The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella
Sasha has had it. She cannot bring herself to respond to another inane, “urgent” (but obviously not at all urgent) email or participate in the corporate employee joyfulness program. She hasn’t seen her friends in months. Sex? Seems like a lot of effort. Even cooking dinner takes far too much planning. Sasha has hit a wall.
Armed with good intentions to drink kale smoothies, try yoga, and find peace, she heads to the seaside resort she loved as a child. But it’s the off season, the hotel is in a dilapidated shambles, and she has to share the beach with the only other occupant: a grumpy guy named Finn, who seems as stressed as Sasha. How can she commune with nature when he’s sitting on her favorite rock, watching her? Nor can they agree on how best to alleviate their burnout (Sasha: manifesting, wild swimming; Finn: drinking whisky, getting pizza delivered to the beach).
When curious messages, seemingly addressed to Sasha and Finn, begin to appear on the beach, the two are forced to talk—about everything. How did they get so burned out? Can either of them remember something they used to love? (Answer: surfing!) And the question they try and fail to ignore: what does the energy between them—flaring even in the face of their bone-deep exhaustion—signify?
Family Meal by Bryan Washington
Cam is living in Los Angeles and falling apart after the love of his life has died. Kai’s ghost won’t leave Cam alone; his spectral visits wild, tender, and unexpected. When Cam returns to his hometown of Houston, he crashes back into the orbit of his former best friend, TJ, and TJ’s family bakery. TJ’s not sure how to navigate this changed Cam, impenetrably cool and self-destructing, or their charged estrangement. Can they find a way past all that has been said – and left unsaid – to save each other? Could they find a way back to being okay again, or maybe for the first time?
When secrets and wounds become so insurmountable that they devour us from within, hope and sustenance and friendship can come from the most unlikely source. Spanning Los Angeles, Houston, and Osaka, Family Meal is a story about how the people who know us the longest can hurt us the most, but how they also set the standard for love.
The Witch of Maracoor by Gregory Maguire
Following a confrontation with her reclusive great-grandfather, the one-time Wizard of Oz, Rainary Ko—the granddaughter of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West—has re-upped in a mission to settle a few scores and right a wrong or two. Her memory and her passions reviving, Rain turns her gaze back to her native Oz. Though the Grimmerie, which she had cast into the sea, retains its arcane power over her, the lover she left behind in Oz proves no less haunting. Traveling companions and arrivistes can befuddle a young witch coming into her own, but Rain marshals a steely determination to stare her troubles in the eye and see who blinks first.
In the final book of the Another Day cycle, a lost young woman grows through a cautious adolescence into an adult state of fervor and daring. Enchantment imprisons and it also liberates. Pay heed, pay respect, but above all, pay attention.
Becoming the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar
A riveting, haunting sequel to the New York Times bestselling thriller Chasing the Boogeyman—a tale of obsession and the adulation of evil, exploring modern society’s true-crime obsession with unflinching honesty, sparing no one from the glare of the spotlight. Will those involved walk away from the story of a lifetime in order to keep their loved ones safe? Or will they once again be drawn into a killer’s web? As the story draws to its shattering conclusion, only one person holds all the answers—and he just may be the most terrifying monster of them all.
Better Hate than Never by Chloe Liese
Katerina Wilmot and Christopher Petruchio shared backyards as kids, but as adults they won’t even share the same hemisphere. That is, until Kate makes a rare visit home, and their fiery animosity rekindles into a raging inferno.
Despite their friends’ and families’ pleas for peace, Christopher is unconvinced Kate would willingly douse the flames of their enmity. But when drunken Kate confesses she’s only been hostile because she thought he hated her, Christopher vows to make peace with Kate after all. Tempting as it is to be swept away when her nemesis transforms overnight into a caring gentleman who woos Kate with her favorite foods, flowers, and flattering words, she doesn’t trust his charming good-guy act.
When Christopher’s persistence and Kate’s curiosity lead to an impassioned kiss, they realize “peace” is the last thing that will ever be possible between them. As desire gives way to deeper feelings, Kate and Christopher must decide if it’s truly better to hate than to never risk their hearts—or if they already gave them away long ago.
Blackouts by Justin Torres
Out in the desert in a place called the Palace, a young man tends to a dying soul, someone he once knew briefly, but who has haunted the edges of his life. Juan Gay–playful raconteur, child lost and found and lost, guardian of the institutionalized–has a project to pass along to this new narrator. It is inspired by a true artifact of a book, Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns, which contains stories collected in the early twentieth century from queer subjects by a queer researcher, Jan Gay, whose groundbreaking work was then co-opted by a committee, her name buried. As Juan waits for his end, he and the narrator trade stories–moments of joy and oblivion–and resurrect lost loves, lives, mothers, fathers, minor heroes. The past is with us, beside us, ahead of us; what are we to create from its gaps and erasures?
