loved watching the relationship between Aurora and Russ develop. Both characters have such respect and consideration for the other. They actively work on being good communicators and even poke fun at the miscommunication trope! And they each grow as human beings both within their relationship and outside of their relationship by the end. You really care about the love story, of course, but the friendships and family dynamics tug at your heartstrings too. Hannah Grace does a wonderful job of giving us found-family vibes and building friendships between the characters. The cozy summer camp and small-town vibes were so charming, I never wanted to leave Honey Acres. And the pages breezed by. This was a fast read that I did not want to put down! WILDFIRE is laugh-out-loud funny, heartbreakingly adorable, and steamy enough to make you blush. Grab your hot cocoa, a comfy blanket, and get ready to curl up with WILDFIRE.” —Emily Lessig, The Violet Fox Bookshop
The latest in the TikTok sensation and deliciously “swoonworthy” (Elena Armas, New York Times bestselling author) Maple Hills series follows two summer camp counselors who reconnect after a sizzling one-night stand.
Maple Hills students Russ Callaghan and Aurora Roberts cross paths at a party celebrating the end of the academic year, where a drinking game results in them having a passionate one-night stand. Never one to overstay her welcome (or expect much from a man), Aurora slips away before Russ even has the chance to ask for her full name.
Imagine their surprise when they bump into each other on the first day of the summer camp where they are both counselors, hoping to escape their complicated home lives by spending the summer working. Russ hopes if he gets far enough away from Maple Hills, he can avoid dealing with the repercussions of his father’s gambling addiction, while Aurora is tired of craving attention from everyone around her, and wants to go back to the last place she truly felt at home.
Russ knows breaking the camp’s strict “no staff fraternizing” rule will have him heading back to Maple Hills before the summer is over, but unfortunately for him, Aurora has never been very good at caring about the rules. Will the two learn to peacefully coexist? Or did their one night together start a fire they can’t put out?
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