Homeward by Angela Jackson-Brown
Georgia, 1962. Rose Perkins Bourdon returns home to Parsons, GA, without her husband and pregnant with another man’s baby. After tragedy strikes her husband in the war overseas, a numb Rose is left with pieces of who she used to be and is forced to figure out what she is going to do with the rest of her life. Her sister introduces her to members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—young people are taking risks and fighting battles Rose has only seen on television. Feeling emotions for the first time in what feels like forever, the excited and frightened Rose finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the resistance efforts. And of course, there is also the young man, Isaac Weinberg, whose passion for activism stirs something in her she didn’t think she would ever feel again.
Last to Leave the Room by Caitlin Starling
The city of San Siroco is sinking. The basement of Dr. Tamsin Rivers, the arrogant, selfish head of the research team assigned to find the source of the subsidence, is sinking faster. As Tamsin grows obsessed with the distorting dimensions of the room at the bottom of the stairs, she finds a door that didn’t exist before – and one night, it opens to reveal an exact physical copy of her. This doppelgänger is sweet and biddable where Tamsin is calculating and cruel. It appears fully, terribly human, passing every test Tamsin can devise. But the longer the double exists, the more Tamsin begins to forget pieces of her life, to lose track of time, to grow terrified of the outside world. As her employer grows increasingly suspicious, Tamsin must try to hold herself together long enough to figure out what her double wants from her, and just where the mysterious door leads…
MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales & Gavin Edwards
Marvel Entertainment was a moribund toymaker not even twenty years ago. Today, Marvel Studios is the dominant player both in Hollywood and in global pop culture. How did an upstart studio conquer the world? In MCU, beloved culture writers Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards draw on more than a hundred interviews with actors, producers, directors, and writers to present the definitive chronicle of Marvel Studios and its sole, ongoing production, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For all its outward success, the studio was forged by near-constant conflict, from the contentious hiring of Robert Downey Jr. for its 2008 debut, Iron Man, all the way up to the disappointment of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and shocking departures of multiple Marvel executives in 2023. Throughout, the authors demonstrate that the original genius of Marvel was its resurrection and modification of Hollywood’s old studio system. But will it survive its own spectacular achievements?
Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
Christmas comes early—far too early—to McCredie’s little Old Town bookshop in Edinburgh. It’s summer, but an American production company has decided that McCredie’s is the perfect location to film a very cheesy Christmas movie. After all, who can resist the charmingly narrow historic street with its Victorian grey stone buildings and warmly lit shop windows?
Carmen Hogan, the bookshop’s manager, is amused and a bit horrified by the goings-on, but the money the studio is paying is too good to pass up. She uses the little windfall from filming to create new displays and fend off a buyout offer from an obnoxious millionaire who wants to turn McCredie’s into a souvenir shop selling kilts made in China and plastic Nessies. Still reeling slightly from a breakup, Carmen’s not particularly looking forward to the holidays. But just as snow begins to fall and the lights of Christmas blink on, all sorts of lovely new possibilities present themselves…for McCredie’s bookstore, and for Carmen herself.
Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender
ogan Gray is Hollywood’s bad boy—a talented but troubled actor who the public loves to hate. Mattie Cole is an up‑and‑coming golden boy, adored by all but plagued by insecurities.
When Logan and Mattie are cast as leads in a new romantic film, Logan claims that Matt has “zero talent,” sending the film’s publicity into a nosedive. To create positive buzz, the two are persuaded into a fake‑dating scheme—but as the two actors get to know their new characters, real feelings start to develop.
As public scrutiny intensifies and old wounds resurface, the two must fight for their relationship and their love.
The Bell in the Fog by Lev AC Rosen
San Francisco, 1952. Detective Evander “Andy” Mills has started a new life for himself as a private detective—but his business hasn’t exactly taken off. It turns out that word spreads fast when you have a bad reputation, and no one in the queer community trusts him enough to ask an ex-cop for help.
When James, an old flame from the war who had mysteriously disappeared, arrives in his offices above the Ruby, Andy wants to kick him out. But the job seems to be a simple case of blackmail, and Andy’s debts are piling up. He agrees to investigate, despite everything it stirs up.
The case will take him back to the shadowy, closeted world of the Navy, and then out into the gay bars of the city, where the past rises up to meet him, like the swell of the ocean under a warship. Missing people, violent strangers, and scandalous photos that could destroy lives are a whirlpool around him, and Andy better make sense of it all before someone pulls him under for good.
To Rescue the Constitution by Bret Baier
George Washington rescued the nation and the Constitution three times: first by winning the Revolutionary War, second by presiding over the Constitutional Convention and ushering the Constitution through a fractious ratification process, and third by leading the nation as president in its first years. There is no doubt that the struggling new nation needed to be rescued.
After the victorious war, when a spirit of unity and patriotism might have been expected, instead the nation was broken. The states were no more than a loosely knit and contentious confederation, with no strong central union. They were in constant conflict. A frustrated Washington wrote to James Madison, “We are either a united people, or we are not… If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it…” It was an urgent matter, and led to the calling of a Constitutional Convention.
What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
1999: The Kim family is struggling to move on after their mother, Sunny, vanished a year ago. Sixty-one-year-old John Kim feels more isolated from his grown children, Anastasia and Ronald, than ever before. But one evening, their fragile lives are further upended when John finds the body of a stranger in the backyard, carrying a letter to Sunny, leaving the family with more questions than ever about the stranger’s history and possible connections to their mother.
1977: Sunny is pregnant and has just moved to Los Angeles from Korea with her aloof and often-absent husband. America is not turning out the way she had dreamed it to be, and the loneliness and isolation are broken only by a fateful encounter at a bus stop. The unexpected connection spans the decades and echoes into the family’s lives in the present as they uncover devastating secrets that put not only everything they thought they knew about their mother but their very lives at risk.
You Always Come Back by Emily Smith
Nine years ago, July Weaver’s little sister was one of the first victims of the Pacific Lake Killer, a serial killer in Georgia. When other girls began to disappear and were found dead, it was July’s testimony that put her own father into prison for the crimes. After the sentencing, she fled to Nashville to focus on her music career and to try to forget the horrible past. But when her brother tries to kill himself, July is forced to come back home and reunite with her four remaining siblings.
What she isn’t expecting is to uncover new evidence that makes her question everything that happened to her sister nine years ago. Is it possible that July blamed the wrong person? Is it possible that the Pacific Lake Killer is still out there? As the linchpin to the case against her father—and the reason the Pacific Lake Killer case is closed—July knows it isn’t long before the killer will set their eyes back on her. If they’re really still out there.
Geneva by Richard Armitage
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sarah Collier has taken a step back from work to spend more time with her family. Movie nights with her husband Daniel and their daughter Maddie are a welcome respite from the scrutiny of the world’s press. As much as it hurts, it’s good to be able to see her father more too. He’s suffering from Alzheimer’s and needs special care.
Sarah has started to show tell-tale signs of the disease too. She’s been experiencing blackouts and memory loss. It’s early days but she must face the possibility that she won’t be there to see her daughter grow up. Daniel, a neuroscientist himself, is doing his best to be supportive but she already knows that she will have to be the strong one. For all of them.
So when Sarah is invited to be the guest of honour at a prestigious biotech conference in Geneva she declines, wanting to stay out of the public eye—that is until Daniel shows her the kind of work that the enigmatic Mauritz Schiller has been developing.
Flown first class to the spectacular alpine city and housed in a luxury hotel, Sarah and Daniel are thrust back into the spotlight. As they try to shut out the noise of the public media storm, in private Sarah is struggling with her escalating symptoms. And the true extent of what Schiller has achieved is a revelation. This is technology that could change medicine forever. More than that, it could save Sarah’s life.
Hearts of Darkness: Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI by Jana Monroe
Jana Monroe was no ordinary cop: a cofounder of—and, at the time, the only female agent in—the world-renowned FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit at Quantico, over the course of her career she consulted on more than 850 homicide cases. Through her work, she and her BSU colleagues crossed paths with Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Edmund Kemper, Aileen Wuornos, and hundreds of other murderers; were at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco; traced the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s tracks; and, in the wake of 9/11, headed up a new and expanded FBI headquarters in Las Vegas.
But to the people who know her best, Monroe is the BSU analyst upon whom the film character of Clarice (Jodie Foster) in The Silence of the Lambs was modeled; she even helped train Foster for the role. Over the course of an utterly astonishing and, until now, relatively anonymous career in shaping law enforcement and intelligence analysis, her legacy is without parallel yet not known to the public. Hearts of Darkness is Monroe’s incredible story and will have Monroe—now retired from the FBI—finally stepping out from the shadows to tell the range of gripping, sometimes gruesome, and always remarkable tales from the top moments of a life chasing the monsters among us. Within its pages, Monroe offers insight into the cases that have stayed with her most—from the infamous to lesser-known ones that readers will be introduced to for the first time in the book—offering new insight into the minds of some of the world’s most infamous and terrifying serial killers, as well as the psychological impact her work had on her day-to-day life. Hearts of Darkness will shock, enthrall, educate, and examine both extremes of human behavior—good and evil—as well as the daily norm found in the middle of this spectrum.